Content and analytics collide in New York

By Randall Snare | 1 Comment

In late-October, former iQuber, Elizabeth McGuane, and I travelled to New York City to speak at the Smart Content conference, the content and analytics conference. There’s a lot more that makes content smart, but this was a great little niche and we were happy to speak about it.

Photo by Elizabeth McGuane (the pigeon wasn't at the conference)

Photo by Elizabeth McGuane (the pigeon wasn't at the conference)

Who’s behind this newfangled idea?

Seth Grimes, a self described analytics strategist, the programme chair and Laurel Earhart, marketing director, put together this cozy little conference, which felt like a casual get together, albeit suit saturated. The integration of analtyics and content isn’t new of course, but it was great to have them in the same marquee for at least a day.

So what did we talk about?

With some prep help from iQ’s analytics expert, Clodagh, Elizabeth and I started our talk with a giant metaphor (the ocean). Our point was that however granular you make your data and no matter how accurate those granules of data are, you can put them together in whatever fashion you please; you can create whatever story you want.

We then outlined how we incorporated analytics data into our content design and creation in three separate projects. We ended our talk with a bit of self indulgence, which explored how analytics can influence your strategy (hint hint: look at the language behind your numbers).

You can check out our slides if you’re so inclined or you can read more about it on CMS wire.

There were other people speaking, weren’t there?

Indeed. And we had the pleasure to see Rachel Lovinger talk again – this time about the digital publishing industry. She recently released her report about that very same topic, called Nimble and she spoke about it at the conference. Her most interesting point, I thought, was that “structure creates freedom.” The structure in this case is in the code and the better the code is written and managed, the more effective the connected and semantic content will be.

So what can we learn from Smart Content?

Well there was a lot to talk about – the only solid take-away is that change is upon us. Platforms and tools change so rapidly that we need to do a little bit of work to keep up. But the foundation is the content. Good content can be our focus if we’re not into software or tools or even numbers for that matter. Let’s keep having conferences in New York City to explore this concept more, shall we?


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