Minding the Gap: ContentOps

Meme with cat stretched into a gap between couch cushions
If you identify the gaps, but you say it with a cat, those pain points won’t hurt so bad… right?

After our huddle this week to define the scope of our project, I am feeling a lot better about the work that lies ahead. While not quite so overwhelmed, I am still feeling a little pinched in this place between the content audit and the content strategy. While seeking the gaps on behalf of our client, I might also be struggling to bridge my own gap between what I feel like I understand, and what I understand the expectation is for our final deliverable.

Q: What did you read or watch that surprised, delighted or disappointed you? Why?

I have really appreciated Dr. Kim’s lectures. Simple without being condescending, easy to digest, and the easiest resource to apply directly to our current client project, I have re-watched each at least a couple times throughout this course and will probably come back to a few of them as I begin this audit process all over again with my own company. I especially appreciate how it’s explained that identifying tactics will help expose the gaps we’re currently working to close (that one process will lead to the other, and they do not need to be independent exercises).

Of the three articles assigned this week (the Heretto, Scriptorium, and The Content Wrangler pieces), the Content Ops Manifesto was my biggest ah-ha moment by far. While maybe not totally and wholly applicable to our current client project, this is something I can employ pretty immediately in my process revamping our own company website. I especially loved “Friction is expensive,” and every one of the five bullets that followed spoke directly to my (our) current situation.

What has also helped me, though not assigned for this module, was the Beth Dunn Content Strategy Insights podcast. I have actually found an advocate in the COO of my company and she has asked me to hop into the Executive Team meeting in mid-October to help everyone understand why cultivating content the right way is so important. I especially love Beth’s approach and how she doesn’t work from a “best practices” starting point, but instead works with what she has, and includes stakeholders directly in her process. Between the manifesto and the points made in the podcast I feel confident I’ll be able to sell it.

I could hardly get through the piece from Saunders and Brown-Hoekstra- the incredible amount of typos and grammatical errors in their deck were almost too distracting. I did, however, appreciate their bit on the 7 Biggest Failures in Content Operations.

What was the most meaningful for your own career goals? Why?

Foundations differ per building but serve the same purpose.

Patrick Bosek, What is ContentOps?

I am learning how to lay a foundation while working on behalf of our shared client, but I will be turning right around and building another foundation for my current employer using the same ContentOps. One of the things we’ve historically struggled with is not considering growth when building content. We encourage our own clients to be future-facing and utilize foresight when building systems and growing their people and processes… yet we have not taken our own advice. Partly out of ignorance of how to tackle this problem and what steps should be taken first, and partly out of a habit of devaluing the process itself, we have once again found it all to easy to relate to those “biggest failures” and “what not to do”-type lists.

It’s time for us to start minding that gap!

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