The Art of Content

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THE ART OF CONTENT Tracey Halvorsen @traceyhalvorsen

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http://dev.fastspot.com/labs/memoire (view in Chrome w/ Audio)

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We are humans because we are story makers and story tellers.

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“ All human beings have an innate need to hear and tell stories and to have a story to live by. —Harvey Cox, The Seduction of the Spirit

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“ Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories. -

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“ Memory is never a precise duplicate of the original… it is a continuing act of creation. -Rosalind Cartwright

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“ We now know that memories are not fixed or frozen ...but are transformed, disassembled, reassembled, and recategorized with every act of recollection. -Oliver Sacks

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A story expresses how and why life changes. There's an event that throws life out of balance.

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“ A good storyteller describes what it's like to deal with opposing forces… - Robert McKee and Bronwyn Fryer Harvard Business Review

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“ Tur-shi-sho & Mupp

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“ The story is actually just a delivery system for the teller’s agenda. - Jonathon Gottschall

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“On April 30, 1943, a fisherman came across a badly decomposed corpse floating in the water off the coast of southwestern Spain. The body was of an adult male dressed in a trenchcoat, a uniform, and boots, with a black attaché case chained to his waist. His wallet identified him as Major William Martin, of the Royal Marines”

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This shows us how avidly we will seek to impose story structure even when none exists.

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Our brains are hard wired for stories.

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Don’t give your audience junk.

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Examples and Case Studies

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Make your content more interesting by giving yourself story challenges.

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MailChimp is “this but not that.”

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Lessons from the artist’s perspective.

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Look at things from many different angles.

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You can’t have white without black or warm without cool.

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Limits can provide opportunities.

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Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies”

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“ When you think about NASA, what words come to mind?

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“ Why does NASA matter to you?

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Get to know your audiences.

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When you begin your creative process questioning the content, EVERYTHING changes.

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Let’s Write a Great Bio! Huh?

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Ask your subject: - what her job title is - something she likes about work - something she does to foster creativity - something that makes for a bad day

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“ Julie Johnson, Director of Communication & Shelter Builder Julie arrives at work every day with 3 pairs of extra fuzzy slippers, an engineer’s attitude, and a chainsaw.

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Ask your subject: - what kind of pets does she have? - what does the pet seem to get mad about? - what does the pet like best about the interviewee? - if you could tell your pet a few important things about yourself, what would you tell them?

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“ Julie Johnson, Director of Meows & Kibble Dispenser “Julie clicks her fingers on small keys all day, while sighing and drinking a foul black liquid. I occasionally hack up a hairball to garner attention. What was that light movement over there? OMG I can see the bottom of my food bowl! She answers the phone a lot, and I see people on her screen talking to her from all over the world - they talk about something called user experience. They smile when Julie tells them things. She smiles back at them.

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How about a bio that is all big life moments since childhood?

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“ • • • • • • • Julie Johnson, Director of Communication & Macaroni Speed Eater Grasped concept of sharing with big sister to gain favor early in life Rode dog length of street Got a trophy for speed eating macaroni and cheese Jumped from plane and hated it Graduated top of class at Princeton Named UX Designer of the Year by the web Solved problems for world, slept well

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Make Your Creative Space

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Why do we impart divisions between what we might do as a creative exercise, and what we do at work?

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Give yourself the right ingredients
 to be creative.

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There is no difference between design and content.

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