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Confab 2011 Wrapup: I Find My People

There are some great workshops going on tomorrow at Confab, but I can’t stay for them. So I thought I’d wrap up here with a few final thoughts on this great first-time conference on content strategy.

  • Agreed with Kristina Halvorson and others that the conversation ongoing about content strategy is really useful. It’s not navel-gazing; there’s a lot of definition still to be done in our discipline. So I’m patient with some of the long-form talk and the Twitter chatter; it’s making us who we are.
  • Really liking Melissa Rach‘s perspective on content strategy. I think there’s still a lot of nuance to be hashed out here, as well. Part of this is about defining the discipline; we are related to user experience, analytics, information architecture, marketing, product development and more. The perspective you work from is going to inform your own definition of content strategy.
  • Really hating Twitter today. It’s been performing poorly for at least 8 hours now, and while the conference backchannel isn’t a national security issue, it makes it hard to talk when this is the channel I’ve grown to depend on for much of my professional communication.
  • The people at Brain Traffic and the UIE staff involved in Confab know what the hell they’re doing. I have been to a whole lotta conferences, and this one rises way above the rest on sheer logistics alone.
  • And then there’s the content. Let’s just agree on the front end that I’m square in the middle of the target audience for this conference. But the content was great, with few uneven sessions. If you care about content, if you have to deal with content, if you don’t know what the heck to do with your content, sign up to attend Confab 2012.
  • Perhaps the best part for me was the people. I got to meet many, many people who’ve just been avatars to me for so long, and it was wonderful to shake their hands and even hug them in person. There’s a lot of smart thinking about content happening around the world, and I’m delighted to get to know so many people working on it.

Here are my notes from the sessions I attended:

Steve Rosenbaum: Curation: Beyond the Buzzword
Elizabeth McGuane and Randall Snare: How to Create a Data-Driven Content Strategy
Angela Colter: Testing Content
Ahava Leibtag and Aaron Watkins: Johns Hopkins Testing Content
Ann Handley: Keynote
Jeff Cram: Learning to Love Your CMS
Christine Perfetti: Essential Techniques for Measuring Your Content’s Success
Rachel Lovinger: Make Your Content Nimble

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