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Kristina Halvorson & The Discipline of Making Stuff Up

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Content Strategy and Brain Traffic

Someone asked a perfectly reasonable question:

What is content?

Our Social Media Marketing class is composed of collegiates with a passion for writing and communicating. Whether from the Journalism/Communication school or from the English department, we’ve come together around this notion of producing content in pursuit of a vision.

So we write.

While “content” seems a rude way to talk about the deep thinking that goes into a paper on, say, the merits of determinism, it’s a term that works pretty well for less lofty/more human conversation. The kinds of conversation suited to inviting in semi-interested onlookers.

Content is the stuff we use to describe our vision for…whatever. If we’re building a coalition to alleviate homelessness, the content we produce will point to the problem, tell stories about real people, show the inadequacy of current solutions and keep offering attitudes that illustrate the need and humanity of the man on the corner with the sign. If we work for a company that makes implantable deep brain stimulators, our content will highlight the current science behind Parkinson’s disease, show current (inadequate) ways of dealing with the disease, harp on the benefits of such stimulation without hiding the downsides.01302014-content-strategy-diagram

Kristina Halvorson, founder and CEO of Brain Traffic and co-author of Content Strategy for the Web will join us today (provided she can plow through 4-6 inches of new snow) to talk about the disciplines involved with making stuff up. Because that’s what content is: making stuff up. For a purpose. Making stuff up in accordance with a discipline, toward a specific end, to meet a particular business or social objective. That’s why content and writing go so well together: there’s nothing a writer likes more than stepping into a big idea and exploring the main streets, side streets and alleys and foot paths with words and images and video. Sometimes we have a map to start with. Sometimes we make up the map as we go.

Mostly we do both.

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Image credits: Brain Traffic

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