“Empathy: Content Strategy’s Hidden Deliverable” — CS Forum 2012 Recap

We cannot assume all of our clients, co-workers or bosses understand our work. We must have patience. We must be teachers. We must work with empathy.

  • Oct. 29 2012
CS Forum 2012 Logo

We’re always excited when our people head to conferences. We’re also excited to visit new continents. Our User Experience Strategist Corey Vilhauer had the opportunity to do both this past week, as he headed to Cape Town, South Africa, for CS Forum 2012.

The conference focused on content strategy, naturally, but there was a thread throughout all speakers on the concept of making content strategy more understandable — whether that's by being more empathetic toward customers, clients and the sites themselves or by building better systems so the robots that work with websites can semantically understand the content within. Organizational push-back and wishy-washy text blobs are making way for open communication and structured content.

The conference was held at Spier Winery, and Corey approximated the experience as “something close to ‘South African Content Strategy Camp.’”

Behind Spier Winery

The backyard of the beautiful Spier Winery, where CS Forum 2012 took place in Cape Town, South Africa

“Hundreds of South African content practitioners and big name speakers — all of them mingling and learning and enjoying the South African air — made for a great community and a melting pot of user experience ideas,” Corey said. “I am amazed at how many content people there are in South Africa, and look forward to them finding their voice.”

The main track of the conference was a who's who of user experience and content strategy — Kristina Halvorson, Luke Wroblewski, Rachel Lovinger, Bruce Lawson — and the second day's breakouts ranged from Sara Wachter-Boettcher’s take on structured content within organizations to MailChimp’s Kate Kiefer Lee’s wonderful talk on voice, tone and creating an empathetic style guide.

For more details on the conference, check out Corey's post at Eating Elephant: “CS Forum 2012 Recap.” And to learn more about the talk, start with the post that started it all, then view the slides below.