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From Nightclub dj to Content Management Consultant -- Developing a Business Career The Content Wrangler Way

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From Nightclub dj to Content Management Consultant -- Developing a Business Career The Content Wrangler Way

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Presented by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler Community, Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at the Society for Technical Communication Summit, Philadelphia, PA.

A look at how Scott Abel moved his career from a dead-end nightclub job to a career as one of the foremost experts in content management and technical communication. Step-by-step progress will be explored. Lessons learned and best practices will be shared.

Presented by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler Community, Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at the Society for Technical Communication Summit, Philadelphia, PA.

A look at how Scott Abel moved his career from a dead-end nightclub job to a career as one of the foremost experts in content management and technical communication. Step-by-step progress will be explored. Lessons learned and best practices will be shared.

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From Nightclub dj to Content Management Consultant -- Developing a Business Career The Content Wrangler Way

  1. 1. From Nightclub DJ To Content Management Consultant Developing A Business Career The Content Wrangler Way
  2. 2. In Case You Were Wondering, Now You Know, This Is Not Me He’s Not Only Strong, He’s Apparently Quicker To See The Value Of His URL Than I
  3. 3. It All Started In Academia I Earned 146 Credits, In Four Different Programs ... And Didn’t Earn A Degree
  4. 4. My First Area of Study Was Art I Learned That I Was Not An Artist, But I Knew Good Art When I Saw It
  5. 5. Next Stop, Business School I Quickly Realized This Was Not Where I Fit
  6. 6. Then I Dabbled In Photography I Liked The Medium And Being Able To Communicate Messages Visually
  7. 7. Journalism Fed My Mind Affording Groceries, An Automobile, And A Place To Live Was Another Story
  8. 8. Everyday Was A Learning Event The People I Interviewed Were Subject Matter Experts; I Explained What They Knew
  9. 9. What Do You Mean We Get A “B”? Starting A Local Alternative Magazine Proved Fun, Exciting, And Profitable
  10. 10. I’ll Be Your Server This Evening Like Many Before Me, I Waited Tables To Get Myself Through School
  11. 11. Then I Became A Bartender The Money Was Much Better, But It Wasn’t As Glamorous As One Might Think
  12. 12. Age 14: My First Gig As A DJ I Learned From A Club DJ Who Worked At Our Local Under 21 Disco
  13. 13. DJing Taught Me About Content Reuse And Personalization Playing The Wrong Version For The Wrong Crowd At The Wrong Time Is...Well, Wrong!
  14. 14. Turning Around On A Music Box I Had An Ear For The Unusual And No Fear Of Trying Something Until It Worked
  15. 15. <--- LARRY LEVIN AT PARADISE GARAGE NYC CIRCA 1978 Remixes Were User-Generated Users Were DJs Who Played In Discos And Needed Songs Longer Than 3 Minutes
  16. 16. Two Turntables And A Mixer Until The Late 1990s, All Remixes Were Made Manually By Musically-Inclined DJs
  17. 17. <--- CONTROLS BPM Tempo Control Was The Key The Technics 1200 Turntables Are Still The Instrument Of Choice For Many DJs
  18. 18. Reuse Is In The Remix Vocals Are Reused Identically And Combined With Different Styles Of Music
  19. 19. Madonna Helped Explain How In An Interview On MTV, She Explained How The Technology Worked
  20. 20. Madonna Helped Explain How In An Interview On MTV, She Explained How The Technology Worked
  21. 21. Digital Players Mimic Analog They Allow DJ To Use Finger To Control Tempo And Computers To Lock In Speed
  22. 22. USE YOUR IMAGINATION. The Old Guy At The Bar I Was Heading Nowhere Fast And Needed To Find A Sustainable Future -- A Career
