Underlying Principles

Content Chimera is very different than any other content analysis tool. To help ground your work in Content Chimera, these are some underlying principles to keep in mind.

We need a forest and trees approach.

Staring at spreadsheets isn’t very productive. Furthermore, anyone outside of content owners and content strategists will derive almost no value from them. An effective means of seeing patterns is through charts. Even those who aren’t in the weeds of content will find value in charts.

But the charts should be directly derived from the underlying data (forest from the trees). Similarly (and missing from, for instance, using Excel for charting), you should be able to go to the details from a chart (trees from the forest).

How this is supported in Content Chimera:

  • Deduplicated URLs (you don’t get very far in seeing the overall state by counting all those page=1, page=2, etc pages as unique)

  • Extracting useful information for content decisions by default

  • Interactive charting

Also see this webinar: Seeing the Forest and Trees: Visualizing Large Digital Presences.

Decide. Don’t Inspect.

Usually we are doing our content analysis toward some goal. Essentially, we need to make decisions about our content. But we do not need to inspect every piece of content in order to make a decision about every piece of content. We can use rules.

How this is supported in Content Chimera:

Also see these David Hobbs Consulting articles:

Speed to insight is essential.

Content analysis does not need to be an hours-draining activity that only occurs at one key point in an engagement. We should be working toward quickly doing content analysis, and in particular quickly deriving insights, overviews, and decisions.

Being fast means we can:

  • Iterate on our analysis.

  • Do some analysis much earlier, such as in business development

Many “surprises” shouldn’t be.

Surprises in content transformation projects happen all the time. But they boil down to two cases:

  • Not everyone had the same expectations. This can be alleviated by using rules and by breaking down decisions into buckets, dispositions, and teams.

  • There being surprises in the mechanical delivery of the content transformation, such as unexpected HTML tables that were used for layout.

Content Chimera can scrape patterns out of pages (and graph them so you can see the distribution, run rules, and visualize the decisions for stakeholders to understand.

Excel (or other tool) plumbing work is not desirable.

Sure, we can charge our clients by the hour to slog through Excel sheets. We can opine about all the work we did. And it’s easy to pass along spreadsheets for other people to do subsequent analysis. But is that really the way we want to spend our time? This is inefficient, inconsistent, and error-prone.