I was one of the mobile and social engagement experts at the 2011 LavaCon conference in Austin, TX this week. LavaCon is a very well attended niche conference for digital media and content strategists -- not the "social media gurus" you so often hear about, but actual content strategists who create, curate and publish content for some of the world's leading brands.
They have an interesting predicament on their hands: Traditionally, they've wrestled with how to get content out of the enterprise and into b2b and/or b2c consumption. However, their world is changing so quickly that they're having to rapidly re-tool their skillsets and expertise to not only be masters of the old world, but also figure out how to maximize on the potential of new and rapidly evolving distribution channels.
A well-reviewed book on content marketing by one of the panelists, if you'd like to learn more.
This group is wrestling with issues such as:
- Should their role be creating content, or extracting existing content from organizations?
- Mobile seems huge -- what's the best way to capitalize on it?
- Social also seems huge -- how do they bring social into their carefully curated content world without causing more problems than they solve?
- There are many new formats to wrestle with -- a rapidly evolving ePub standard, HTML5, and many others. What's the best way to separate the content from the formatting so content is best positioned to be usable and relevant in the future? (Hint -- they're on the bleeding edge of XML technologies)
I found the group of maybe 150 attendees to be very much aware of the responsibility they have to figure these issues out, and they seemed very capable of doing so. The biggest collision I see coming is how this group will interact within the enterprise to bring an effective social strategy to their brands. Many companies are rapidly hiring "social media gurus" to figure this out, but I actually think that these content strategists are in a much better position to capitalize on the opportunity, because they've been living in the brand's content for so long. And as I recently wrote, the way I describe social media is effectively and efficiently getting subject matter expertise out of the heads of those who have it and into the hands of those who need it (often for free).
Here are videos of my panels, as well as other LavaCon panels below those. If anyone has thoughts or questions about the event or comments about my points above, I invite you to leave them in the comments section below and I'll forward them to the conference organizer.
Morning Panel: The New Communication Paradigm: Smart Content, Social Engagement and Mobile Devices(panel portion only -- full keynote is coming below)
Afternoon Panel: How to Unleash the Communities Hiding in Mobile Apps
Slides from my session above:
Twitter stream of event:
Morning Keynote (includes morning panel above): The New Communication Paradigm: Smart Content, Social Engagement and Mobile Devices
Afternoon Session: Help 2.0: Welcome to the New World of Socially-Enabled Contextual Help
Afternoon Keynote: The Content Revolution
Afternoon Session: Content Marketing: Combining Search, Social & Quality Content