  23. 23. <--- not my counselor In 1999, I Sought Help From An Employment Counselor He Suggested My Skill Set Would Make Me An Excellent Technical Communicator
  24. 24. I Put Together A Portfolio My Magazine, Ads I Designed, Photos I Shot, Articles I Wrote, Music I Remixed
  25. 25. One Interview Later... My First Assignment: Documenting Mortgage Loan Automation Software
  26. 26. At First, I Didn’t See The Signs I Was Bedazzled By The Corporate Culture, My Paycheck, And Benefits
  27. 27. You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me! Totally Disorganized, Inefficient, Wasteful ... They Were Later Sued Out Of Business
  28. 28. I Started Searching For Answers The Internet Became My Hunting Ground
  29. 29. WRITTEN BY FORMER TECHNICAL WRITER ANN ROCKLEY, WITH STEVE MANNING AND PAMELA KOSTUR, THIS BOOK IS REQUIRED READING FOR ANY ONE WHO WANTS TO WORK IN THE CONTENT MANAGEMENT ARENA. Unified Content Strategy My Involvement As Technical Editor Was My ‘Ah ha!’ Moment: I’ve Not Turned Back Since
  30. 30. I Needed A Way To Get Organized Lots Of Information I Wanted To Remember, But Carrying It Around Was Not Practical
  31. 31. The Content Wrangler Was Born It Was Nothing More Than An Online Storage Cabinet For Things I Wanted To Remember
  32. 32. The Accidental Audience My Focus On Managing Content As A Business Asset Resonated With Others
  33. 33. Blogging Raised My Profile I Was Recruited Based On My Views And My Perceived Expertise; People Noticed Me
  34. 34. I ACCEPTED NON-TRADITIONAL ROLES AND DIDN’T WORRY ABOUT “TITLE” AND, I MADE MUCH MORE MONEY WITH THIS APPROACH Thanks, But No Thanks! I Turned Down Jobs That Required Me To Write Unstructured Content In MS Word
  35. 35. Started Speaking At Events Speaking At Business And Content Management Events Helped Me Find Work
  36. 36. “CONTENT IS A BUSINESS ASSET WORTHY OF BEING EFFECTIVELY MANAGED” THIS MESSAGE SELLS! Defining My Value Proposition Good Idea: Communicating and Rebranding Myself As A Content Management Strategist
  37. 37. WINNERS ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO HIRE YOU. WHINERS ARE MORE LIKELY TO DISTRACT YOU. Whiners Vs. Winners (Duh!) I Ran Toward Winners, Which Also Meant I Was Running Away From Whiners
  38. 38. <-- DICK EDLEMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, EDLEMAN PR EDLEMAN IN WORLD’S LARGEST PR FIRM Scott, Commoditize Your Blog At The Syndicate Conference in 2006, Dick Edleman Encouraged Me To ‘Think Bigger’
  39. 39. <-- ADS ALLOWED ME ACCESS TO SOFTWARE AND SERVICES COMPANIES AND THEIR PRODUCTS, EXPERTS Banner Ads Brought In Revenue Companies That Want To Sell Products Also Need Help Creating And Documenting Them
  40. 40. Conferences: Natural Extension My Readers Said They Needed To Learn How To Do What I Was Writing About
  41. 41. Presenters Seek Attention The Same Folks Who Speak At Conferences Write Articles And Participate In Groups
  42. 42. The Need For Community What Was Missing Was A Way For People To Connect To One Another Without My Help
  43. 43. Birds Of A Feather ... Social Networking Technology Allows People To Congregate In Ways Meaningful To Them
  44. 44. So Many Jobs, So Little Time Being An Individual Consultant Is Not Scaleable...This Is Good News For You
  45. 45. ARE YOU A DOCUMENT ENGINEER? HOW ABOUT A CONTENT CHOREOGRAPHER? WRITTEN BY FORMER TECHNICAL WRITER BOB GLUSHKO, NOW A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE, THIS BOOK IS REQUIRED READING FOR ANY SERIOUS CONTENT PROFESSIONAL. Grow Your Knowledge There Is No Future In Commodity Writing: The Future Is In Solving Content Challenges
  46. 46. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO CHANGE AND OPEN TO DIFFERENT APPROACHES. ALLOW YOURSELF TO THINK BIGGER. DON’T ALLOW OTHERS TO DEFINE YOU. The Road To Success There Is No One Right Way To Become A Content Management Expert

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