The Future of Content?

Erin Kissane gives a fascinating presentation of her thoughts on some of the missteps made so far by some brands, and suggests 3 qualities to strive for when creating content frameworks. She suggests that these provide a context for the usual references of UX and IA people, and those us marketing folk (useful, relevant, entertaining etc).


1. Balance – harmonising seemingly opposing user needs, whilst leaving room for users to find their own uses for the content we create. An example of a balanced approach is Google’s home page – just a logo and and a search box (no ads!), compared with Yahoo.

2. Interconnection – making content not just shareable, but interconnected with all parts of the internet, and users real lives. e.g. Twitter, and more recently the development of the Kindle platform as opposed to the product.  Not an example is The Tomes pay-wall!

3. Stability – simply put, avoiding creating content frameworks being over dependent upon someonelses API.

Erin Kissane — Making sense of the (new) new content landscape from Together London on Vimeo.

She makes this observation towards the end:

“The important thing about a (content) framework isn’t the framework itself, it’s not even the building you build on top of it, it;s what happens when you walk into the cathedral……whatever we do when we take all these bricks we need to create buildings that let are users accomplish more, do more and be more, with our content….” 

 This echoes strongly with Cory Doctorow’s quote (which I have referenced before, here)

“Content isn’t King, Conversation is…….”

And suggests that success of Content Strategy lies in acknowledging that, as with all marketing, the focus should not be in what you want to say or sell, but in creating stuff that consumers want, to create something valuable that people will engage with.

Or as Henry Jenkins puts it

“The key is to produce something that pulls people together and gives them something to do”

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It’s not what you do, or how you do it…

The most important question we need to ask ourselves as brands and people is “Why do we do what we do?” …”What’s our purpose?”.  Then our stories will stand a chance of connecting.

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How to wander with purpose

Paul Isakson, like me has read Donald Millers ‘A Million Miles in a Thousand Years’.  He’s done a lot more with it than I have so far! Memo to self – “Get your arse in gear!”

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You learn more when you are smiling

Gerald Richards: Transforming Education Through Relevancy & Experience from Piers Fawkes on Vimeo.

826 centers offer a variety of inventive programs that provide under-resourced students, ages 6-18, with opportunities to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. They also aim to help teachers get their classes excited about writing. Their mission is based on the understanding that great leaps in learning can happen with one-on-one attention, and that strong writing skills are fundamental to future success.

This is one of those ideas that you immediately find yourself saying “why not here?”.

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Occupy Manifesto

In response to criticism that they were a random collection of issue groups, without any clear over-arching vision and purpose, the Occupy movement have worked with Michael Moore to to create their manifesto, that clearly states their agenda.

I imagine only those that fear losing (money, power, influence, control) could find any of these aims unreasonable.

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The Power of Story

Joe Gebbia: The Power of Story from Piers Fawkes on Vimeo.

Airbnb Founder demonstrates the power that human stories have in the engagement with and spread of ideas. He speaks about his start-ups journey–and the growing convergence of entrepreneurship and design.

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…and maybe our digital wallets won’t just have to be digital

Proverbial Wallets from John Kestner on Vimeo.

We have trouble controlling our consumer impulses, and there’s a gap between our decision and the consequences. This is magnified by the digitization of money. When we pull a product off the shelf, do we know what our bank account balance is, or whether we’re over budget for the month? Our existing senses are inadequate to warn us.


The Proverbial Wallet gives us that financial sense at the point of purchase by un-abstracting virtual assets. Tactile feedback reflecting our personal balances and transactions helps us develop a subconscious financial sense that guides responsible decisions. In addition to providing a visceral connection to our virtual money, tactile output keeps personal information private and ambient.


This is a project by the Information Ecology group at the MIT Media Lab. Read more at


News on production at


Credits: John Kestner, Daniel Leithinger, Henry Holtzman, Emily Tow, Danny Bankman

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