To paraphrase the old adage, time flies when you’re working hard and making progress. And that’s why the fact Content Science Review has hit the three-year mark still shocks me. Surely, it hasn’t been that long? But 36 months have, in fact, passed since we launched this online magazine. Join me in some brief reflection on this milestone.

1. What’s Changed

Perhaps the most striking change is the spike in interest, both on our team and from our readers, in content automation, including a range of related topics, from content engineering to machine learning to content intelligence. We’re in an exciting but uncertain time. We know a lot but, simultaneously, we’re still figuring a lot of it out.

So, interest in the machines has intensified! At the same time, we’ve seen growing excitement about the human side of content. One example of that is storytelling. Since we could draw on cave walls–and maybe even before that–we have been telling stories to each other. Stories connect us as people. Recently, I enjoyed this excerpt published here from the new book Storynomics.

The duality between the machine side and the human side of content fascinates me. I look forward to exploring where the interplay of machines and people takes us.

2. What’s the Same

From the beginning, we sensed a strong interest in the operations side of content, even though we haven’t always called it that. I’m proud of Content Science Review for tackling these topics when most content about content glosses over them. Making content work is hard. There still is no content fairy. So, companies need strong content leadership, processes, data, tools, and more.

Ironically, another theme that has remained popular is change. Taking a strategic approach to content often means changing the way a company works. So does scaling a successful content approach. I expect interest in change to deepen as more and more industries grapple with digital transformation and make content either a liability or an advantage.

I’m glad the interest in content strategy and user experience has not wavered. Content strategy is far from a fad. Here are a few particularly interesting contributions from the past three years.

Unscrambling an Enterprise Content Marketing Approach at FedEx

Breaking Down Silos: A Unified Approach to Effective Content Strategy

Make It So: Kick-starting an Enterprise Content Strategy at AT&T

Of course, the amazing illustrations created by our own Lisa Clark are a mainstay. Lisa tells the story behind some of her favorites here.

3. What’s Next

At Content Science Review, we have a few tweaks planned to improve your experience with discovering and consuming relevant articles and premium content. And, we’re exploring some exciting new premium content for paid subscribers and new ways for quality sponsors to engage. In other words, we’re evolving both the experience and the business model so we practice what we preach about offering useful and usable content in a sustainable way. (Remember, there is no content fairy.)

In terms of themes, I anticipate we’ll see some backlash against both themes of automation and storytelling. My hope is we will then get into some nuanced discussion about striking the right balance between the machine side and human side of content.

I also anticipate the theme of change will intensify because digital transformation will accelerate, bringing up a range of strategic, operational, and emotional challenges. Change is exciting but also scary. As Jordan B. Peterson notes in 12 Rules for Life:

Order is not enough. You can’t just be stable, and secure, and unchanging, because there are still vital and important new things to be learned. Nonetheless, chaos can be too much. You can’t long tolerate being swamped and overwhelmed beyond your capacity to cope while you are learning what you still need to know. Thus, you need to place one foot in what you have mastered and understood and the other in what you are currently exploring and mastering. Then you have positioned yourself where the terror of existence is under control and you are secure, but where you are also alert and engaged. That is where there is something new to master and some way that you can be improved. That is where meaning is to be found.

I look forward to toeing the line of order and chaos with you to find the meaning for content–and likely much more.

Content Science Review would not have reached this milestone without our talented team behind the scenes and thoughtful, engaged readers like you. And, I am incredibly grateful for our contributors, who have hailed from leading organizations including American Cancer Society, Cleveland Clinic, Alibaba, Capital One, Dell, IBM, Intel, The Home Depot, Cricket Wireless, CFA Institute, Adobe, The Economist, Monster, and WebMD, just to name a few.

Editor’s note: If you’re interested in contributing to Content Science Review, check out our author guidelines.

The Author

Colleen Jones is the author of The Content Advantage and founder of Content Science, an end-to-end content company that turns content insight into impact. She has advised or trained hundreds of leading brands and organizations as they close the content gap in their digital transformations. A passionate entrepreneur, Colleen has led Content Science to develop the content intelligence software ContentWRX, publish the online magazine Content Science Review, and offer online certifications through Content Science Academy.

Colleen has earned recognition as a top instructor on LinkedIn Learning, one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Content Marketing, a Content Change Agent by Society of Technical Communication’s Intercom Magazine, and one of the Top 50 Most Influential Content Strategists by multiple organizations.

Follow Colleen on Twitter at @leenjones or on LinkedIn.

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