Liquid content – Day 17

by , Content Strategist, GatherContent

This video is the seventeenth in our Content Strategy Advent Calendar series. Today’s expert, Cleve Gibbon, sheds some light on the state of the industry as he sees it – content is not accessible wherever it needs to be. It’s still lumpy. It’s still stuck within silos. Panic not, Cleve has a solution to share: liquid content.

Video transcript

You wouldn’t believe how many takes this has taken. Take number 10,001. Anyway. First of all, thank you to GatherContent for allowing me to speak as part of their advent calendar 2016. My name is Cleve Gibbon, I work for a company called Cognifide It’s all about the content, and I’m in New York, and you guys at the moment are standing between myself and a vodka soda and some serious shopping. So we’re going to go deep into the topic, liquid content.

First of all, let’s have a look at what’s going on in the industry. The industry basically, it hasn’t moved, we’re still struggling to do the basics. Content is not accessible wherever it needs to be. It’s still lumpy. It’s still stuck within the various silos. We’re seeing content as not just content being broadcast out, but we’re seeing that conversation with the consumer, we’re seeing content come back in but not in a format that’s readily accessible across the enterprise.

We’re seeing content trapped in the channel that it was created in. So most of it gets created in the web CMS and it gets stuck into the HTML which makes it very difficult to transport down other channels. So the usual basics, the basics are still killing us. But, I got inspired by one quote from one of my favourite people of all time, Bruce Lee. He spoke about water, which could easily apply to content. And if you do that, you’ve grasped the basic characteristics of liquid content. So let me quote what he said:

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it, build your own, let it grow. Like water. Empty your mind, Be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes a cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend

Key takeaway I have going into 2017, is that if you’re thinking about content and you’re thinking about how it needs to be used to be applied to data to deliver those just in time experiences, then you’ve got to think about how to make it as liquid as possible.

Liquify your content, design for it, model it, structure it, make sure you get it in the place where it can be transported everywhere it needs to be. Think about your content. Liquify it. And with that, enjoy Christmas and I hope you have a smashing new year. Bye.

About Cleve


Cleve Gibbon is CTO at Cognifide, a WPP digital consultancy based in London. Cleve finds innovative ways your business can get the most from content and technology. His focus lies squarely on creating customer-centric, brand-specific digital platforms that enable the best storytellers, to engage effectively with global audiences.

Cleve is a regular speaker at international conferences on content architecture, digital marketing, and lean/agile development. For this, Cleve works with content strategists, UX, IAs, and countless other technologists, to help bring about change.

Cleve has a Doctorate in Computer Science, a Diploma in Digital Marketing, and combines the two daily to facilitate the conversation around digital business.

About the Author

Content Strategist, GatherContent

Rob is Content Strategist at GatherContent. He is a journalism graduate and has previously worked as Studio Manager and Head of Content for a design agency and as an Audience Research Executive for the BBC. He’s a published author and regular contributor to industry publications including Net Magazine, Smashing Magazine, 24 Ways, WebTuts+, UX Matters , UX Booth and Content Marketing Institute. On occasion Rob speaks about content strategy at leading industry events.

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