J.Boye Aarhus11 conference… notes from a great event

J.Boye conferences… special places for new thinking and new solutions

Aarhus11 was my fourth J.Boye conference… my second in Denmark, with two in Philadelphia in between.
Why does a person who specializes in higher education marketing travel to this “web and Intranet” conference? 
  • To meet new people and hear new solutions about online challenges that we all face, from health care to higher education in areas that include digital marketing and web content management.
  • And at this event, to also meet Michael Fienen from Pittsburg State University who was presenting in the digital marketing and higher education tracks. Small world for sure.
Let me share some notes that made their way to my notebook at various times during the conference, in no special order of priority.
A new era for “simplicity” in web and Intranet?
  • Conference founder Janus Boye observed that “simplicity” was a word he was hearing in different sessions in different topics.
  • That’s certainly true of the mobile world. The need for simplicity may indeed help shrink the bloated content that fills most websites today. The day the conference opened Jakob Nielsen published a new Alertbox column noting that working with a mobile site or app from a smartphone was like “reading through a peephole.” 
  • Simplicity is imperative. “What did we do for simplicity today?” might well be the best way to start every web and Intranet discussion.
The Holy Grail is found: a person paid to remove website content
  • My biggest surprise was meeting someone who is paid to remove content from a website.
  • For over a year I’ve been asking in my presentations if anyone was paid to remove content from a website. Never yet had a taker until last Tuesday afternoon when Jesper Rossel raised his hand. Jesper recently persuaded his boss to change his position responsibility to removing 30 percent of the current content at Denmark’s Knowledge Center for Agriculture
  • Be sure that I’ll stay in touch with Jesper to see how that project moves forward. He should have a great presentation topic at a future J.Boye conference.
Social media: still a challenge
  • Organizations are still grappling with how to best “do” social media. Two not yet resolved areas: who in the organization is responsible and what to do when content appears that is not favorable? Answers are determined by factors as variable as the culture of an organization to the resources assigned to monitor and manage social media sites.
  • Loved Claire Flanagan’s suggestion on how to bring a social media community to life and keep it active: create a controversy to get people’s attention. A social media site that just reports news and PR spin won’t do it. To read more about Claire’s thoughts on the role of controversy in social media, check her Twitter posts.
  • Commitment to social media certainly is worth the effort to spread brand awareness and maintain customer loyalty. Those were points well worth the reinforcement given at Volker Grunauer’s session on “Integrating Social Media into Your Digital Strategy.” You can follow Volker on Twitter.
Top tasks, content strategy, and mobile website design 
  • My own tutorial went beyond higher education to include examples from local government and non-profit organizations to illustrate the key ingredient in developing content strategy for a mobile world: first identify the top tasks people want to do on your site, then build content and navigation to facilitate task completion. 
  • You can review and download that presentation from SlideShare now.
Next J.Boye Conference: Philadelphia, May 8-10 2012
Your next chance to experience a J.Boye conference is May 8-10 in Philadelphia. Program details are not available yet but you can check 10 track titles (including higher education), prices, and the conference hotel at the Philly conference website
Next “Writing Right for the Web” webinars in December
  • December 6, 8: Academic Impressions Webinars: “Writing Right
    for the Web: Social Media, Mobile, and Traditional Sites.” Register now.
That’s all for now.

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