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Published on May 10th, 2009 | by Rahel Bailie


Content strategy and the new face of documentation

Last week, I presented at the STC 2009 Summit in Atlanta, on the topic of content strategy. Well, it was actually titled The New Face of Documentation; after submitting basically the same presentation proposal into several tracks under different names, this is the one that got accepted. The topic resonated with the audience – the room was full and at least a dozen people told me they wished they could have attended.

The idea of looking at trends in our profession speak directly to the idea of content strategy. It’s a “beyond the document” look at how we create and deliver content to various audiences. It’s about content re-use and single-sourcing, about content management, about filtering content, about creating better ways to serve content consumers. It’s also about how social media has raised the bar, and how consumers will take matters into their own hands if we don’t step up to the plate.

STC Summit attendees will eventually be able to hear the entire presentation along with the slide show. If you didn’t attend, you can see a slightly more concise version of the slides here. Comments encouraged – I’m truly interested in your impressions and feedback.

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About the Author

Rahel Anne Bailie is a synthesizer of content strategy, requirements analysis, information architecture, and content management to increase the ROI of content. She has consulted for clients in a range of industries, and on several continents, whose aim is to better leverage their content as business assets. Founder of Intentional Design, she is now the Chief Knowledge Officer of London-based Scroll. She is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, she has worked in the content business for over two decades. She is co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, and co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy, and is working on her third content strategy book,

6 Responses to Content strategy and the new face of documentation

  1. Destry @Wion says:

    That’s funny about the multiple submissions. :)

    All of us in Europe who didn’t get (or couldn’t afford) the chance to go to the Summit would love to have you present this topic in France. 16-17 April 2010. Something to think about. More information coming soon.

  2. Rahel Bailie says:

    I would be delighted to present this at your conference. (Dates are already in my calendar!) When I took an informal poll at the end of the session, virtually everyone said the presentation was beyond their expectations.

  3. Hi Rahel

    I’ve just reached this presentation and thoroughly enjoyed what you’ve brought together. I continually struggle to find metaphors that bring to life the complexity of the fluidity of content, its value, its direct (and immediate) influence on user experience, its inevitable affect on brand equity… I love the way your visuals pull into focus the convergent effect through these fragment patterns and spirals.

    Thank you


  4. Besides the graphics which had me thinking “I wish I had of thought of that graphic for that concept” the concept and flow provide lots to think about, looking at content in a very holistic way.

    I hadn’t thought about the game content example before, that as a kind of strategy they let the document be developed through the direct experience of the community.

    And I enjoyed the social media examples as we’ve recently launched the Social Media Academy in Australia and this is good grist for the mill.

    Walter Adamson

  5. Pingback: Three Questions to Start Thinking Like a Content Strategist | I'd Rather Be Writing - Tom Johnson

  6. Gina Fevrier says:

    I wasn’t able to attend the STC conference last year, and your presentation wasn’t made available to us, so I’m so glad you posted it here. I would love to see this presentation live in the future if you’re ever in the Tampa Bay area.

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