Any new geeky terms content strategists should know?

June 12, 2013
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Pybop drawing of mo-graph video definition

When building a mobile, video, or web content strategy and working with all the players who pull together an online content project, it's helpful to know what the heck they are talking about when they start using new technical terms or old terms in new ways.  Here are quick definitions of some content strategy-related terms I keep hearing lately:

1. Mo-Graph

Video content strategy and video content production are probably on your list of to-dos. Videos can certainly help attract attention or explain a complex topic. When you start building your video content strategy, keep in mind that there are many kinds of video, not just point and shoot film-style. These could include animations, stop animation, graphic animation, presentation animation, or mo-graph, to name a few.  

Definition: Mo-graph, short for motion graphics, often blends graphic text, photos, and motion to create a compelling story.  The benefits:

Ian O'Roarty, 20-year film-maker, says mo-graph is great "for projects that lend themselves to more detailed visual descriptions. Motion graphic treatments can help bridge the live action versus 3D animation gap ... sometimes you just need to see three frames to "get it" not 120 frames." In other words, mo-graph helps translate complex topics.  Related (but not the same) terms: stop motion, graphic animation, Powerpoint (or Keynote) animation (like I did here in this simple video explanation of the content strategy process)

2. Rich Snippets

You'll run into the term rich snippets when working with SEO experts and ecommerce sites, though they can also be used for informational sites.  

Definition: Rich snippets -- also often used interchangeably with semantic HTML markup, but not exactly the same thing -- are just bits of code that help search engines make better and more contextual connections among information, and then display that information more usefully to your readers. When you see a more enhanced search result than usual -- it may have photos, prices, colors listed right in the search -- the site is likely using rich snippets or HTML markup.  

The benefits: Barbara Starr, semantic web expert, says that the benefits of HTML markup cannot be understated; it makes your content "more findable, more relevant, and more prominent" to search engines.  

Related terms: knowledge graph, semantic markup, semantic SEO,, Good Relations RDFa, structured data

3. Responsive Web

Responsive web or responsive design is catching on very fast among developers and designers, and it probably has the biggest effect on content strategists.  

Definition: Responsive web is a way of designing and coding a website so that it will automatically reformat itself for smaller screens. If you are planning a new site design, you should insist that it's responsively designed. I know there are probably exceptions to this rule, but I can't think of any.  It's easy to spot a responsive site. Simply drag the browser window small (like smartphone sized) and watch to see if the content rearranges itself to fit the screen. Some nonessential content may even disappear. Pybop's site is responsive. Go ahead and try it!  

The benefits: Edwin Lap, 15-year web design and development exec, says the benefits of responsive web are "not limited to user experience. Responsive design is also positively impacting SEO. Or rather, they have an advantage over sites that are not."  

Related terms: mobile friendly, responsive design, CSS3 media queries, mobile first  Have you heard any geeky terms that will have an impact on content strategists, writers, or editors? I'd love to hear about them.

About the Author: Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, content strategist

Shelly Bowen, MFA, is a content writer, content strategist, and founder of Pybop.

For decades, Shelly has written for businesses on complex topics from disease prevention and medical devices to alternative energy and leveraging data. Today, she's hyper-focused on supporting B-B technology businesses. In her spare time, she hikes, kayaks, draws, and works on her T-Bird.

A wide variety of brands rely on Shelly as an essential freelance writer and content strategy resource.

Follow Shelly on Instagram @pybop or connect on LinkedIn. More about Shelly and Pybop.

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