Information Development World: You need to be there.

Last week I had a brief but productive conversation with Jill Rowley about content and social selling and she said something very profound.  She pointed out that her driving force, social selling, is still in its “1.0 stage” and remains largely undefined and that content marketing, which should be entering the 2.0 stage still remains largely undefined.  that is problematic for her because sharing good content is crucial to success in social selling.

That’s why I was extremely excited when I received an invitation to be an official participant, as an Information-development-worldinfluencer, at Information Development World coming to San Jose, October 22-24, organized by Content Rules and the Content Wrangler.  This is the first big step toward making content development a serious profession.

I have an ongoing battle with both marketers and journalists about what constitutes content development.  Both consider it to be just another arm of marketing.  In truth, that is what much of it has been.  That is the problem with it.  If content is seen as an offshoot of marketing in todays media-rich culture, it fails.  And as Richard Edelman points out, that practice is backward.  Content and the strategy that creates it should drive marketing, not the other way around.  From the description given me of “InfoDevWorld,” making content the horse that pulls the cart is the intent of the event.

“Information Development World is the first—and only—conference dedicated to helping organizations create exceptional customer experiences centered around content,” said Adam Helweh, principal at Secret Sushi and one of the event team. “Our goal is to bring together the brightest minds in the content arena—content strategists, technical communicators, content marketers, product managers, customer assistance specialists, translators, localizers, taxonomists, and user experience professionals—to demystify the methods, standards, tools and technologies needed to deliver exceptional omni-channel customer experiences.”

Note that marketers are only a part of the process.

I changed my career path to content strategy 10 years ago, about 6 years before the phrase content marketing became popular.  I’ve got a good idea what it actually means and what needs doing, but I always need input. So I’m going to this thing, even though trade shows and conferences are my least enjoyable experience and I will be there every day, tweeting, blogging, taking video and generally making myself a nuisance asking very hard questions.

If you are involved in the development of content or using content, either as a corporate lackey or a media hack, I urge you to check this event out.  It’s time to define this thing and this event is step one.