Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Content Rules: Looks Like Someone Got A New Pair


I just noticed what was written on the side of my shopping bag.

"Looks Like Someone Got A New Pair."

Can you guess which brand's bag this is?

Answer here.

I'm thinking twice about the message on this bag, because I just happen to be in the middle of reading my friend's Ann Handley and CC Chapman's new book, Content Rules.

Having a voice
In Content Rules, Ann and CC talk about brands having a voice.

A voice that stands out from the crowd. One that is authentic and has a personality, without making excuses.

I'd say that this brand has it nailed.

They know who they are and aren't afraid to show it.

Ann and CC are the same way. While reading the book, I can hear their voices come through without apologies.

Michael Wesch
Photo: American Idol. Distracting.

Know who you are
Ann shares how reality TV was a distraction for her while writing the book, and then ties that experience together with analyzing the fact that successful American Idol contestants "know who they are."

CC Chapman
Photo: CC Chapman. Write the way you talk.

Write the way you talk
I can hear CC talking in the section about writing the way you talk. CC and I joke about how everything he writes usually needs an edit, so I can hear him talking when he advises, "Break some rules. Despite what you learned in school, you can start sentences with and, but, so, and because. So go on! And try it!"

I'm up to Chapter 7 and haven't found anything that needs editing!

Six characteristics of good content
The 'six characteristics of a good content idea or story' provides good suggestions for content creators:
True, Relevant, Human, Passionate, Original and Surprising.
Create a publishing schedule
There is a nice section in Content Rules about creating a publishing schedule. In it they modify and annotate Russell Sparkman's "1-7-30-4-2-1" publishing schedule.

I found this very interesting. It's a good guide for content publishers.

Ann Handley
Photo: Ann Handley. Behind the Scenes.

What to say
Next up is figuring out what to say. Ann and CC provide 25 examples of what kinds of content you can create including sone of my favorites, including photo sharing, behind the scenes, and how-to content.

One are that I hardly ever is is going into my archives. I've got 10 years of blog content and should take a look at revisiting and updating some of that.

I am somebody!
Congratulations to Ann and CC for getting Content Rules published. I was happy to see my name in the Acknowledgements page, and know from peeking at the index that I show up in the Video chapter. ;-)

Looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

And I don't have to finish this blog post because, as Content Rules states:

Leave Stuff Undone.


  1. Of ALL the pictures of me to chose you pick that one? *laugh*

    I'm so glad to hear that you are enjoying the book and learning from it at the same time.

    The reason you are not catching anything to edit is because Ann already caught them and fixed them. *laugh*

    Thanks for your support and advice through this whole crazy book writing experience.

  2. Thanks for this lively, fun review Steve... I could hear YOUR voice in it, loud and clear!