Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Content Strategy Column in CMS Wire

As a content strategist, the people who implement and control your web content management system (WCMS) can be either your best friends or worst enemies. Anyone who had been through more than a few new site rollouts can attest to this. If the CMS is overly complex, hard to use, and buggy, it will make the content development phase of your project a nightmare.

So it's great news to see speaking directly to their audience about content strategy in a new, weekly column.

"Welcome to our new weekly column on Content Strategy. We will serve up a healthy dose of tips, tricks and tools related to content development, design, usability, search engine optimization and other content governance. This week we examine content for the sake of content and what makes it so darn important to the rest of what we do."

Take a look at what they are up to and help steer them in the right direction with good comments.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Atlanta Content Strategy Meetup - July Recap

Thanks to Kim Ware for sending this along.

Here's a bit of a recap for those who missed this month's Atlanta Content Strategy Meetup. July's meetup featured Joe Pulizzi, content marketing evangelist and founder of Junta42. Joe gave an inspiring, practical presentation on "Higher Purpose Content Marketing" that left us all with great ideas for improving the content in our blogs, websites, and even our tweets.

Colleen live-tweeted during Joe's presentation, so for a recap via Twitter, search #atlcs.

We also posted some photos on the ATLCS flickr photostream, so check those out as well.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Content Strategy for Blog Comments

A blog post from Newt Barrett got me thinking about the whole area of blog comments. Blogs are conversational by definition and design, so comments are an essential part of the formula. But all comments are not created equal. Let's face it, most comments are not even really comments, they are just lazy attempts at backlinking for SEO purposes. Your blog posts say a lot about who you are, and what you do. They establish your reputation. The same holds true for the comments you allow to be posted.

Comment Content Strategy for Blog Owners

If you own or administer a blog, I don't have to tell you about how much time it takes to keep up with comments. It's easy to want to just ignore the whole thing, but comments can really bring life to your posts.

To Moderate or Not to Moderate - Whenever possible, I think moderation is essential. This is pure content curation (buzzword bingo!). When I scan a posts comments and see comments that are completely out of context, and obviously pushing a link to another site, it lowers my opinion of the entire blog. So yes, moderate your posts. If you have so many comments that you just can't do it (a high quality problem for sure) think about outsourcing. And don't forget to let technology help you. There are some really good WordPress plugins that do a great job in dealing with obvious spam comments (see below).

Moderate Consistently - You can't play favorites. Many of us have had the pleasure of dealing with returning visitors who seem to disagree with everything we say. If they are just plain vulgar and offensive, sure reject them every time. But presenting a valid argument should always be welcome. It's up to you as to whether you want to respond with a comment of your own or just let it go. But an hot argument can make for great content!

Write a Comment Policy - Once your blog starts to get a regular stream of traffic, you really should write a comment policy, similar to your privacy policy. (Yes, I know I don't have one yet, I'm just as strapped for time and lazy as everyone else - It's in the works). Your comment policy sets down the rules and expectations for both sides of the conversation. It can also be used to encourage comments, it you remove NoFollow tags from links in comments, let your readers know and let them know what kinds of links are OK.

Here are two short and simple examples from The Blog Herald and Obama's -

Mashable has a great list of comment-related plugins. These are my favorites - Akismet, Comment Timeout, BlogFollow, DoFollow, and AuthorHighlight.

Comment Content Strategy for Blog Commenters

For those leaving comments, you need to think about what it is you are trying to accomplish. Sometimes you just want to make a comment, sometimes you want to make a comment as a way of introducing yourself to the blog owner, and sometimes you really do want a link back to your site. All of these are fine, just know up front what you are trying to do.

For any kind of comment creation, the main rule is this - add something to the conversation.

Even nice comments that don't really add anything will likely be deleted. "Wow, great post. Keep it up," adds nothing to my life or the life of my readers. But add just a little bit of context and relevance, and I'll have no problem - "Good ideas. I'll add those thoughts to my current content strategy job search."

