Events

Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Thursday, February 15, 2024

February 15, 2024

Executive Alignment in Five Conversations: Protecting Your Projects From Churn

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Tamara Adlin

It doesn’t matter how streamlined and sane your strategies and processes are if you have misaligned executives. Executive alignment needs to be a new tool in your "managing up" toolbox. Learn how an alignment persona workshop can help your execs align themselves in five key conversations.

The five conversations are:

  • Business goals mad-libs
  • Today’s words for users
  • Identifying wants and needs
  • “Persona-ify” to create alignment persona candidates
  • Prioritize the candidates to reflect the business goals.

In this talk we’ll cover each of the conversations and walk through how to conduct the workshop. We’ll also discuss the “why” behind these questions. We’ll see how the workshop drives toward in your “Magical Sentence,” which you can use to keep stakeholders and entire projects on track: “Our primary business goal is X, so we have to make [persona name] ridiculously happy…right?”

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Thursday, January 18, 2024

January 18, 2024

Moving Information Across Boundaries; Using Information Theory in Information Architecture

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Gary Carlson

The primary goal of Information Architecture is moving information across boundaries: From one place to another, from one person to another. Boundaries can be created by distance, culture, language or experience. Systems, workflows, organizations, or interfaces also present boundaries, each with its own set of challenges that need to be addressed.

Understanding the information, senders, receivers, and technology allows IAs to mitigate the friction or entropy that each boundary represents. The better this understanding the more effective we are at bridging informational barriers.

Using many of the core concepts of Claude Shannon’s Information Theory, Marcia Bates' work, and experience with a wide range of projects, this presentation will unpack real-world examples of the power of Information Architecture to bridge barriers between people and information and provide a framework for defining and then crossing boundaries.

Participants will take away:

  • A good understanding of how information theory relates to Information Architecture and Content Strategy
  • How to view IA and CS through an Information Theory lens
  • How this information theory lens can directly impact our work, deliverables, and how we frame these problems.
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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

December 13, 2023

Structured Content in Content Design

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Cruce Sanders

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Michael Andrews

Join Cruce Saunders, founder and principal at [A], and Michael Andrews, content strategy evangelist, as they uncover how structured content and content design work together.

Cruce and Michael will discuss the opportunities, benefits, and processes for structuring content when developing content for transactional apps and products. Then they will address different levels of structure that can be included in a content model and how a content model can improve how content folks collaborate with UI designers and developers.

Some enterprise content teams are evaluating content supply chains in the wake of large language-learning-models and AI-enhanced workflows. But AI doesn’t change the need for content to have a consistent structure. With more content moving faster, structure is more important than ever. Many teams are still learning to adopt structured content practices. This session will help us understand the basics and where to get started, as well as introduce tooling for getting structured content into the design process.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

November 15, 2023

Grow your content career: How to wrangle influence, ambiguity, and autonomy

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Shannon Leahy

“Leadership.” “Leveling up.” It’s not always clear what these terms mean, or how they might manifest in your career. Or, it might feel like you have to change who you are to fit into some stereotypical mold.

To help you chart your path, we’ll demystify three key skills to grow in: establishing influence, navigating ambiguity, and working autonomously. And, most importantly, we’ll talk about how to build these skills while honoring what makes you, you. You can grow in your career without sacrificing your values or losing your soul.

You’ll leave this session knowing:

  • The true value of influence, ambiguity, and autonomy
  • How to spot the parallels in these dimensions across individual contributor and people manager career paths
  • How to identify and use practical, real-world methods to build and practice these skills
  • Specific ways to demonstrate your skills that feel authentic and true to you
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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

October 11, 2023

The Doctrine Gap

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Jeff Eaton

Strategy is your approach to achieving goals, and tactics are the specific actions you take to implement them. But even with a well-documented content strategy and the best follow-through, a team’s unique perspectives—the lessons it’s learned, its beliefs about how tools should be used, and its reasoning about why specific decisions make sense—usually go unarticulated.

Those invisible principles are a critical bridge between strategic plans and tactical follow-through. Uncovering, articulating, and documenting them produces doctrine: a shared playbook that can keep your team on track through staff turnover, shifting priorities, and changing technology. In this talk, we’ll discuss the role doctrine plays, how it’s helped other organizations bring clarity to their content work, and how teams can start using it.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

September 13, 2023

Making better tactical content decisions: Introducing the Northstar Framework

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Matt Fenwick

We’ve set the strategy, but now what do we actually do? How do you decide what content ideas to prioritise? Or when your stakeholders have an idea for another shiny thing, how do you map that new thing’s relative value against everything else in train. Many models for content strategy help framing our understanding — but don’t have a clear line of sight to action.

This is where the Northstar Framework comes in: a simple, visual tool for prioritizing tactics based on needs, resourcing and value.

