Web 2.0 Expo NY: “Content Matters” panel moderated by Liz Danzico

The last session that I attended at Web 2.0 Expo NY was a star-studded panel moderated by Liz Danzico featuring Jeffrey Zeldman, Alex Wright, Kristina Halvorson, Paul Ford, and Bre Pettis.

My Twitter notes on the session:

  • Types of content: navigation & orientation content, labels & action content, help content, non-textual content, content content!
  • Navigation & orientation sets the tone, lets you know where you are, gives you a sense of breadth
  • Labels and actions: what you can do, what steps to take. Visual/audio content: data viz, maps, photographs
  • Alex Wright, Information Architect at New York Times, occasionally writes for the paper. He’s the author of Glut. Love that book!
  • Bre Pettis, “videographer”, works at Etsy and founded http://nycresistor.com
  • Kristina Halvorson, president at http://braintraffic.com, “content strategist”
  • Jeffrey Zeldman, web designer, evangelist, http://happycog.com http://zeldman.com
  • Paul Ford, editor at http://harpers.com
  • Most content deals w products/services. Kristina got into content strategy b/c she was a writer being given lorem ipsum wireframes
  • Sometimes a client’s story is really good, but the web designer needs to bring it to life.
  • NYT publishes 300 articles a day plus a lot of multimedia content. Good taxonomy to tag all content pages helps organize it
  • Bre: “text is dead.” People are finding new ways to share their passions on the web. Video (even when it’s bad) shows so much
  • Complex to deal w/ world of content, who is responsible for gathering/reviewing/publishing, governing brand standards
  • @zeldman: balancing between fun, engaging content and medical content on the same website requires some rules and guidelines
  • Shared understandings and talent overlaps and a lot of passion can help
  • In 1996, @fraying started “Web 2.0” site http://fray.com a quarterly collection of user-submitted stories. Works b/c it’s moderated
  • Alex: User-generated content works well when there are constraints around it. Delicious is a great example. Users can do very little
  • What can a co do when they can’t afford to hire a content strategist? Do it yourself. Fewer placeholders. Content is part of design
  • Ted Nelson, who coined hypertext, said, “The web is the vacuous victory of typesetters over authors”
  • The lesson: scale back on your content. Keep in mind that you or your client might not even have the time to create it down the road

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