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Anyone else remember the awesome 1996 movie Space Jam? Turns out it had one of the first movie websites and it’s still alive. Check it out here.

You might be wondering what a kids movie website from almost 20 years ago has to do with marketing, media or social content and the answer is everything. The super smart”>Suzanne Carawan tweeted this gem at one of the first sessions I attended at MMCCom:
Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 2.34.17 PMShe’s absolutely right! People rarely go looking for older content. A website isn’t a digital archive of everything your organization has done for the last 20 years.

The first step to freeing yourself as a content manager and your organization from the mountains of digital content you’re being smothered by is to ask this: Would you take the content with you if you moved? It’s ok if the answer is no. (If you haven’t already done a content audit and/or created a content strategy, this would be a good time to do that step too.)

The take the second step and ask: Who owns the content? Is that person even still with the organization?

Now that you’ve started considering what content you want to keep and what content might be better in a vault, review your user behavior. Check the analytics. Look closely at what people are searching for on your website. Then search for those things! If you can’t find the answer in one or two clicks. your audience has probably totally checked out too. Remember just because you added a Google search bar to your site does not mean you are like Google. Make sure you find a way to give your web users access to content in a way that makes sense to them.

A show of hands indicated that most people do not go to a website without a goal in mind (even if that goal is just to waste a bit of time or be entertaining). Your web users are no different.

Is your audience happy that they came to your site? You can find this by checking the analytics for time on site, pages visited, exit pages, etc. Look at the overall picture the analytics paint, not just each piece of information. It can be tempting to rely on surveys to determine if your web content is working. These should be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of users will tell you what they think you want to hear. The analytics should give you as much if not more insight than a survey will. This isn’t to say surveys don’t have a place, they do, just not necessarily on website usability.

Ideally, your website should be able to solve a users need right then with content? Answer a question, satisfy curiosity, lead the person in the right direction. Most web users are happy to follow a Wikipedia like rabbit hole, but only after their initial question is answered.

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Last week I attended the 2014 MMCC Conference. It was 48 hours of intense learning, collaborating and general brainstorming. So much so that I tweeted this as I left the conference:
Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 1.49.25 PMMany of the content takeaways are applicable even if you aren’t in the non-profit world.

  • It’s important to know what content your organization has and where it is located. Make sure to do (and then update regularly!) a content audit. This is the first step n creating a content strategy which will give you a good overall picture of your organization’s landscape. With a content audit you will know what pieces are located where.
  • Create a WHY for each channel you use to share content (print, podcasts, Facebook, twitter, etc). Why are you using these channels? Who is the audience consuming information in these areas? Who is visiting your website, what pages are they looking at and when? What are people searching for? Are they finding it? Don’t just look at entry pages in Google analytics, look at exit pages.
  • As you create the WHY for each channel think about your organization’s mission, vision and business objectives. Those three things alone need to be what drives the content. What are the goals? Membership? Sales? recruitment? Brand recognition?  Make sure each channel (and ultimately each content item) supports the business mission, vision and general objectives. If it doesn’t, is there a way to realign the content to fit? Why is it necessary if it doesn’t support those three things? While thinking about the WHY think about what defines success. What makes individuals pieces of content successful? What makes the overall content successful? The website, the Facebook page, etc. All content items should have a definition of success specifically for that piece.  All channels should have a definition of success specifically for that channel. Add a column to your editorial calendar labeled ‘outcome’. Know why you’re doing what you do.
    • 3 parts to review:
      1. Core target audience.  Who is the audience that you should be reaching with your content marketing?
      2. What will be delivered?
      3. What is the outcome for the audience?  Drive sales and revenue? Save costs (email versus paper) or sunshine (creating happier customers, keeping customers longer, get them more involved, etc.)
  • Each member (or audience) category should have its own content marketing strategy! Give people what they want, what they need, when and where they want and need it. Don’t make people search for content!
  • A content strategy must have a designated gatekeeper. A person who can look at a suggestion, content item or request and determine if it does meet the business mission, vision and general objectives. Or know how to create the piece to meet those requirements. Someone must have the authority to send the request back for more brainstorming.
  • Find a way (good source: slide share!) to share ALL presentations to the right audience. For an association, this might be in the member community site for those who miss out on a webinar, a conference or a presentation. Make the presentations available on demand to watch or re-watch.

Be sure to check back in the next few days for more takeaways from the conference as I have time to decipher my handwriting and review the tweets from the conference.

Portuguese Swai

J and I have been trying to eat more fish. Since one of my most favorites, seared tuna, is out at least until Baby Girl Tyler arrives in November, we’ve had to get creative. Last night, J found this super easy and really delicious Portuguese recipe from We didn’t have any sole filets  on hand, so we swapped out Swai (not sure what Swai is, check out this link from Consumer Reports) and it was wonderful. Since we didn’t want to figure out how to divide an egg yolk, we just made the full sauce recipe. Which turned out to be a great idea because the sauce was equally delicious over brown rice!

2 Swai fillets
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 sprigs parsley, minced
1 egg yolk

Arrange fillet in broiler pan and sprinkle with a little lemon juice and dot with butter. Broil until fish begins to brown. While the fish is broiling, combine the remaining lemon juice, sherry, soy sauce, parsley, and egg yolk. Mix well. When the fish has browned, spoon the sauce mixture over fish and return to broiler until sauce begins to bubble. If you end up with more sauce than fish, like we did, add the sauce to a pan and heat on medium until bubbling. This ended up being perfect because the sauce on the fish soaked in.

My opinion:
With a side of brown rice and broccoli, this was a super light and tasty dish. In total, it took longer to cook the brown rice than to make the fish from start to finish. Next time, we’ll add more fresh parsley at the end.

Avocado Chicken Salad

There’s a dish at one of the best places to eat in town, but unfortunately it is only on the spring and summer menu, which isn’t out yet. With the extra warm weather this weekend, we decided to try our hand at making the same dish at home. We seriously lucked out. With a few modifications, this recipe is a near exact copy and was amazing.

4 avocados, pitted and removed from skin
1/2 cup diced red onion (we used white because it’s what we had on hand)
1 celery stalk, diced
juice from 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons, feel free to add a bit more!)
1/4 cup cilantro (we left this out, but it would have been a great addition)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (feel free to use a bit more)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups cooked shredded chicken (we used three cooked chicken breasts. Oven roasted with chili lime seasoning)
8 slices sourdough bread (we used a pre-sliced loaf of french bread)

Roast the chicken in the oven at 375 degrees, spiced with your favorite Mexican seasoning, we like chili lime. Cook at least 30 minutes or until cooked through. Dice the onions and the celery in a food processor. When the chicken is cooked and slightly cooled, shred it with a fork or in the food processor. If you prefer your chicken salad a bit chunky, feel free to dice it instead. We added the shredded chicken to the food processor and then added the avocados and spices. If you prefer it a bit chunky, just mix everything together in a bowl. Taste and add lime juice and salt as needed. When ready to eat, toast the bread. We brushed both sides with olive oil and toasted each side until browned.

My opinion:
I was starving, so we didn’t wait for this to chill. In the summer, we will definitely chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes. Also, next time we’ll add a bit more cumin and maybe some more lime juice. This would be equally delicious with cucumber slices and bread. If you’d like it a little spicier, feel free to add a jalapeño. We will probably add some serranos from the garden this summer.

About Aurora

My father named me after Sleeping Beauty. The princess theme stuck. Unfortunately, the only castle I can claim is the one in Disney Land. These are the musings of a princess without minions, knights or fairy tales. I have to do my own bidding.

The views in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or clients.

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