In this talk by content strategist Matt Fenwick, you’ll learn:

  • How to engage stakeholders in collaboratively prioritizing tactics
  • Ways of capturing needs, resourcing and value
  • Using tactical models like the Northstar Framework as part of your strategy and influencing.
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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

August 16, 2023

Platishers Gone Wild

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Arikia Millikan

"Platishers" -- those hybrids between publishers, like Gawker, that allow anyone to create content, and platforms, such as Medium, with editorial staff and paid contributors, have been around for a while, but continue to present challenges to individuals and organizations looking to have a content presence outside their own sites or owned channels.

This talk will explore the challenges of content platform selection and the unintended consequences of choosing wrong. Some of the questions addressed include:

  • Is it a publication or a platform and why does it matter?
  • Do you know who owns the rights to your content when you publish on platforms or platishers?
  • What conditions must a platform have in order for it to be suitable for publishing?
  • What happens to your content when a Platisher folds?

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Upcoming event

In-Person

Panel

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

July 12, 2023

Seattle-area happy hour with Ahava Leibtag and friends

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Ahava Leibtag

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Ariel Van Spronsen

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Susan Stainsby

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Scott Pierce

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Paula Land

Content Strategy Seattle is excited to invite you to join us for an in-person happy hour for content folks in the Seattle area. The last time we gathered was in October of 2022, and if you were at that party you know how much fun it was to hang out together. We're very much looking forward to doing it again.

Special guest Ahava Leibtag will be joining us, along with a panel of experienced local content strategists representing various industries and audiences. The panel, moderated by organizer Paula Land, will be an informal and lively discussion about the challenges and rewards, similarities and differences in their work. Among our panelists, we have a wide range of experience, both in-house and consulting, spanning healthcare content, product content design, help docs, government, and other clients across a wide variety of industries.

Come early for drinks, snacks, and mingling, followed by the panel discussion. Everyone is invited to participate in the conversation! We'd love to hear thoughts from your industries and experiences. Note that we will not be recording this event.

Admission is $12 and includes complimentary snacks. Our hosts at The Lab will have their cash bar open serving craft cocktails, beer, and wine.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

June 14, 2023

Leading like you: Finding your own way to influence

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Michael J. Metts

Have you ever struggled to win people over in your work? Do you want to take more of a leadership role on projects but aren’t sure what that looks like? Leadership isn’t just for managers. It’s a valuable skill that will help you in your craft, and you get to decide what you want your own leadership to be like.

This talk will help you

  • think about the concept of leadership in new ways, challenging popular perceptions
  • find a way to be a leader that reflects who you want to be and what you value
  • give examples of how developing this skill can help your work as a content pro
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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

May 17, 2023

Gain influence on your teams: Building collaboration from the ground up

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Ariel Van Spronsen

Most content designers struggle to get a “seat at the table.” Teams often think of us as wordslingers, not as equal partners in strategy and vision. In this presentation, we’ll talk about how to earn your seat and make the most of it. You’ll learn how to find your voice on a team, influence your partners, and build effective collaboration from the ground up. And you’ll see how my team drove a 21-point increase in customer satisfaction by earning each other’s trust and working together.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

April 12, 2023

Content research: Building your visibility & impact

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Erica Jorgensen

Learning how to run and analyze content research studies can be empowering for content designers. But how do you carve out the time to do it when you’re often spread thin and pulled in too many directions? Drawing on her just-published book, Strategic Content Design: Tools and Research Techniques for Better UX, Erica will share practical and energizing steps to take to include content research into everyday content strategy and design work.

A few key topics we’ll cover:

* Cultivating buy-in from your manager and stakeholders
* Carving out time for content research
* Identifying what specific content you want or need to evaluate
* Running content research studies efficiently
* Sharing results for maximum impact

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

March 15, 2023

Governance for the Long Term: Bringing Content Strategy into Design Systems

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Margot Bloomstein

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Greg Storey

Design systems offer content creators, designers, marketers, and other enterprise content owners ways to control the interaction and look and feel of elements—and gain consistency in exchange for some creative control. Good for the content, and good for the people who need to approve the content, right? By including content strategy, design systems become more comprehensive, taking an experience from good to great. But we need to change how we collaborate to make that process successful—and sustainable. Come learn how we can shift the conversation and address publishing culture throughout the process to ensure successful rollout, adoption, and ongoing use.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

February 15, 2023

Enabling the Brain Drain: Transforming Tacit Knowledge Into Real Content

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Mike Doane

Tacit knowledge -- undocumented information in the form of thoughts and actions -- can create problems for organizations when experienced workers leave without passing that knowledge along. In this talk, Mike Doane will discuss a project he is leading to develop methods to gather and transform tacit knowledge from heads of experienced workers into explicit knowledge in the form of standardized content that can be used by all employees in a small, highly-technical company. Mike will talk about how to develop a knowledge management strategy and framework, using tools many of us are already using, that can transform how knowledge is captured, discovered, and shared.

