Content Strategy, a US thing?

Drupal Europe, wake up!

So, I’m not going to pretend this blog post was not written with the idea of provoking a bit of a discussion. It was. As a Content Strategy specialist working for a full service Drupal agency, I was more than disappointed to see the disconnect between the European Drupal Community and Content Strategy.

Photo of Koen Platteeuw
Tue, 2014-10-14 13:30By koen

I’m just back from my first DrupalCon in Amsterdam. Two years working in the Drupal world, and after a couple of DrupalCamps, I finally made it to the big event. On the whole, a great experience. But to be honest, there was one thing that … (looking for the right words) … irritated me deeply. The lack of engagement with Content Strategy from the European Drupal community. Really, do we not care? 

If my info is right, the Drupal Association received 510 proposals for sessions, for which it had the unthankful task of selecting 90. This basically means that out of every 6 suggestions, you need to turn 5 people down, which is a position I don’t envy. 

If I take a closer look at the submitted sessions, six sessions could be tagged as Content Strategy focussed (with one more front-end session including Content Strategy in its talk) Six! One of the biggest trends in web publishing is only good for 1% of the submissions on a conference like Drupalcon. On the other hand, it shows that us, Content Strategists, still have a whole lot of evangelising to do (God, I hate that word (pun intended)). 

So where were we? Six submissions. Out of these six submissions, only one made it to the main program. In other words, Content strategy was treated like any other area. 1 out of 6. So no complaints there. (full disclosure, yep, one of the 5 rejected sessions was mine, but as said, just normal given the high number of submissions)

Personally, I had to decide on whether to attend Drupalcon Amsterdam, or Confab Europe. Confab is the biggest Content Strategy focussed conference in our continent, happening in the same week as the biggest annual Drupal event in Europe. Bad luck. And Confab was held in Barcelona, my home town! Making it an even harder decision. Only to find that as of today, we, the European Drupal Community, are looking the other way. It does show on the other hand, that I made the right decision to come to Drupalcon. There’s definitely more work that can be done here! 

And now, to make it even sadder… The one session on Content Strategy during DrupalCon, scheduled for Thursday, got cancelled and replaced last minute. And I didn’t find anyone on Thursday that was disappointed about that. Also It was replaced by a talk that was totally unrelated. So in the end, Content Strategy presence at DrupalCon Europe was … nonexistent. 

“O, come on, you just wanna justify your position as a content strategist at a Drupal agency, creating your own job space”. Nope, there isn’t any of that. I listed the arguments on why you should be interested in content strategy in a previous blog post. And as the above picture shows, we're well behind the US in the development of the Content Strategy space. (If the area is totally new to you, we recommend a visit to our content strategy section)

But don’t just believe me on this topic, (I know, I’ve only been in Drupal world for two years), rather take a look at the program of DrupalCon Austin with 7 talks related to the subject, all of which can be viewed online.

Content Strategy? The European Drupal Community doesn’t care! Convince me of the opposite if you don’t agree with me. Wake Up! Or continue the conversation here with hashtag #ContentStrategyMissing