The School of Information Studies is known for innovative immersion experiences. Students can tour Silicon Valley tech firms, scout New York City startups, and take in global IT operations in Europe and Asia. As an iSchool student, I’ve never done an immersion trip, but I have had my own “immersion experience.” This week, I filled in as the interim content director for the iSchool’s official blog and its social accounts.
I’m a communications specialist for the iSchool. That entails writing for the web site and alumni magazine, and in the past year, filling in for the Information Space executive editor.
Usually, I’ve done that for a day or two at most. This time, I filled Kelly Lux’s shoes for a week, while she took a vacation free from online and social media responsibilities.
Because my “immersion” coincided with the start of #ContentStratClass, that’s informed my lessons (and provided good material).
It’s been a whirlwind of a week! Here’s why (and what I did as the fill-in InfoSpace editor and iSchool community manager):
- Reviewed 14 student-contributed posts, for formatting, grammar, spelling, accuracy (I felt a little like the way Yvonne Lyons described her blogging work, here)
- I had to assess: was the content exciting? lackluster? Was it a “sea of gray”? Were links included? (The guidelines Lyons provides were a big help!)
- Assessed topic timeliness–gauging which ones to use each day
- Reviewed photo captioning/citations
- Sourced photos for bloggers who had none in their posts
- Un-did the inadvertent “published” status of some of the authors
- Worked with IT to insert a blog poll
- Researched a photo copyright use issue (so not to be a bad example of copyright violation).
I also tried to be a supportive presence for these new bloggers, by:
- Helping brand-new bloggers learn the ins and outs of WordPress
- Responding to questions on the Facebook group and email
- Enhancing a featured photo by designing a Canva photo frame
- (Hopefully) providing some fill-in as a supportive editor
And as for the social content, I managed to:
- Curate post content from the iSchool web site and calendar
- Monitor social accounts
- Tweet (maybe 50-60) iSchool news and promoted events and announcements
I estimate that all of this was probably the work of several content team members (content editor, photo editor, graphic artist, social content curator).
But really, how many places (except the big-league guys) ever really operate with optimal staffing?
“Blogs are so popular because they are the optimal choice for your content marketing hub – acting as content chameleons that combine the strength of social media with old-fashioned print-publishing functionality.”
So…as the end result, I discovered:
- The week was fun!
- I learned a lot about being a content curator and director
- I gained new insights about new bloggers, and know which elements to highlight in the info session to be developed for new bloggers
- I discovered what I like and don’t like about that kind of role on an ongoing basis.
It was a great opportunity overall, and I’m honored that I was trusted with this significant responsibility!
Have you ever had charge of a blog? How did you manage all the necessary components? Leave your comments here!