Key takeaways include:

  • Using Zoom transcripts for knowledge gathering
  • Developing templates for Zoom interviews
  • Implementing complementary taxonomy and search software systems to exploit metadata usage
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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

January 11, 2023

Design for Cognitive Bias: Using Mental Shortcuts for Good Instead of Evil

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David Dylan Thomas

Users' minds take shortcuts to get through the day. Usually they’re harmless. Even helpful. But what happens when they’re not? In this talk we’ll use real-world examples to identify some particularly harmful biases that frequently lead users to make bad decisions. We’ll then talk about some content strategy and design choices we can use in our apps, designs, and platforms to redirect or eliminate the impact of those biases. Finally, we’ll explore our own biases as practitioners and some methods to prevent our own blind spots from hurting users.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

December 14, 2022

Writing Beyond the Screen: Designing User Experiences for VR

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Andrea Zeller

Virtual Reality (VR) is quickly becoming our here and now. It’s being used in museums to give guided tours, in industry to train doctors, and in entertainment to drive new ways of storytelling. We'll need to think beyond the words on a computer or mobile screen, and embrace the entire language of virtual reality to think more like screenwriters, less like copywriters. In this talk, you'll learn how to approach 3D content design by looking at opportunities from immersive theater, video games and virtual reality. You'll leave inspired to start shaping the next evolution of immersive experiences.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

November 16, 2022

Supporting neurodiversity and cognitive accessibility in our work and teams

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Amy Grace Wells

As more adults, particularly women, receive diagnoses for conditions such as ADHD and autism, the conversation around neurodiversity is increasing exponentially as it has entered our popular culture and social media. Twenty percent of those we work with and design experiences for may be on the neurodivergent spectrum.

Considering neurodiversity and other cognitive accessibility needs is an important part of creating inclusive experiences for our users. But it also is important for us to think about within our teams at work. It requires challenging a lot of norms and expectations.

Key Takeaways:

  • An understanding of the neurodiverse spectrum and cognitive accessibility
  • Examples of common content patterns that challenge neurodiverse users and how to address them
  • Ways to advocate for more inclusive products and workspaces

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

October 19, 2022

Hammers, Hardhats, and Heart: Practice-Building for Content Strategists

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Natalie Marie Dunbar

Whether you’re the only content person in your organization, the leader of a small content team that you’re looking to grow, or a UX or DesignOps leader, if you’ve been tasked with creating a content strategy practice, Natalie Dunbar will share tips that can help guide you through building a successful content strategy practice from the ground up­–a practice that can add value to your agency or organization.

Natalie will give an overview of the five components to the practice-building process that comprise the Content Strategy Practice Blueprint, detailed in her new Rosenfeld Media book, From Solo to Scaled: Building a Sustainable Content Strategy Practice:

  1. Making the business case for a content strategy practice
  2. Building strong relationships with cross-functional teams
  3. Creating a foundation of frameworks and tools
  4. Rightsizing the practice to meet client or project demand
  5. Establishing meaningful success measures

You’ll learn why these blueprint components are foundational to creating a practice that’s both sustainable and scalable, either as a part of, or as a service to, a digital or user experience focused department or team.

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Upcoming event

In-Person

Talk

Sunday, October 9, 2022

October 9, 2022

Pre-Button Social

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Paula Land

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Ariel Van Spronsen

Join Button and Content Strategy Seattle to kick off your Button experience!

This is a chance to mingle with fellow Button attendees as well as local Seattle content strategists and designers. Speakers like Jonathon Colman, Torrey Podmajersky, Scott Kubie, David Thomas, Andy Welfle, Michael Metts, will be there to meet the community.

Note: You do not have to be registered for the conference to attend!

We'll have books to give away, a few of the speakers will preview their talks, and we'll generally just chill over drinks and light nosh.

To help cover our costs, we are charging a small admission of $5. If you'd like to attend but finances prevent you, please contact us at organizers@contentstrategyseattle.com.

We will be checking RSVPs at the door and our venue requires proof of Covid vaccination submitted in advance of the event. The process is quick and easy, see details below.

We appreciate your assistance in keeping our party — and the conference — safe and healthy!

Location details available upon RSVP.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

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COVID-19 safety measures

COVID-19 vaccination required

Event will be indoors

E-mail a copy of the front of your CDC COVID-19 vaccination card to vacverify.visitors@wpp.com, indicating in the email that you will be visiting the offices of Wunderman Thompson in Seattle. Within 24 hours, you will receive an email confirming that your vaccination card has been verified and building access is approved. Bring that email with you the night of the event to show at the door.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

September 20, 2022

Fireside Chat with Kristina Halvorson

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Kristina Halvorson

Got content strategy questions? Join us for this special event with Brain Traffic founder Kristina Halvorson. This will be an informal chat, featuring your questions. Submit your questions here to get the conversation started. We'll take questions during the session as well and try to get to as many of them as time permits. It's sure to be lively and informative!

