The Content Spiral

Is digital disruption leaving you with too many questions? Get clear with The Content Spiral.

The Content Spiral is a framework to help you make clear decisions.

  • Are you trying to figure out what features you need on your website?
  • Wondering how to create an online learning program?
  • Confused by all the different types of digital content?
  • Trying to puzzle through how all your digital pieces fit together?

The Content Spiral can help you figure out a clear path towards creating and publishing relevant and useful digital content in an ongoing way.

A framework, a mental map, a compass

The Content Spiral is a model for responsive digital publishing that moves cyclically through space and time.

You know, like a spiral. It’s a way of thinking. A path – a spirally path.

The Content Spiral is not a software tool or a new app. It’s more of a compass to help groups get their digital bearings. It’s a mental map, a checklist you can apply over and over to any kind of digital publishing situation.

Aw heck, it’s a finger-drawn picture on an iPad of a nice looping line with a couple words sticking out:

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 1.52.28 PM

Words like Purpose. And Goals and Strategies. And Story. And Tools and Platforms. And Content. Hopefully, they’re helpful words.

A framework to help you make decisions

As a framework, The Content Spiral can be adapted to suit your organization’s particular needs. Its aspects can be emphasized or minimized as you see fit.

At the end of the day, it’s about creating good content. My intention is to share an easy tool to help organizations think about how to publish digital content for whatever they need – websites, newsletters, social media, education, etc.

I like this approach for it’s simplicity, logic and responsiveness (and not just because I came up with it).

It starts with Purpose. Why are you doing this or that digital thing? Who is the audience? Who is at the centre of your vision? Why do you want to do it? We don’t always take the time to orient to our Purpose. Purpose is our own true North Star, our own Polaris.

Goals and Strategies follow. What are your organization’s learning goals? To teach members about an issue? What are your advocacy goals? To change legislation or balance social power relations? What are your organizational development goals? To train your staff? List your goals and the strategies to reach them.

What is your Story? Your story (the guts of your effort – the issue or material or learning content) is right in the middle of the spiral. It’s the heart of what you’re doing. Story is the backbone. The midline. The central nervous system. The heart.

Given the above, what Platforms and Tools do you need to reach your various goals? What platforms and tools are best to tell your story and build your community? How do they relate to each other? Do they “inter-operate?” Do they mutually reinforce each other?

Last but not least – what Content do you need to create? Does it serve  your goals? Does it work on your platforms? Are you using the right tools? And not least, does that content you produce line up in alignment with your purpose? If so, you’re in a spiral.

A content spiral.

Content is a process, not a product

So, around and around we go, creating and publishing and distributing content. It’s a cycle because it goes around and around – but it’s a spiral because your publishing, we hope, moves forward in space and time. Making a roundyround thing into a moving thing – a spiral.

Content is an ongoing digital publishing relationship with people and the wider world. The Content Spiral can help you move forward.

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