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Defining content operations

This is my 600th blog post. Thanks to all of you who've been reading!

I've been thinking about how to more precisely describe what I do. Saying I'm in "content strategy" leaves too much up to the audience, for whom that term means many things. For instance, I don't trade in RPMs or anything like that (but my friend Allen Wyke does, and he's amazing).

What I really do is what I'm now calling "content operations". I'm not sure that's it, but it does get people to ask, "what's that?" instead of assuming I do something I don't.

What is "content operations"?

Content operations encompasses the processes and systems required for the content supply chain: the stuff you need in place to efficiently and effectively produce and distribute content. I've worked pretty far upstream (determining what you need a CMS to do, developing editorial calendars) and downstream (choosing the right channels for publishing, evaluating). Talent identification and development's also in there. And, of course, I spend a lot of time with clients -- and you blog readers -- talking about writing and the writing process.

Click image for a larger view.

Next week will be the acid test. I'll be meeting tons of people at the Internet Summit and will have loads of chances to toss out "content operations" and see what kind of response I get. That kind of "living lab test" is a valuable opportunity to get market feedback. I'd also like to know what you think. Comment below or drop me an email. Thanks.

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Thanks to all our veterans, including my Dad.

My dad, Capt. Robert M. Lester Jr. (back, left), and his B17 crew.

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