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Panel

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

September 14, 2022

Object-Oriented UX: A Discussion with Content Strategists Leveraging OOUX

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Sophia Prater

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Katrina Schwieterman

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Rik Williams

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Gillian Rosheuvel

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Gina Cairney

Most content strategists are on board with the idea of designing systems from the content out to the design. You probably nod your head vigorously when you hear Carrie Hane and Mike Atherthon say, “People don’t care about the containers, they care about the things they contain.” But how many product design processes actually put content and data structure first?

Object-Oriented UX does just that. An OOUX mindset and the ORCA process helps designers, developers, business folks, and content strategists come together to collaboratively structure a system based on objects, their relationships, the calls-to-action on those objects, and the attributes that make up those objects — hence, ORCA. And this all happens before anyone sketches screens.

In this panel discussion, Sophia Prater, the creator of the ORCA process and the OOUX Masterclass and Certification Program, will moderate a discussion between four content strategists who leverage OOUX in their work. 

This will be an organic conversation, so who knows where the conversation will take us! That said, here are some key takeaways to expect:

  • How OOUX can help support classic content activities, 
  • How OOUX can supercharge the influence of content strategy team,
  • What OOUX tools are most valuable to content strategists,
  • How content strategists are adapting and evolving OOUX methods.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Panel

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

August 9, 2022

Content in Design Systems and Beyond: The Discussion Continues

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Michael Haggerty-Villa

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Rebekah Wolf

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Michael Andrews

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Vanessa Schuller

Content builds better designs and systems and is a critical part of the work being done by our design and engineering communities.

Content Strategy Seattle is pleased to bring back this stellar panel of content and design experts to talk about content, design, systems, standards, and structure. In this expanded discussion, four content and design professionals share their design systems experiences and talk about how content makes design systems more useful, clear, and influential.

We decided to expand and redo this meetup to make up for the disruption caused by Zoom bombers during our July event. We apologize to those who registered and were blocked from that event and to those who were subjected to the negative messages.

All the panelists from the July event agreed that the discussion about content in design systems was just beginning. There are still more issues and ideas to explore. This was one of Content Strategy Seattle’s most popular meetups, and we’re thrilled to bring it back as an even larger and safer event.

Panelists will talk about Microsoft’s Fluent Design System, the Atlassian Design System, the Compass Design System, and innovative work being done at companies such as Conde Nast.

Some questions they'll explore:
• How does your content show up in designs? How can we make it better?
• How do systems strategies help us deliver better content?
• How do editorial style guides fit into design systems?
• I don’t work on a design system now. What systems thinking and strategies can work for me?
• How do we work with design tools and make sure content doesn’t get lost in them?

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Panel

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

July 13, 2022

Better Content, Better Design: A Discussion about Content in Design Systems

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Michael Haggerty-Villa

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Rebekah Wolf

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Michael Andrews

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Vanessa Schuller

Content helps build better designs and systems—and contributes to the design and engineering communities that need to do this work. In this panel discussion, four content and design professionals share their design systems experiences and talk about how content makes design systems more useful, clear, and influential.

We’ll talk about Shopify’s Polaris, Microsoft’s Fluent Design System, the Atlassian Design System, and other good examples we can learn from.

Some questions we’ll explore:

• How does your content show up in designs? How can we make it better?

• How do systems strategies help us deliver better content?

• How do editorial style guides fit into design systems?

• I don’t work on a design system now. What systems thinking and strategies can work for me?

• How do we work with design tools and make sure content doesn’t get lost in them?

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

June 15, 2022

Websites Aren't Rocketships (So Stop "Launching" Them, Please)

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Scott Kubie

Websites are ever-evolving complex digital ecosystems existing as part of an even more complex digital ecosystem. To truly be strategic about our web content, and to hope to begin to control content chaos, we need to map and understand these systems.

Content ecosystem mapping might be just the thing. Content ecosystem maps help you understand what the heck is going on with content in your organization: where content originates, the processes to produce it, the forces that shape it, the audiences that use it, and how it all interacts.

Scott will provide an introduction to the methodology of content ecosystem mapping through a live demonstration, and invite a Q&A about how content ecosystem mapping can be applied to your work.

Takeaways:

• Understanding the ecosystem metaphor
• Key components of a content ecosystem map
• Killer diagramming tips to help you get the most out of the technique
• How to fit content ecosystem mapping into your project work

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

Combatting the Denial of Service Attack on Meaning

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Bram Wessel

Bram Wessel revisits findings from his 2017 talk at IA Summit, examines what has changed in the intervening five years, and explores how misinformation might have real-world impacts on our work as information professionals. This will largely be a philosophical exercise, but we hope it can provoke a discussion about potential coping strategies and what we as information professionals can do to improve the quality of information in our spheres of influence.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

8 Steps to Content-First Design

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Sarah Johnson

Any digital experience is about creating a conversation with users. Conversations consist of words, tone, even gestures. How can you create a conversation with users without looking at the content of that conversation first?