If you are including a link back to your site, a little more effort may be needed in order to pass the sniff test. Remember, the blog admin has a ton of comments to go through, make it obvious that there is value in your comment and you make it more likely that your comment will be approved.

Comments are a great way to start an online relationship with a blogger. But don't expect to become BFFs after one comment. However a series of well-thought-out comments is a great way to introduce yourself and maybe eventually get your sit listed in their blog roll.

Comments are Content

So comments are important content elements, and deserving of a content strategy of their own. If you are working as a content strategist for a client, consider adding a comment policy to your list of deliverables if they have a blog.

Think about how comments fit into your larger content strategy, define or understand the rules, then speak your mind and encourage others.

Has anyone written a comment policy? I'd love to hear what you think.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July Content Strategy Meetup!

Join us for a brief presentation and lots of interactive discussion with Joe Pulizzi.

Please SVP Here

This month's meeting is on July 13th.


75 Fifth Street NW
Suite 335
Atlanta, GA 30308

How to find us
"3rd floor of Centergy building"

Joe is a leading author, speaker and strategist for content marketing. He is first and foremost a content marketing evangelist, and founded content marketing client-vendor matching site Junta42 as well as Junta42's how-to sister site, the Content Marketing Institute. Joe is also co-author of the highly praised book Get Content Get Customers (McGraw-Hill), recognized as THE handbook for content marketing.

Please SVP Here

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nonprofits Need Content Strategy Too!

Are you interested in redefining the good life in a way that’s in line with the needs of people and planet? Do you want to guide people to an emerging, positive future that prioritizes sharing, community self-sufficiency, and well-being? Do you want to build a movement? This nonprofit neeeds you content strategy skills

Content Strategy Tasks to include:
Your main responsibility will be to build a community to support the operation of the magazine. You will use open source practices to achieve your goals. The goal of the community is to bring sharing as a lifestyle into the mainstream and create a useful how-to resource for those interested in sharing.

Online Organizer (40%) -Develop strategies that increase engagement in cause & catalyze action -Develop a community to create and promote the magazine -Create content and distribution partnerships with key sites -Grow the magazine’s social media community, RSS feed, and e-mail list -Foster intelligent dialog on the site -Develop earned revenue model & establish new distribution channels

Editor (40%) -Develop content strategies that bring our point of view into the mainstream -Shape the site into a useful resource for those interested in sharing -Manage the day-to-day production of a provocative, high quality stream of content -Scan media for relevant stories to respond to or republish on Shareable -Assign, edit & develop important pieces -Manage editorial budget and all administration related to editorial functions -Optimize editorial based ongoing analysis of traffic -Engage key project stakeholders on editorial issues with project director

Writer (20%): -Write key thought pieces to round out the magazine’s point of view -Regularly contribute posts that track projects, current events & people in the movement

About the candidate:
-At least one year online community management experience
-At least two years professional experience as editor and writer
-At least a Bachelors degree in English, Journalism, or related field
-A demonstrated interest in our topic area
-An experienced blogger, social media user, and multimedia content producer
-Ability to prioritize and deliver on deadline
-Excellent attention to detail
-Demonstrated thought leadership
-Experience addressing a young adult audience
-Self-starter used to a startup environment

Reports to: Project Director

About the organization: CommonSource is a Tides Center project that promotes sharing as empowering lifestyle & high impact social change strategy. Shareable Magazine is CommonSource’s first program. Learn more about the magazine at

Compensation Competitive nonprofit salary & full benefits

Follow These Instructions To Apply: Please send an e-mail to with the following: -APPLICANT: COMMUNITY & CONTENT STRATEGIST in the subject line
-A brief cover letter in the body of the e-mail no more than three paragraphs long
-E-mail should be more than one page when printed out
-Below your signature include the following:
-one link to an online resume
-Up to three links to sample articles most like those on
-And one sentence about salary requirements

CommonSource, a project of Tides Center, is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related) or conditions Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions (ARC). Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

Compensation: Competitive nonprofit salary & full benefits
Telecommuting is ok.
This is at a non-profit organization.