This past year has seen a lot of changes, both in personal habits and business practices, and how they affect each other is still a work in progress.
On the personal front, we’ve gone from the frenzy of online socialising to a more introspective state. Compared to the first year of the pandemic, where everyone seemed determined to carry on our normal social lives via Zoom get-togethers, Netflix watch parties, Twitch live streaming, and Facebook Live, this year has been the year of the purge. Friends might still have a Facebook but rarely log in, their Instagram accounts haven’t been updated in months, and they’ve switched away from WhatsApp except for the odd family group chat for the benefit of Uncle Nigel, who is too old to switch to a new interface.
The wearing effect of pandemic communication
There doesn’t seem to be the urgency to keep up with the personal lives of those professional contacts from the last couple of decades. Besides, there’s always LinkedIn if we need to get in touch.
This attitude feels like it’s leaked into our professional lives as well. Plans get made, postponed due to new COVID precautions, rescheduled, and postponed again. There’s a sense of fatalism because of the many competing factors to do with government regulations, cross-border regulations, supply chain disruptions – not to mention the ever-changing rules to do with which organisations can operate when and how and under which conditions – and all of the usual tensions that business operators need to keep tabs on.
The effect on the content industry
How have these two phenomena worked together in the content industry? There seems to be a lack of general feeling of lethargy. The thought leaders seem to publish less and share on social media less. The conference landscape has shifted, and anyone who has tried to maintain focus to an online conference for an entire day can attest to the amount of willpower it takes not to succumb to distractions. Companies are discovering the need to manage content at a higher level than ever, but seem to lack the focus and will to actually to make a constructive move to build a strong content ecosystem.
What’s new for 2022
This leads me to make some predictions for 2022. It will take a couple of high-profile case studies to get companies to take notice. It will take a further demonstrate on the company’s own content for the decision-making stakeholders to understand the benefits. It will take an experienced consultant who has deep knowledge of content operations to work out the math; in some cases, the potential efficiencies will be so great that management won’t believe the numbers. Eventually there will be enough compelling evidence to warrant some sort of action, as the realisation dawns that they had been ignoring the now-obvious hole in the bottom of their boat.
However, better some action than none, and better late than never, and 2022 appears to be the start of an upswing that can only mean good things for the organisations who adopt content operations and for the field of practice as it advances to handle more types of content and more complex use cases.
Rahel is a results-driven, seasoned consultant with extensive experience in digital transformation. She has a strong track record of delivering end-to-end content systems in the context of digital strategy projects, often in environments with complex content delivery requirements. A professional who delivers the hard truths and sometimes difficult prescriptions that help organisations leverage their content as a business asset.