Of course, there are many elements, such as research, analysis, and writing, that go into creating a streamlined, thoughtful conversation. In this talk, I’ll walk you through 8 steps for putting content first in everything you design.

Putting content first means implementing a multi-phase design process. Rather than creating a design and filling in the content after the fact, I’ll introduce a way to use a content-based creative approach that will lead you to a human-centered design in the form of wireframes and visuals. We’ll look at the following steps and more in the content-first design process:

  • Content inventories and audits
  • Prevision work including conversation maps and content maps
  • A prototype based on your findings
  • Testing and iterating on your work
  • Creating final designs

Who Should Attend?
Anyone who works in product, user experience, or content strategy, content design, or UX writing, as well as the content curious and career seekers.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

Our Jobs as Connectors: How Content Strategy Connects the Entire Web Process

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Corey Vilhauer

Consider this a call to multidisciplinary action: We as content strategists are the glue that hold a web project together. We are the ones who touch every part of a project—from discovery to development and beyond. And that means we need to understand not just words, but the systems and processes we build around those words.

This talk will take a look at how we can be not just good content strategists, but good web strategists, helping craft our work in a way that helps research, design, development, and ongoing support—all while learning a bit about our work in the process.

In this talk, you’ll learn:

  • How content strategy ultimately affects stages further down the project timeline—design, development, support
  • What you need to know about the different disciplines in order to make their—and your!—job easier
  • How content strategy fits into the larger ecosystem of a web design or development project
  • How content and governance form the backbone of the entire web experience

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

February 16, 2022

Unlock Empathy with Structured Content

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Lauren Etheridge

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Carrie Hane

All too often, content becomes an afterthought in design work. We end up duplicating it, use it to fill in empty boxes, not adapting it to all its audiences, getting it stuck, and we let it keep people out of our services.

How can rethinking our approach to content make our work/design/products more empathetic, sustainable, and available? In this talk, we will show how structured content unlocks empathy and offer some practical ways to work with content as data.

Key takeaways from this talk:

  • Gain insights into a new approach to content work
  • Make connection between structured content and accessibility
  • Learn what it means to have sustainable content
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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Where Conversation Design Meets Content Strategy

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Rebecca Evanhoe

Welcome to the future, where you can talk with the digital things around you: voice assistants, chatbots, and more. But these interactions can be unhelpful and frustrating—sometimes even offensive or biased.

Conversation design has an interconnected relationship with content. Content needs to be adapted for conversation, and conversation design decisions depend on the unique nature of the content. In this talk, Rebecca Evanhoe, co-author of Conversations with Things: UX Design for Chat and Voice, will discuss:

  • How conversational products have a place in an organization’s overall “content ecosystem.”
  • The unique content requirements and types of conversational products — and how they also can reuse existing content.
  • The interconnected relationship between conversation design and content.
  • How content needs to be adapted for conversation, and conversation design decisions depend on the unique nature of the content.


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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

December 15, 2021

Skilling Up & Paying Forward: Creating Connections in Your Career Journey

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Madonnalisa Chan

Keeping up with the latest technology or techniques for doing our work is no small feat. In this talk Madonnalisa will review her career journey in how she went from library systems analyst to product manager for taxonomy and content services.

Along the way you’ll get tips and tricks to stay engaged in your work, how to get outside of your comfort zone, and the timing for which paths you take in your career journey. She will share references and resources to materials that have shaped some of her choices and then open up the conversation for questions.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Panel

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

November 17, 2021

Words Matter: Building an Anti-racist, Inclusive Culture with Language

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Sarah Mohs

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Caitlyn Halliburton

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Jennifer Kennedy

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Nicole Baptista

Building an inclusive culture can be an overwhelming process, especially if you’re doing it alone. But when you dive in, you quickly see you’re not the only one hungry for change.

In this session, you’ll hear from a team of women at Intuit who led the charge to abolish racist language within their company. They’ll share how they got started, key learnings, how this work has impacted Intuit’s culture, and how you can get started where you work.

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Upcoming event

Virtual

Talk

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

October 13, 2021

The Personalization Paradox: Delivering Personalized Experiences at Scale

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Val Swisher

Personalizing content has become a corporate imperative for just about every enterprise. It's been a goal for years. However, the proliferation of Big Data has caused the trend to accelerate.

Many companies are working on pilots, proof-of-concept projects, and even providing content with some level of personalization. The amount of experience and creativity going into these projects is impressive! And yet, personalization at scale is a conundrum that few companies have been able to solve.

In this session, Val explores the problems companies face when scaling personalized experiences and details what you can do to be successful. She introduces the ultimate content paradox: In order to deliver personalized experiences at scale, you must standardize your content during the creation process.

Key takeaways from this talk:

  • Why standardized content is the only way to personalize at scale
  • The five dimensions of content that you need to standardize (output types, words, sentences, paragraphs, and components)
  • What a reuse strategy is and why you need one
  • How artificial intelligence will change content personalization in the future

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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

September 14, 2021

Content Across Channels: Tips & Tricks for Modeling Modular Customer Experiences

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Beth Weaving

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Cody Durain

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Samuel Erickson

Join members of the [A] team – simplea.com – as they walk through the ins and outs of using content models as part of the digital design lifecycle. See an active approach and hear lessons learned from in-flight internal projects.

Join this lively discussion led by professionals working on different parts of the digital development process using structured, modular content. Meet some new voices from the [A] team and bring your experiences and questions to share. Together, we will explore the nuts and bolts of building modular customer experiences.

Takeaways:

  • Understanding of content models and their role in digital publishing
  • Lessons learned from working across departments and teams toward a shared outcome
  • The foundational pieces to enable intelligent customer experiences
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Thursday, August 12, 2021

August 12, 2021

Get a Job: Landing a Role in Content

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Ariel Van Spronsen

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Theo Karatzas

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Lily Supardan

Two content designers and a recruiter walk into a bar……and have a frank conversation about landing a role in content. You’re invited!

We’ll cover topics like:

  • Changing careers and breaking into content strategy
  • Making yourself stand out as a candidate
  • Job search resources

We’ll follow up with ample time for Q&A so bring your burning questions.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

Structured Content, Accessibility & Audience: How SEO Has Evolved

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Deborah Carver

With a growth in natural language processing and improved content relevance algorithms, this session will address how SEO has changed in the past 2-3 years, including:

  • Why structured data is critical to algorithmic visibility
  • How optimization has shifted from keywords to topics and entities
  • Understanding your brand’s knowledge graph
  • Building and optimizing for accessibility in the time of the paywall
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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

Customer Journeys: An Essential Tool for Content Designers & Content Strategists

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Kevin Nichols

Customer journeys are the essential tool that (most) content designers and content strategists are not using.

Mention customer journeys to people in digital, marketing, content, and customer experience teams, and you are likely to get a lot of different reactions. Some people say they are over-hyped and unnecessary. Others relay stories about how they have seen them end up as expensive decorations in office cubes. They may find customer journeys impossible to implement or act upon or insist that journeys lack scalability.

Others speak to the promise of customer journeys and understand that these tools are fundamental to providing customer insights for digital experiences.

Kevin will speak about how customer journeys provide value when teams understand how to leverage them effectively—and discuss how content is a key component in their successful implementation.

He will make the case that to realize the value from your customer journeys, you need to understand that customer journey maps in and of themselves are not the end point. Rather, you need to go the extra step to derive task-based customer journeys from customer journey maps.

This talk will explain the difference between these two types of journeys and why task-based customer journey maps are exceptionally effective tools to plan for content within customer experiences. He will also provide tips to help you measure the performance of content within those experiences. You will learn:

  • What a customer journey map is and how to derive task-based customer journeys from it
  • What a task-based customer journey with content mapped to it looks like
  • How to leverage task-based journeys for content planning
  • How task-based journeys can position content as an effective lever to measure KPIs against customer experience
  • Why everyone should embrace customer journeys as effective tools in content design and content strategy
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Thursday, May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

Content Strategy... It's Not Just for Content Strategists Anymore

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Gary Carlson

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Theresa Putkey

An Enterprise Content Strategy (ECS) is the main thoroughfare between your business priorities and the content driven experiences (internal and external) that support them. An effective ECS guides how every part of the organization creates, shares, and accesses content in support of overall business goals. Without an ECS, any strategic content management process is like driving without a map.

To address this, stakeholders from content, technology, UX, and data governance need to be part of the process. There are a wide range of editorial and technical components necessary for a successful content strategy and this presentation will review discuss some of these components, with an emphasis on the technical and information architecture areas.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

April 14, 2021

Tagging Content for Empathy

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Rebecca Schneider

We use empathy to understand and relate to users – helping us create appealing content interactions. Today, more organizations are focused on empathy as a tool to encourage user engagement with their brand. Content plays a significant role in this type of messaging. But a primary challenge remains: how do we tag this content to support this communication across multiple channels? And is it even practical?

Key takeaways:

  • How tagging based on empathy can increase brand engagement.
  • The importance of context in user experiences – regional, cultural and socioeconomic – and how that affects the act of tagging and the content we use.
  • Practical implications and potential roadblocks when attempting to tag for empathy.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

March 10, 2021

Designing for Trust: Our Responsibility, Our Opportunity

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Margot Bloomstein

In today’s economy, businesses need a new strategy to earn trust and help consumers and citizens make confident decisions. But undermining confidence is cynicism: it erodes trust in the media, government, public institutions, and consumer brands.

To regain trust, we talk about empathy, transparency, and authenticity. But how do we get beyond those buzzwords—and what role can content strategists and designers play to move things forward? The secret is in how we use content to empower our audiences: when we give more control to users, they put more trust in us.

Examining what works among teams of all stripes and sizes, Margot will share examples from retail, publishing, government, and other industries to detail what you can do to meet unprecedented problems in information consumption. Learn how voice, volume, and vulnerability can inform your work to regain trust and lead your audience and organization from cynicism toward something far more productive: hope.

You’ll dig into several key points:

  • How should brands balance consistency and novelty—especially amid the pandemic?
  • How do you determine the right amount of content to build trust and help users?
  • Is there a place for vulnerability in corporate strategy?

NOTE: We will be giving away a copy of Margot's hot-off-the-presses book Trustworthy: How the Smartest Brands Beat Cynicism and Bridge the Trust Gap during the meetup. Must be present to win.

You can also pre-order your copy of Trustworthy: How the Smartest Brands Beat Cynicism and Bridge the Trust Gap.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

February 10, 2021

Content Testing: Discovering the Content that Appeals Most to Your Audience

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Erica Jorgensen

As a content strategist, you’re likely familiar with A/B testing. It’s a terrific tactic—but it’s also time and labor-intensive. For your next content project, what if you could find out what content will resonate with your audience before you launch it? Join us for a guide to content testing:

  • Why run content tests?
  • What specific content is ripe for testing?
  • When is an ideal time to test (and not)?
  • Who should you involve on your team?
  • Which tools do you use (from free to $$)?
  • How do you plan, run, analyze your test and share out the results (especially when you’re strapped for time)?
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Thursday, January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The Three Questions for Content Migration: Editorial, Functional & Procedural

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Deane Barker

Migrating content from one content management system (CMS) to another is consistently underestimated in both time and budget. Since the source and target CMSs and implementations are wildly variable, every migration ends up being custom to some extent. The best you can hope to do is understand the full scope of what needs to be done so you go in with your eyes wide open.

In this talk, Deane Barker will present the basic framework of a content migration framed through three major questions:

  • Editorial
  • Functional
  • Procedural
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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

Creating Unforgettable Content Strategy Portfolios

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Masa Zokaei

If you have been applying or interviewing for content strategy jobs recently, chances are you've been asked for a portfolio. But what does a content strategy portfolio look like? How do you share project artifacts in a meaningful way? What do you do when your work is client-confidential?

Learn helpful tips for how to stand out in the interview, including:

  • How to get the interview
  • How to put together a portfolio for content strategy that represents your work accurately and in an engaging way
  • How to present your work well in interviews
  • BONUS: preparing for interviews and what to expect
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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Making Content Strategy Stick: Operationalizing & Socializing Your Work

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Hilary Marsh

Once the pieces of your content strategy statement are in place, the day-to-day work really begins.

The keys to making your content strategy sustainable are in making a part of people’s everyday work and in keeping the principles and practices of content strategy on everyone’s mind. This requires skills that most content strategists already have: listening, sharing, and fostering connections.

Takeaways:

  • How to involve people in the content strategy effort so they feel invested in its success
  • How to empower content contributors so they are motivated to follow the rules rather than go around them
  • How to help good practices go viral inside the organization
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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

August 19, 2020

AI Conversation Along the Customer Journey

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Jonathan Foster

We might call them bots, but the more responsive, personal, and seemingly intelligent our conversational technologies become, the more the customer will think of them not only as the voice of a company, but an extension of the company brand itself.

Jonathan Foster, leader of the Edge Browser, Mobile Experiences & Conversational UI writing teams at Microsoft, will share insights into the development of Microsoft’s intelligent assistant Cortana and the creation of bot personalities and how they might inform the power of conversational UX in retail experiences.

What you’ll come away with:

  • Perspectives on designing personality in humanlike interactions
  • Insights into the power of voice interaction
  • What kind of investment is necessary to create an intelligent brand expression

Key reflection questions:

  • What are the potential benefits that human-like interaction will bring to retail experiences?
  • What are some of the ethical considerations we might encounter?
  • How might natural interaction impact our retail experiences on premise and online?
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

July 8, 2020

Writing is Designing: Use Words to Build Better Experiences

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Andy Welfle

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Michael J. Metts

Without words, apps would be an unusable jumble of shapes and icons, while voice interfaces and chatbots wouldn’t even exist. Words make digital experiences human-centered and require just as much thought as the branding and code.

Join us for a fun, informative talk by the authors of Writing is Designing: Words and the User Experience.

