Don’t tweet me in that tone of voice

This if the second of three posts gleaned from the MOOC Content Strategy for Professionals which I recently completed.

Tone and voice

The voice you use in your content should be the same as that of a phone call from a trusted friend.

The tone is the quality or mood of your voice – be yourself, be direct and be specific.

These are things I’ve always stressed when talking to people about creating content for the web. You want the web experience to be like sitting next to a really warm customer services person, otherwise why would they choose the web over the other channels.

Media platforms

Each platform is a different opportunity. What is the best media window for your information? Think especially about the commute and which platforms would work best with this captive audience.

Storytelling changes across multimedia. The format should follow the story – let the story tell you which platform to use.


Design is a never-ending cycle of improvement. Users need to be studied using your content, at the prototype stage and all through your content’s life-cycle.

Deciding what is a successful outcome will allow you to measure the improvement of your content.

Users should be the ones to evaluate your content design, not senior managers.

What is social?

Go beyond social networking and check out We Feel Fine.

We Feel Fine has been harvesting human feelings from a blogs since 2005. Every few minutes, the system searches newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling”. When it finds them, it records the full sentence, up to the period, and identifies the “feeling” expressed in that sentence. The age, gender, and geographical location of the author can often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written. The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 – 20,000 new feelings per day. Feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like:

  • Do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans?
  • Do women feel fat more often than men?
  • Does rainy weather affect how we feel?
  • What are the most representative feelings of female New Yorkers in their 20s?
  • What do people feel right now in Baghdad?
  • What were people feeling on Valentine’s Day?
  • Which are the happiest cities in the world? The saddest? And so on.

The interface to this data is a self-organizing particle system, where each particle represents a single feeling posted by a single individual. The particles’ properties indicate the nature of the feeling inside, and any particle can be clicked to reveal the full sentence or photograph it contains. The particles careen wildly around the screen until asked to self-organize along any number of axes, expressing various pictures of human emotion. We Feel Fine paints these pictures in six formal movements – Madness, Murmurs, Montage, Mobs, Metrics, and Mounds – artwork authored by everyone.

Virtual communities – understand their mission and the nature of the challenge they face. Create a guiding policy – how can you help them. Plan coherent action – create a set of actions they can perform to help them accomplish their goals.

Find out where are people talking about your topic so you can take your content to them.

Work smarter not harder. People don’t have time to read but they can watch or listen.

Differentiated messaging

Use A/B testing to test the success/shareability of your messages. You can use a tool like Bitly for this.

I have one last instalment to content strategy which I’ll do next week. Till then have a tune which will get you dancing. I’ve decided to keep the recipes off this blog but I can’t resist sharing a good tune now and then 🙂

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