All content is not created equal. Different content types and formats have different time requirements. Itʼs important to account for all steps in the process, from idea to creation to posting to promotion. Once youʼve calculated your total weekly time budget for content creation (Question 4 on assignment form), you can choose from among these content types to devise a content plan for each week: How many pieces of which types of content must you produce?

Easy/fast types of content to create ASSUME 15-30 MIN EACH ON AVERAGE
- Includes minimal editing -- mostly just labeling, proofreading, libel check, link checks - May require coordination, permissions, distribution - should include social media promotion • Short Q&A post: Interview, minimal advance research required. Just 3-5 questions, easier if conducted by e-mail or chat. • Open questions: Posed with 1-3 short paragraphs of elaboration/info, to spur or expand upon discussion. • Briefs (news, reviews): 1-2 paragraphs, just basic information, commentary • Single-opinion pieces. Short -- think "letter to editor" style. • Single photos with captions and credits. (Another example) • Public responses to comments, questions, whether from your site or found elsewhere. Ask permission to respond publicly to private communication, like e-mail or Facebook friends. (one-off or roundup style) • Embedded existing content with commentary. YouTube videos, etc. • Tip lists. Ideas/solutions for a particular issue. Not nec a “top 10” list, which takes more work to research & rank. • Standard-form profile. People, orgs, programs, projects, etc. Not a narrative format. Based on a standard form-based format for info gathering. Only 1 source consulted • Fast updates/expansions of previous coverage. Link back to prior content for context. • Short articles from experienced contributors. Less coordination/cleanup required after youʼve gotten used to working with certain people.

Moderate-effort types of content to create ASSUME 60-90 MIN EACH ON AVERAGE:
- These get easier when you have formats, tools, systems set up. Takes more time at first. - Includes acquisition/gathering/reporting, writing/editing/formatting, proofing, posting, social media promotion • Longer Q&A post: 5+ questions, requires some research, editing • Explainer/background/context (short): Modular, addressing one angle at a time on an ongoing or breaking topic. Could later be aggregated into longer FAQ. (Another example) • Community/event calendars, one weekʼs worth of listings. Requires infrastructure, info gathering, formatting, proofing • Photo galleries or slideshows. No audio. Require gathering, selecting, permissions, ordering, captions, credits, posting, distribution, social media promotion. Flickr for photos, slideshare for presentations. • Roundups of recent public content. From twitter, articles, blogs, flickr, posts & comments to public FB fan pages. Good regular weekly/daily feature, you get into a groove with it. • Basic maps, 10 "pins" or less. Requires skills for tools, geo info, processing time, posting, caption/commentary, social media promotion. • “Top 5-10” lists: Very popular, but take time to research, compile. Good way to get more mileage out of existing content. • Short edited video/audio, 1 min max, 5 cuts max. Includes opening/closing titles, 1 source/location, posting/distribution with summary & metadata, embedding. • Short how-to articles, 5 steps max. Instructional material takes time to edit, check. • Multi-opinion roundups: Up to 4 views on one topic. Requires identifying sources, asking question, getting answers, editing together responses, proofing, posting, social medial promotion. May include photos of sources. (Voter guide format is one approach. The Onion offers another.) • Event/meeting highlights. Basics only, could be a bulleted list. 300-500 words max. • Freeform/narrative profiles of people, organizations, projects. 500-1000 words. Could be based on a single interview. (Another example) • Simple reporting. 1-3 sources who are easily available, and/or 1 hour research/ attendance time max. • Longer reviews: More than 3-4 paragraphs, includes detail or insight. • Longer tips/advice: More in-depth than quick tips. Get an expert to write it; you edit. • Anything that requires more than cursory editorial attention. Working with new/ less skilled writers, asking reporter/author for more info or clarification, etc.

Intensive content to create ASSUME 3-4 HOURS ON AVERAGE
- Shorter content can take MORE time/effort to produce if you have to edit it down or assemble from multiple sources! - Polishing, rounding stuff out takes time, effort, skill. - Audio, video, data editing takes more time than you expect.

• More complex reporting. Reporting or features that require consulting 4 or more sources, or where sources arenʼt easy to get on first try, and/or more than an hour of research/attendance time max. • Fact/quote checking. Any articles (including opinion pieces on sensitive topics) that warrant independent fact/quote checking take longer than you think. • Issue/resource guides. Overview of an issue or process, with links to resources for multiple perspectives, info types. Includes contact info, action steps. (another example) • More complex audio/video. Longer than 1 min and/or requires more than 5 cuts, or requires recording in more than one setting • Soundslides: Integrating photos with audio in a Flash presentation. • Data/spreadsheet work. Any content that requires working with datasets or spreadsheets takes longer than you think, unless it's an automated report run regularly. Most of these projects take a day or more, depending on how much data cleanup is needed. But they can be really popular if interactive. • More complex maps. More than 10 "pins", or interactive maps that allow people to contribute pins. • Live event coverage. Using Twitter, CoverItLive. Could also be streaming audio or video, but thatʼs technically harder to set up. Plan to archive to your site. • Analysis/highlights of complex documents. Translating from jargon, offering context for issue/process, linking to related coverage, highlighting opportunities for action. Could involve embedding original documents using Scribd. • Data visualizations: Involves dataset acquisition, cleanup, tweaking to make sure visualization is understandable and has meaning. Good free toolset: Many Eyes MIX IT UP: Some content items can contain several content types. Example

- Live chats - forums/discussion boards - Polls - community platforms (like Ning)

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful