In this week's odd-numbered skinny issue:
- More than (key)Words video preview and more course info
- A content administration thought starter for your consideration
- Upcoming February events for your calendar
- Dream jobs ahoy!
- Another winner from the chum bucket
- Links! Pushing back against unpaid pitching, pivots to video, and more
More than (key)Words: New course coming February 29
Pre-order More than (key)Words now to get the course as soon as it's released. Use the code EARLYBIRDMTK to get the entire course for $199. This offer expires after 30 redemptions or on February 29, whichever arrives first.
In this 5-unit video and email course, you will learn:
- Where the idea of keywords came from, and how we can apply the origin of the word's popularity to our current content-saturated digital ecosystem
- What keyword research is and why it still matters as a major pathway to understanding digital audiences
- When to augment keyword research with other audience research tactics
- How to use AI tools and prompts to organize your data and expedite what used to be a manual process
- Why content is higher quality when keyword research is involved
Those who complete the exercises along with watching the video content will come out of the course with a full keyword research project you can use at your work, or as practice for the next big audience research task.
Content administration thought starter
Strategy month is over! We're transitioning into the administration stage of content development for February. (Don't worry; we'll return to strategy in July.)
Content administration covers the business aspects of how content gets made. We'll discuss in depth next week, but choosing vendors and partners, contracting, scoping work, budgeting, managing projects, and deeply important businessy bits are all part of the administration phase.
Events and podcasts
- On Let's Build a Website, we're house hunting! Over the course of the next two episodes we're researching all our options—Wix, Squarespace, Wordpress, Webflow, and more— and finally choosing our platform/CMS. Add the February 21 show to your calendar and tune in live as we give the rose to the chosen software home for our personal website.
Add Let's Choose a Platform episode to your calendar: Gmail | Apple | Office365
- Coming soon! I'm speaking at TBD Conference on February 27. The theme is Fascia, and it's a virtual event, so no matter where you are in the world, you can tune in. I'm super stoked about the talk I'm writing, so I hope you can join.
Three good-lookin' content jobs
Whether you're looking for a new position for yourself or sketching out the requirements for a new hire at your company, check out these swell-lookin' content strategy and content-adjacent roles. I have no connections with these companies, but if I were looking for a full-time gig, I'd definitely apply.
- Content design lead - Canva: For this job, you'd have to relocate to Australia, but don't you want to have a down under adventure with some of the most innovative minds in content?
- VP of Historical Content and Corporate Social Responsibility - A&E Networks / The History Channel: New York-based or remote, but including because it's kindof a wild gig. Fact-checking and CSR in the same gig? Sure, I guess. Video production experience required. Fact-checking The History Channel would be... something else.
- Staff writer - Defector: Be one of the cool kids and blog for the employee-owned Defector. I love that this job description includes "Enthusiastic about helping shape the non-editorial operations and strategic direction of the business."
From the bottom of the chum bucket
Our chum bucket explores all the weird programmatic content and ads found online. Because "generated content" is a weird, weird thing.
I can't say for sure whether this content was conceived by a machine, but it certainly didn't receive an editorial review.
Content tech links of the week
- For all my agency folks: Unpaid pitching is a symptom of an unfair system. YES. Agree. Along with spec work, asking creative businesses to commit time and effort to a highly customized unpaid pitch does not create a healthy agency-client relationship. Yes, the process makes us feel like Don Draper, but he is a fictional character, and long unpaid pitches make no business sense.
- Embedded asks whether creators are the future of media. Kate Lindsay is onto something, especially with this gem: "The latest pivot, this time to AI, is especially ironic given who traditional journalism’s biggest competition is now: real people building audiences with their unique, individual voices."
- One of the writers of Spotify's algorithms was laid off, and he blogged about how their genre recommender algorithms were written and how the This Is [Artist] system was conceived. It's fascinating, even if I disagree about the algorithmic importance of labeled genres, even if there's a little bit of "I invented the piano key necktie" in the tone. (But then again, I've been admonished for taking too much personal credit for creative initiatives at an employer, so I involuntarily cringe when I see others take the same ego trip.)
- Just like YouTube copied Shorts, TikTok is going longer and more horizontal. Silly platforms! All they do is copy each other.
- Friends of The Content Technologist at ThreeSixtyEight just sent a lovely and thoughtful newsletter about winning affection, not stealing attention. Big smiles all around.
The Content Technologist is a newsletter and consultancy based in Minneapolis, working with clients and collaborators around the world. The entire newsletter is written and edited by Deborah Carver, independent content strategy consultant, speaker, and educator.
Did you read? is the assorted content at the very bottom of the email. Cultural recommendations, off-kilter thoughts, and quotes from foundational works of media theory we first read in college—all fair game for this section.
I've been listening to The Last Dinner Party's debut record nonstop since it was released last Friday. I was cold on the first single, but they've grown on me, and now I'm hooked. For fans of Kate Bush, The Dresden Dolls, The Go-Go's, overdramatic BritPop, and fun in general.