• See how interfaces rely on language, and how writing can make or break an experience
• Take a deep dive into error messages, and learn a technique you can use in your own organization
• Learn principles for UX writing that anyone who works on digital products can apply to their own work

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

May 27, 2020

Content Strategy & Digital Accessibility: An Interactive Group Discussion

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Devon Persing

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Sierra Seeborn

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Jennifer Reilly

Join us for a special event co-sponsored by A11ySea, the Seattle Area Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetup.

Devon Persing, an accessibility specialist at Shopify, will introduce how content strategy intersects with digital accessibility, talk about common disabilities that can impact how people interact with and understand content, and provide an overview of how popular assistive technologies interact with content on the web.

Jennifer Reilly, a UX writer at Google, will present a short walk-through of Material Design’s best practices for inclusive writing, including tips on:

  • using content hierarchy to make UI text easier to navigate via screen reader
  • writing clear, concise accessibility text (for example, ARIA labels and alt text)
  • creating links that can stand on their own

She will also share some top resources for learning more about inclusive design.

Sierra Seeborn, an interaction designer at Google, will briefly describe her experience ramping up as an interaction designer, and share resources that have been critical to that journey.

After brief presentations and discussion with our speakers, we will use breakout rooms to apply what we've learned by looking at some sites and discussing in smaller groups.

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Thursday, April 9, 2020

April 9, 2020

Intersection of Content & Community: Striking the Right Tone in Times of Crisis

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Laura Porto Stockwell

If we think about content as a bridge between culture and community, we can quickly see that in today’s world, the substance and tone of the content we create is more important than ever. While brand communication has become substantially less formal over the past decade, now is the time to create deeper and more personal connections via content.

During this talk, we will:

  • Walk through key components of media ecology, a theory that proposes that communications technologies, from the alphabet to the Internet, are key drivers of social change
  • Discuss why now, more than ever, the content we develop must pivot to be more personal and more community focused--and why that is right for brand communications
  • Discuss a set of guidelines for planning and creating content in this new paradigm
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Thursday, February 13, 2020

February 13, 2020

Stop Publishing Pages: Structured Content and Communication on Web 3.0

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Andy Fitzgerald

The way that we consume information on the web is changing. Gartner and Comscore have famously predicted that by 2020 "30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen” and that "half of all searches will be voice searches."

In June of 2019, Rand Fishkin reported that "for the first time, a majority of all browser-based searches on Google.com resulted in zero-clicks.” This is likely at least in part because searchers have found the answers they seek right on the search results page.

And yet: We continue to hold on to the metaphor of the content we publish as “pages,” destined to be found and read as delivered by patient, attentive online readers.

The remedy for this comical mismatch has been with us for years, and, thanks to recent surges in voice and smart agent technologies, we content strategists are finally set up to advocate structured content approaches to publishing content. In this talk, we will:

  • explore the structured content alternative to “publishing pages”
  • identify the ways that structured content sets us up to design and build faster, more findable, and more accessible digital properties
  • review examples from government and healthcare of the advantages of structured content approach (and the pitfalls of clinging to pages) on the Web of the 2020’s
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Thursday, January 16, 2020

January 16, 2020

Designing Responsible Conversations

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Deborah Harrison

Conversations generate extraordinary power. Our words can harm or heal, obfuscate or enlighten, generate confusion or clarity. They can make our day or ruin our mood. So what happens when one side of the conversation comes from a machine? How do we teach our machines to connect, to quip, to clarify, to lighten the mood?

Designing responsible conversations is indeed a challenging prospect, but it can absolutely be done. In this session, we'll consider why conversations matter and the duty of care that we assume when we engage people in an inherently emotional activity: talking with them.

We'll explore the powerful emotional components of human communication, and what the research tells us about how we connect with our devices. Finally, we'll look at some conversational examples and consider the ethics of different approaches to authoring.

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Monday, November 11, 2019

November 11, 2019

An Evening with Kristina Halvorson

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Kristina Halvorson

We are delighted to offer this opportunity for an up-close-and-personal event with Kristina Halvorson. She will join us in advance of her Introduction to Content Strategy workshop for an informal evening of Q and A.

Bring your pressing content strategy questions for one of the biggest stars in the content strategy world.

The Workshop:
Go to http://j.mp/introCS_seattle2019 and use discount code SEATTLEMEETUP19 to get 10% off Kristina's Introduction to Content Strategy workshop on November 12.

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Thursday, July 11, 2019

July 11, 2019

Content Effectiveness: Understand Whether Your Content Works

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Colleen Jones

Does your content work for your users or customers? Sooner or later all of us face that question. It sounds easy, but getting the answer is hard and often seems impossible.

In this session, Colleen Jones will offer a framework for understanding content effectiveness in six dimensions, tips for measuring it, and examples of applying insights from it to content strategy and more.

Make answering the question of whether your content works achievable and actionable.

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