Curtain up: Content strategy debuts at IA Summit 2009

It’s no coincidence that my first-ever blog post should cover the first-ever Consortium on Content Strategy, held this past weekend in Memphis as part of the IA Summit 2009. Twenty-two practitioners in the discipline gathered at the Peabody Hotel to discuss, debate, and give shape to this burgeoning practice. Our esteemed participants hailed from corporations, non-profit organizations, digital agencies, and independent consultancies, all eager to share our experiences and (at a minimum) arrive at an initial shared understanding of this thing that we all do called content strategy.

The range of presentations, breakout sessions, and facilitated discussions throughout the day revealed that many of us have been thinking seriously about content strategy for quite some time, but often in the isolation of our organizations or individual consulting practices. This event shattered that isolation forever. Within the space of nine exhausting, exhilarating hours, these first congregants launched a community and a movement that already has taken off with considerable momentum. Consider the already sizable following for #contentstrategy on Twitter. (I’ll confess that before the consortium, I was a Twitter neophyte.). Blog posts are being written almost daily about the event and the practice (see below). New content strategy presentations appear often on Slideshare. While we didn’t walk away from the day with any definitive answers, we did arrive at some working definitions; a host of approaches, perspectives, tools, and processes; and most importantly, a sense of shared purpose to continue the dialogue actively and publicly across the various communities that we serve and in which we participate.

I encourage you to take a moment to read some additional read-outs of the consortium from some of my new content colleagues on their respective blogs:

The consortium also propelled me to start this very blog. My aim is to share thoughts, perspectives, and insights on content strategy that I’ve gathered along the way, and use this space as a platform to try out new ideas that I’m tossing around in my head.

Major thanks go to Kristina Halvorson (@halverson) of Brain Traffic and Karen McGrane (@karenmcgrane) of Bond Art + Science for spearheading the event and brining us together in Memphis. It was an honor and a privilege to participate in such a groundbreaking event with leaders in the field.

I am energized and encouraged that this is just the beginning.