In Which We Affinity Map My Confab London Tweets

Confab is basically band camp for content strategists, content planners, content designers, and others in our industry who think content is important to the experiences we design and build. I just returned from the first-ever Confab London and my tweet stream is overflowing with things to share.

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  1. Long Distance Attendance Through Twitter

    At least one content strategist, and precisely one chemist, thought my live tweeting of Confab London was quite informative. I have proof.
  2. Affinity Maps: One of UX Designers' Favorite Things

    It would be rude for me to regurgitate my steady stream of tweets verbatim. Instead, I affinity mapped them like a good content strategist/UX designer to surface and summarize some key themes. Really, I made an affinity map with scraps of paper. Or rather, I had my colleague Claire do it.
  3. She organized the tweets in ways that hadn't really occurred to me. So, I'm going with it. NOTE: Since the affinity-mapping exercise, many of my tweets have disappeared from my Twitter favorites. So, most of what you'll see is from the first day of Confab, but the themes span both days.
  4. Confab Tweets Affinity Map
  5. An Essay: You're probably doing something right if ...

  6. Your Content is Human

    The majority of my tweets ended up falling into this category, so Claire broke it down a little bit further:
    - Humans want to be listened to
    - Humans have context
    - Humans are flawed
  7. Humans want to be listened to

    Our stakeholders and our audiences appreciate it if we solicit their input AND use it to design and build things that help our stakeholders meet their business goals and our audiences get what they need.
  8. Humans have context

    A few years ago, the context conversation was all about things like, "Users want different things on mobile." Now, we know that's not necessarily true (it rarely is), and we know there's way more to it than that.

    Context refers to lots of things, including the frame of mind our users are in when they want or need our content, how our users want to interact with and perceive us,  and how our content needs to be structured and displayed to best serve users on whatever device they are using.
  9. Here should be a tweet during Karen McGrane's talk about how we have basically broken the internet for mobile users because we're not considering how content needs to be displayed on mobile devices.
  10. Humans are flawed
    Companies are not humans. But they are made up of humans. And humans are not perfect. Our users know this and probably don't expect perfection from us. What they do expect is empathy, honesty, and authenticity. With that comes credibility.


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  12. Your content is purposeful

    Purposeful refers to three things in our affinity mapping exercise. First, it relates to telling a story with a purpose. There was a lot of talk about storytelling at Confab London and it really resonated with me. Every organization can figure out a story that adds meaning for its users, or even better ... makes your users the hero.
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