Published on March 30th, 2012 | by admin1
Setting a context for a content strategy vocabulary
The problem with building a glossary is that the definitions need to exist within a context. In my last post, I alluded to the ubiquitous term “template”, which has different meanings within different contexts, and Noz pointed out the word “format”, which has the same problem. The content strategy field is developing its own context, and this framework is offered as a starting point from which we can build a common vocabulary. Consider this a starter kit toward the glossary that Noz and I will post, likely in a neutral spot where we can accommodate multiple contributors.
The framework used here can be depicted as:
The cumulative effect of activities that form strategic approach to content, to achieve a business or social goal. This includes the decisions from both the content architecture and content development sides. (A Wikipedia definition for design is “…a roadmap or a strategic approach for someone to achieve a unique expectation. It defines the specifications, plans, parameters, costs, activities, processes and how and what to do within legal, political, social, environmental, safety and economic constraints in achieving that objective.”
The construction of content to allow content to function within a technological framework. Content architcture is the cumulative effect of activities and decisions in specifying the implementation of content types, content flows, and content models.
A set of building blocks that create semantic context for a specific unit of content, describing a technical structure and associated behaviours of those elements that allows reliable processing by computers.
The representation of the elements of a content type into the various outputs within a presentation, plus the technical specifications that allow the implementation of business rules. Assumes the technical specifications are described from the perspective of the content type within some sort of content management system.
A representation of the aggregation of all the content types used in a specific project, plus the technical specifications that allow the implementation of business rules. Assumes the technical specifications are described from the perspective of the presentation within some sort of content management system.
The construction of content to allow content to function within an editorial framework. Content development is the cumulative effect of activities and decisions in specifying the implementation of editorial quality, editorial structures, and content genres.
A set of building blocks that create social context for a specific unit of content, describing an editorial structure.
Content genres signify predictable reading flow. Examples of content genres are procedures, white papers, case studies, agendas, minutes, business cards. Readers predice that a business card has a name, position, company name, company address, and one or more telephone numbers.
A socially-enforced structuring of elements with a unit of content.
The structure is social because there are no technology constraints to enforce the structure; there is a social agreement to use elements in a particular way. For example, writers may agree that business card elements should always appear in a particular order: name, position, company name, company address, the direct number for a landline, followed by a mobile telephone number.
Editorial standards refers to the quality standards of the content.
Editorial standards can include mechanisms such as style guides, branding guidelines, or writing conventions, such as writing for accessibility or search engine optimization. Editorial standards are generally enforced by policy, though can be enforced through technology such as spell-checkers and content quality software.