Conceptual art and content strategy – a compilation of a few thoughts

When I started inspire/mation (the site that housed my blogs previous to this one) I thought I’d aim to join the ‘blogerati’ in writing really clever, informative, edited, and perfectly punctuated articles about information management and content strategy. It seems however that this approach just doesn’t work for me: My last post was published several months ago (September, it seems) and despite having some awesome ideas about what I might write (and even creating drafts with snappy titles), I’ve not written one of them.

But, I was thinking about the conceptual art development process and how it relates to content strategy today and I needed somewhere to get it down. Enter my dormant blog and the gift of blog freedom: Zero to Published in 30 minutes.

It means that instead of being carefully and elegantly conceived, inspire/mation will likely become a stuttering of posts that are short/tall, ugly/gorgeous, stupid and (hopefully) sometimes smart. It’ll be the blog equivalent of the human-race.

So, getting on with my thinking about conceptual art/content strategy:

I’m pretty new to content strategy (CS) but the thought processes feel familiar. Like many content strategists, I’ve been working with aspects of CS for years. As a conceptual fine art student, I couldn’t have imagined that creating fabric and wax sculptures, screen prints, and fashionable body bags, would give me some of the tools needed for a job called Content Strategist. Conceptual art is however all about deciding what you want to say, developing those ideas by writing, drawing, discovering, and uncovering them, and pin-pointing and matching messages to chosen materials SO THAT the final work communicates the message in a clear and engaging way – and also has an emotive, activating, or visual appeal (whether beautiful or off-putting).

Getting to know content strategy

As I trawl through the dozens of content strategy blogs and articles on the web, I can’t help but think that many of them are saying the same thing over and over again.

(I have found some excellent blogs by the way, which I’ve started to list in Linkage)

What’s interesting to me about CS is not the definition of the job title or even trying to sell it to the wider web world or it’s clients, but rather the enormously inspiring collation of skills that CS requires. It’s the interchange of technology, words, story and communication that’s got me switched on.

And the fact that, although CS is a fairly new job description, it would seem to thrive on a compilation of skills from various long-settled job descriptions: I’m thinking curator (not an original thought), marketing, advertising, journalist, writer, workflow specialist, storyteller around the camp fire, or an artist, creating ever-changing sculptures – formed by workflow and represented in messages, images, words and digital design.

Add your thoughts