New Year – New Directions

The on-line world is full of “it’s the end of one year, and I’ll make sure next year is better and different” blog posts. And this is another one – but one that marks a real turning point for both this blog and for me professionally.

The two events being closely related.

On a professional level 2013 will see me joining Caterpillar Inc. as their Content Marketing Manager, leading the team to develop and implement an enterprise-wide Content Marketing Strategy for one of the World’s Top 100 brands. – An amazing opportunity to put into practice many of the ideas, concepts, and methodologies I’ve written and spoken about over the last few years.

The start of a new phase in my career seemed like the perfect opportunity to relaunch this website too. So its been moved over to a new platform, given a new look, and the associated Facebook and Twitter feeds rebranded to consolidate “The Content Pool” brand.

Throughout 2013 I’ll be using this blog as a place to capture notes and observations around what it takes to develop a content marketing strategy for a major corporation. So I hope you will join me on a regular basis as I continue my “adventures in content.”

Have a happy and successful New Year.

THE CONTENT POOL book – Just a week away.

I’m looking forward to the Intelligent Content Conference in Palm Springs next week for several reasons.

And top of that list is the fact that the conference will be the location for the official launch for my latest book, THE CONTENT POOL, which in many ways is based on this blog. (Cover above.)

Today Scott Abel posted an interview with me abut the book, and the ICC12 launch, at his Content Wrangler site.

I mention in the interview that we will be publishing a special limited edition of THE CONTENT POOL for conference attendees. The ICC12 Edition will be limited to just 100 copies and will include an exclusive chapter linked to the panel on “Making a Business Case for Innovation” which I will be participating in at the conference.

If you are heading to Palm Springs next week for ICC12 I look forward to seeing you.

If you can’t make the conference the standard edition of THE CONTENT POOL is available for pre-order.

That Was The Week That Was ….

I’m not sure I could have asked for a better first full week of the New Year. No matter how I look at it 2012 looks like it’s going to be a promising, exciting, and busy year in the world of Content Strategy and Business Communications in general, and on a personal level for 4Js Group as well.

Let’s take a look at what made this week such a perfect start to the year.

  • I kicked off the week by delivering the final manuscript for “THE CONTENT POOL” book on Content Strategy to the fine team at XML Press for final copy edits, indexing, and layout. – We are looking at publication in the first half of the year. – As soon as we have nailed down a date I’ll post it here and on my twitter accounts. – I’ll also be posting updates here as the book goes through the final stages before publication.
  • On the conference front, it looks like I will be speaking at this year’s Lavacon in Portland in October. Lavacon has rapidly become on of my favorite events of the year, and I always enjoy speaking there.

As I mentioned, overall a great week – and a great start to the New Year.

Where have all the posts gone?

Wow – I just realized I haven’t posted anything here since May. Over two months ago! – That’s too long for a blog to go unattended, but I have a good reason.

I am deep into writing the book version of this very blog.
THE CONTENT POOL will cover, and expand on, many of the subjects I’ve discussed on this blog over the years. Plus I’ll be adding in more from my twenty plus years experience in the Business Communications industry to, hopefully, produce a though provoking book on exactly why content is your company’s greatest hidden asset.
THE CONTENT POOL is designed to help you:
  • Identify
  • Organize
  • Manage, and
  • Leverage
your content to reduce costs and increase revenue and profits.
Look for it later this year from XML Press.
I’ll be posting more updates, and maybe a few extracts, as we get closer to publication.

New WIKI book now available

My latest book “WIKI: Grow Your Own for Fun & Profit” was officially launched at the 2010 XML Conference in Philadelphia on October 13th.

It is now available to order on-line either through the publisher’s website, or via Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.com.– eBook Kindle version is also available for just $9.99


WIKI: Grow Your Own for Fun and Profit introduces the concept of wikis, and show why they are becoming the must-have communications and collaboration technology for businesses of any size.

The book will also include several case studies highlighting the ways that various companies are using wikis to solve differing business and communications issues, and the resulting benefits in terms of both efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Looking for a way to increase team collaboration, manage your company’s knowledge? Do you need a way to manage projects with customers or suppliers outside your company firewall? Would you like your customers to provide feedback on the information you publish? Then a wiki might be just what you are looking for.

