Anyone that knows me, knows I adore Logan, my pup. (He's four now, but he'll always be my "pup".) Admittedly though, Logan isn't the sharpest tool in the shed (he is all ) because he is very high-spirited.
Consider a trip to the dog park with Logan; the second I take his leash off he's off like a bat out of H-E-double hockey-sticks to run with the other pack of dogs. Often times though, he gets so excited and moves so fast that he'll lose sight of where I am and end up at the opposite side of the dog park. [We can thank the great City of St. Petersburg, Florida for its mammoth dog parks.] And when he gets exhausted, he'll just drop where he is until I find him.
On the flip side, a friend shared a very cute story with me that she picked up at her last TED conference about squirrels. Squirrels, the speaker said, "move really, really fast and then stop. Then they look around and see where they are and what's around them. They figure out where they want to go next and then off they go, really, really fast."
Often in web content management we move like Logan. We get all spun up and want to do everything and we just start running. We have no clear idea where we are going, but we just move as fast as we can. We produce content for the sake of producing content (because more is always better — right?). But at some point we lose track of where we are and realize we're lost — and it becomes evident we don't know where we are going. Perhaps we've even missed a few important things along the way that we should have noticed.
Whenever you dive into a web project, it's a great idea to take a content inventory (and if you have a really smart CMS, a taxonomy map for each asset) and see where you are, what you've put out there (and why you put it out there) and see if what you have still supports where you want to go. It boggles me, for instance that Microsoft still has reams of information on its websites about SQL Server 6.5 and SQL Server 7. Both products are no longer supported, and it's very hard to discern archived content from live content on Microsoft's website because search pulls it all back to you. I would argue that some historical content is even really bad for your business and/or content strategy.
Do you take the time to see how your content is performing? Do you remove deprecated products from your company website (or at least archive them)? Do you know what's around you, and where you're going with your content strategy? Does your content strategy still make sense? (Hint: If the last time you revisited your content strategy was more than a year ago, the answer is probably, "No".)
These are good examples of how moving too fast can get you in trouble, make you lose your way and even pass out from the sheer exhaustion of moving too fast. So, be like the squirrel. Move really fast when you are sure where you are going; but stop every now and then and take a look around.
About Tim Staney
has more than ten years (since 1997) of web development experience building enterprise-grade web applications for Fortune 500, small business and not-for-profit enterprises across the United States and Canada over a wide-range of industries. Tim specializes in information architecture, content management with a keen focus on user experience, and social media integration. Tim Staney
is a resident of St. Petersburg, Florida and active member of his community. Staney
regularly presents to professional and community groups, speaking on social media, social marketing, web content management and web strategy.
Tim Staney is a member of the American Marketing Association and <uwebd />, University Web Developers as well as the St. Peter's Episcopal Cathedral Communications Task Force. Tim is the Web Content Manager at St. Petersburg College working for the Marketing and Public Information department managing content in the college's Ektron content management system. Tim also teaches courses like Social Marketing for Small Buisness and Designing Effective Websites for St. Petersburg College's Learn to Earn program.
Except where otherwise attributed, the statements, thoughts, views and beliefs in this blog post are solely those of the author.