A Culturally Adjusted Content Calendar

As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent a lot of time developing an editorial content calendar for Mozilla’s user engagement team. Why? Because I think it’s really important to have an editorial calendar in mind when developing content. What events are happening that we can tie into with content? Are there opportunities for campaigns around relevant holidays? Etc., etc.

The trouble is, I now have a very full calendar for the U.S. and Canada, but I want to know more! I want to know more about events in your country!

The community of Mozillians is global – so for this editorial content calendar to be a success, I need YOU! Yes, YOU! Would you be so awesome as to help me fill out the relevant events in your country? In your region?

Right now, the plan is to roll out calendars for 2012 in the following locales:

  1. N. America
  2. Latin America
  3. Europe
  4. East Asia
  5. West Asia
  6. Australia & New Zealand
  7. Africa and the Middle East

So if you always know what’s going on, if you know when the key sports tournaments or concert events or entertainment events are in your location (or you just want to research and find out!) I want to work with you!

If you would sign up to help on this Etherpad, or send me an email: ccollins AT mozilla DOT com (replacing the AT with @ and the DOT with a .) so that I may communicate with you (I’ll send you the link to the calendar and some instructions) and give you a hearty high-five and a well-deserved thank you, that would be great!

I am so looking forward to my first project using global contributors!


Web Content Is Like Quidditch: Keeping Score

We’ve reached the end of our Web Content is Like Quidditch series with today’s post. If you’ve missed out on any of the posts, you can take a quick moment to catch up.  Go ahead. We’ll wait.

Post 1: Quidditch overview and a look at bludgers/obstacles

Post 2: A look at Web content chasers (creators) and keepers (curators)

Post 3: Catching the “golden snitch” of content

Post 4: The structure of the game of Quidditch, and how it’s like the game of content

Now, we’re going to talk about a key element of any game – keeping score. The game of Quidditch ends when the seeker catches the golden snitch, scoring 150 points. While the seeker is looking for the snitch, the chasers are trying to put the Quaffle through the hoops to score 10 points each time. (And yes, it’s possible to lose the game even if you catch the snitch, depending on the length of the game and how good your chasers are.)

It’s important to keep score in Web content as well. How else would you know you’re winning? That is to say, providing the right content to the right users at the right time. Is your content working? The way we keep score in content = METRICS! Here are some important metrics to consider in content scorekeeping.

  • Page views per visit – are you presenting content in a way that allows for discovery? Are people interested not only in the article they clicked on, but also other content?
  • Time spent – Are people clicking to read content and then clicking right back out? That means that either you’re presenting the content ineffectively in the teaser to get them there, or you’re not delivering on the content promised.
  • Where are they clicking next? Funnel tracking.  Are people downloading? Following on Facebook, clicking through to ebedded links? Watching a video? Etc.
  • Most viewed/most clicked/most shared – what content is working?

How do you keep score in content? Should we be watching any other metrics?

Thanks for reading the Web Content Is Like Quidditch series. Hope you enjoyed it!

Web Content Is Like Quidditch: The Game

It’s yet another installment of my blog series on how Web content is like Quidditch. If you’ve missed the first three posts, you can catch up here:

Post 1: How Quidditch is Played, and what are bludgers/obstacles?

Post 2: Who are the chasers (creators) and keepers (curators) in content?

Post 3: The golden snitch of content – how do you catch it?

IQuidditch pitchn this post, I’d like to take a look at the structure of the game of Quidditch itself. Because what makes Quidditch successful in the wizarding world makes content successful in the marketing world.

Here are some important things to note about how Quidditch is played

  • There is no time limit – the game continues until the golden snitch is caught
  • Both sexes play – on the same team
  • It’s a global phenomenon. Wizards come from around the globe to watch their favorite teams play in the Quidditch World Cup
  • It’s what people in the wizarding world are talking about

Web content is also a game. It’s a game that marketers and users play together. Here are some similarities.

  • We shouldn’t set a time limit on great content. It’s about when the user wants/needs to see it, it’s not only about when Mozilla thinks the user should see it. Some of the short-term campaigns that Mozilla runs are great examples. There is all of this splendid content, and we put it up in a temporary location for a few months, and then *poof!* it goes away, never to be seen again. For SEO (search engine optimization) junkies, this is also hurting your SEO. Archives are a great way to combat this, or results pages from short-term initiatives.
  • Content should be all-inclusive. Mozilla is an equal-opportunity content creator!
  • Content should be global! And I don’t necessarily mean that content should be merely translated into different languages. I propose that enthusiastic Mozilla volunteers from around the globe can be content creators. Let’s give them the message, and let them use their own idioms, catch-phrases, etc. to get that message across in that language! (PS: do you want to help? Leave a comment!)
  • Content should be relevant. Go where the users are. What are they talking about? Find a way to create content that easily inserts itself into those conversations.

There’s one more Quidditch post to come. It deals with the all important subject of keeping score!

Web Content Is Like Quidditch: The Golden Snitch

Part 3 of my blog series on how Web content is like Quidditch is about to get underway. If you missed an installment:

Part 1: An explanation of Quidditch and discussion of Bludgers/Obstacles

Part 2: Content chasers (creators) and keepers (curators)

Now, we’re going to talk about the most important of the balls used in Quidditch – the golden snitch. The golden snitch is described as “wicked fast, and nearly impossible to see.” This ball has wings, and flits away to avoid capture. The seeker is the player that has the job of catching the golden snitch. Catch the snitch, and you score 150 points for your team, and the game is over.

