Pythons are famous for their ability to consume large prey whole. To them, a water buffalo, six-foot long alligator or a 130-pound deer are manageable. But, when it comes to digital snacks, VMC expert Michael Pruitt tells us that a “one bite at a time” strategy is just as important for how we produce them as it is for how our audience consumes them.
We publish digital snacks when we reach “critical mass” – some minimum set of snacks that creates a useful body of knowledge for our audience. That’s our “digital banquet.” It will vary by the client and project, but generally, 100 or so snacks seem to be a good target. But, we don’t produce all of them at once.
To recap our “how to,” first, we decide what the organizing principle is, and then we capture what we believe to be the relevant information in the form of FAQs. Next, we select 25 from our list that we think are most likely to be the real “burning questions” of our audience. We answer them in a simple text blog format before putting them in front of information consumers to get feedback.
Though a text blog format may not be the ultimate or ideal way to present certain bits of information, we start with this because it’s the least-cost means of producing them. That way, even if we find out through the feedback that some of the snacks are not as valuable to our audience as we expected, we’ve invested very little in their production. It’s cheaper to throw out a few written snacks than to throw out an entire manual – or even snacks in which we’ve already invested in the higher costs of, say, 3-D illustration or video formats. Another advantage is we learn a lot during that first iteration and apply that knowledge to the next subset of snacks. With each iteration, the snacks are better, more refined, more on target.
The key to reducing costs and risks in producing a digital banquet is not to bite off more than you can chew. What are you doing to make both producing and consuming your body of knowledge more palatable?