Perhaps you have already decided that you should use a wiki, but are not sure how to go about it. Maybe you have a wiki but would like to encourage more people to use it. Or you would just like to learn more about the practical applications for this fast growing technology.

Then this is the book for you.

New Book now available for Pre-Order

My latest book “WIKI: Grow Your Own for Fun & Profit” is written, edited, proofed, designed and off at the printers.

It will officially be launched at the 2010 XML Conference in Philadelphia on October 13th. But you can NOW PRE-ORDER your copy at a discount from Barnes & Noble.com.


WIKI: Grow Your Own for Fun and Profit introduces the concept of wikis, and shows why they are becoming the must-have communications and collaboration technology for businesses of any size.

The book will also include several case studies highlighting the ways that various companies are using wikis to solve differing business and communications issues, and the resulting benefits in terms of both efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Looking for a way to increase team collaboration, manage your company’s knowledge? Do you need a way to manage projects with customers or suppliers outside your company firewall? Would you like your customers to provide feedback on the information you publish? Then a wiki might be just what you are looking for.

Perhaps you have already decided that you should use a wiki, but are not sure how to go about it. Maybe you have a wiki but would like to encourage more people to use it. Or you would just like to learn more about the practical applications for this fast growing technology.

Then this is the book for you.

An early reader review has already described the book as “Indispensable for people who want to get a wiki going.”

There is also a dedicated FaceBook page for the book where you can sign on to get all the latest news and happenings, as well as discuss the ideas and techniques covered.


New Book Project: THE CONTENT POOL

Contracts are signed so can now announce that I will be writing another book for XML Press – “THE CONTENT POOL” will be published in 2011.

So what is “THE CONTENT POOL” about?

THE CONTENT POOL
How to Identify, Organize, Manage, and Leverage Your Company’s Largest Hidden Asset.

Every company, no matter what industry they are in, or product or service they create, do four basic things. Offer something for sale, sell it, collect the money for it and create content about what they do. Product development, Marketing, Sales and Finance are all recognized as essential to the organization and are often reflected by VP or CXO level responsibility, yet a company’s content, which contains all of its intellectual property, is often overlooked. Whether they realize it or not every company’s secondary role is that of being a publisher. This book will aim to place content creation, management and distribution on a par with other core strategic business activities.

Identifying, organizing, managing and leveraging your content properly can make you money.

The book will take a look at:
– Why every company is a publisher.
– What content do you produce now and how do you use it.
– Identifying the audience, today and in the future.
– What about the language you use – is it costing you money or even making you legally liable?
– Content development silos – gain through collaboration.
– How Consistency saves you money.
– Where are your pain points?
– Styes and Standards
– Rewrite and reuse.
– It’s about answers not the documentation.
– Your customers will add value to your content
– Technology comes last.
– Your content can be a revenue source.
– Good content wins customers
– Helpful content reduces support costs.
– Develop a Content Strategy.

The book will conclude with – The Case for having a CCO (Chief Content Officer).

Wikis in the workplace: a practical introduction

When times get tough and belts get tight, one of the first things many companies do is begin casting about for ways increase efficiency and raise per-worker productivity. Many businesses turn to free and open-source tools to meet these needs, and at some point in such discussions someone invariably suggests a wiki for some internal project. But the wiki idea often gets rejected soon after it’s floated, typically because wikis are perceived to be insecure, inaccurate, or difficult to use; either that, or someone in the discussion has gone the wiki route before, only to see their wiki languish from lack of interest and participation.

These perceptions and experiences that lead companies to reject wikis are rooted in a common problem: the vast majority of the public has formed 100 percent of their expectations about what a wiki can and should be based on the single example of Wikipedia. Few have ever seen wikis used creatively and successfully in a real-life business context, so even when IT professionals attempt to implement wikis in their own companies they lack real experience and good examples to imitate.

As someone who’s currently writing a book on wikis, I’ve talked at length with a number of different organizations about the wiki’s role in their business. In this article, I’ll share with you some of what I’ve learned about wikis in the real-world by taking a case-study approach to describing how and why a handful very different organizations are successfully using wikis. After seeing the kinds of things that are being done with wikis, you might be motivated to give the technology a second look.

Read the rest in my article on the Ars Technica website.