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Confab 2011 – some thoughts


It’s been almost two weeks since Confab 2011 finished. And it’s taken me that long to feel like I can write this post.

What a conference. What a great bunch of smart and generous people sharing a few fantastic days in Minneapolis.

Experiences were swapped, ideas discussed, and cake (a whole lot of cake) was consumed.

Thankfully, diligent note takers also documented many of the presentations. The Confab website has a great list of Confab related posts here.

Major takeaways

  • Content strategy is a very practical discipline. The best approaches are methodical, pragmatic, and consistent.
  • Business goals and user goals are at the heart of a great content strategy.
  • Content strategy challenges are similar all around the world– it doesn’t matter if you work for a big name like Facebook or Disney, or for a small agency or business.

Confab highlights

  • Meeting new friends and peers who I’d only ever interacted with via Twitter or email.
  • Meeting Kristina Halvorson and Ginny Redish (and many, many others).
  • The Minnesota Twins vs Detroit Tigers baseball game. Even though the game was delayed due to hail, it was a great taste of American culture.
  • Catching up with Clare O’Brien from London. We’d caught up in Sydney in 2010, so it was lovely to spend some time with her again.
  • Wacky Minneapolis weather. While I was there we experienced heat and humidity, a morning electrical storm, a hail storm, cold wet rain, and a tornado. Extreme weather plus.
  • Cake, lots of cake.
  • De-briefing with the Ottawa content strategy meet-up crew. Special thanks to Kristina Mausser for arranging the dinner.

So, would I go again? For sure. It’ll be interesting to see how the format changes. This year the conference sold out, and had well over 200 people on the waiting list before that closed too. I know next year the organisers will try to accommodate more participants, but I think one of the best things about the conference this year was the ’boutique’ feel. Sure, there were 450 of us – but everyone had easy access not only to each other, but to the awesome speakers as well. We all mixed together easily. I think if the conference got too big, some of that magic would go.

Did you go? What did you think?

Closing panel discussion at Confab

Closing panel discussion at Confab with Kristina Halvorson, Ann Rockley, Joe Pulizzi, Jonathan Kahn and Colleen Jones


A real baseball game

A real baseball game



This post was written by Sally Bagshaw

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Kristina Mausser June 8, 2011, 11:22 pm


    It was lovely meeting you as well. Your post-Confab attendance at our Ottawa Content Strategy Meet-Up was a real treat. I share your sentiment with respect to Confab and do cherish the personal one-on-one interactions with both big and small names in our burgeoning industry. I anxiously await next year’s conference to see what it will become.

  • Max Greenhut June 9, 2011, 7:56 am

    Yeah, great conference. Presenters, attendees, overall organization, the whole package. The most inspiring evidence I’ve seen to date that a Content Strategy community not only exists, but is driving some pretty amazing thinking and work on the web and around the world.

    Here at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online, we’ve been doing Content Strategy formally for approaching 10 years, number close to 10 on the team, and are still growing. In fact, we’re aggressively recruiting for a couple of open positions as I write. If you’re interested, please drop me a line at max.greenhut@disney.com.

    • Sally Bagshaw June 9, 2011, 6:36 pm

      Are either of you going to the CS Forum in London? I think it will be interesting to see how they add to the momentum of people talking and sharing content strategy.

  • Kristina Mausser June 9, 2011, 9:21 pm

    I won’t be going – however there is a strong chance I will be attending EuroIA in Prague. There will be a few CS presentations there that will be crossing-over and I think that will be interesting to see. In time, I could see that relationship becoming stronger between the two communities provided the need to “own” one over the other doesn’t override.

  • Sally Bagshaw June 9, 2011, 9:42 pm

    Oh the line up looks really good! And Prague is a beautiful city.

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