In the world of Web content, the golden snitch is that piece of content that so resonates with users that they share that content out with their friends. That is the piece of content marketed not by you, but by your audience – it’s gone viral! That’s the golden snitch of content – the “hallelujah moment.” Create that piece of content, and you’re winning the content game. It’s tricky though. Just like the golden snitch, there’s no magic formula for “catching” viral content. You can’t wave your magic wand and say “viral!” and expect people to share your content. There are some common themes that run through past content pieces that went viral. It has a visual element (video and infographics work well.) There’s some strong emotional connection – either it makes you laugh out loud, or it tugs at your heartstrings. It’s relevant – it’s what people are already talking about. (I talked about this as a defining element of good content.)

Have you caught the golden snitch of content? What did it look like? What would be the characteristics of content that would make YOU share it? What kind of content stories could Mozilla tell that would have the potential to be shared?

One more Quidditch post to come!

Web Content Is Like Quidditch: Chasers and Keepers

Welcome to part 2 of my blog series about how web content is just like Quidditch. Please see part 1 if you need an explanation of Quidditch, the game that’s sweeping the nation (the Harry Potter wizarding nation, that is.)

Last time we talked about Bludgers. In Quidditch, these are obstacles. Web content has obstacles too!

Quidditch ChaserThis post is about some of the player positions in Quidditch, and how they apply to Web content.

In Quidditch, there are three chasers per team. The chasers are concerned about carrying a ball, called a Quaffle, and throwing it through one of the three hoops at the end of the field on the opponents’ side. Each time they get the Quaffle through a hoop, they score 10 points.

The team keeper is in charge of defending those hoops – think of the keeper as a goalie in soccer.

In the magical world of Web content, we can also find chasers and keepers. In this case, chasers are the content creators. These are the folks that are writing blog posts, Web site content, marketing content, support content, etc. Everyone in a company can be a content creator.

I’m proposing something of a new role at Mozilla, similar to that of the keeper in Quidditch. I’d like so see content curation (a content “keeper” if you will.) So the curator is defending the end user a bit from a barrage of content. Rather, the great content is curated and presented in one location, which is easy to navigate to. The curator/keeper tries to position the right content at the right time to the right user – therefore making all the content that the creators create more visible.

So in the case of content, the keeper isn’t trying to keep the chasers from scoring, but rather, helping them score more quality eyeballs on their content.

There’s more content and Quidditch to come, stay tuned!

Web Content Is Like Quidditch: Bludgers and Obstacles

Last week, Mozilla employees from around the globe gathered work face-to-face, learn more about other projects happening outside our teams and have some fun. Throughout the week, we attended sessions to learn more about different subjects. I presented on how Mozilla’s Web Content is Like Quidditch. I thought a few recap posts here on the blog would enlighten and inspire others. 🙂

To begin, let’s review the rules of Quidditch – the game of choice for Wizards in the Harry Potter books and movies. There are 7 players on each team. One Keeper, 3 chasers, 2 beaters and a seeker. There are three balls used in the game. A bludger, a ball that is bewitched to knock players off their brooms, a quaffle, a ball that is bewitched to fall to the ground slowly and easily carried with one hand, and the golden snitch, which is “wicked fast, and nearly impossible to see.”

There are three hoops on each side of the field, and the Chasers try and put the Quaffle in one of those three hoops on the opposing side, scoring 10 points each time. Beaters hit the bludgers with bats, either towards opposing side players, or away from their own players to protect them. The seeker ends the game and scores 150 points by catching the Golden Snitch.

In this post, I’d like to talk about those nasty buggers – bludgers. In Quidditch, bludgers are simply obstacles – meant to distract players from reaching their desired goal.

For users, bludgers, or obstacles, are real issues when they are trying to read and enjoy Web content. Some obstacles include simple things like – is the content written in my language? Other obstacles might be confusing navigation, dead links, or – and Mozilla does this quite a bit – short-term campaigns. Content should be available when the user wants to read it – not when we tell them to. Plus, why create SPLENDID content that we don’t archive for SEO goodness?

Can you think of other obstacles that may stand in the way of users finding good content? Users, can you tell us some of your obstacles?

More on content and Quidditch next post!

Mozilla User Engagement Content Calendar

Quick! Sum up content marketing in two words! (Yes, only two.)

Word 1: Relationships.
Word 2: Relevance.

The two words go hand-in-hand. How do you build relationships? Enter into conversations that are already happening. How do you do that? Create content that’s relevant.

A content calendar (a.k.a. an editorial calendar) is an important tool of the trade when it comes to creating relevant content. Seasonal and special events are always easy conversations to participate in. Calendars also allow you to see industry trends, keep track of product announcements, and more. Magazines use content calendars so journalists and advertisers know what “themes” each edition will feature, which is also a handy tool for email marketing. With the rise of social media, content calendars have taken on more importance. Sometimes, it’s just hard to get your brain working to get even one, much less two or three useful, conversational updates out each day. A calendar is a great tool to help you organize your thoughts.

Mozilla’s new content calendar will do all these things. It will show holidays, sporting events, entertainment events, specialty holidays (Argh! Talk like a pirate day!) and product release dates. We’ll share planned email themes based on these new product releases, and try and adjust with the season. And that’s just in the North America calendar!

The content calendar is a living document. I’m almost ready to hand off the 2011 calendar – and the 2012! calendar – off to be used and enjoyed. But I’m sure I’ve missed some key elements. If you live in North America (especially my Canadian friends), and you’d like to make sure all of the holidays/events/your favorite themes are covered, we are accepting volunteers!

Here’s how to get involved http://guides.mozilla.org/Marketing , comment here, or send me a Tweet @CShirkeyCollins.

But don’t worry, rest of the world! You have not been ignored! Stay tuned for my another content calendar post, wherein I will share our global content plans for Mozilla – maybe you, too, can help!