Content producers, embrace your inner octopus

I like to think that when it comes to knowing how to produce content, more is more. I love writing, taking and choosing pictures, and shooting and editing video. My background in print and television journalism gives me confidence that I can tell a good story, from tracking down the right information to asking the right questions to framing the clips properly online.

Sometimes, I feel as though we content producers are embracing our inner octopus, wielding a different tool on every arm, trying to juggle a million things at once so that everything comes out just right. It helps that I work at an institution that is rich with interesting material, with a top-notch A/V team to back me up, and a “sure, why not?” attitude when it comes to new ideas.

Case in point: Mark Bittman. He was scheduled to give a talk about our changing relationship with food, which happened to be the topic of a user-generated content website I was working on. It had a theme that was tough to grasp, but I knew that a marquee name could really give the site some traction.

I floated the idea of grabbing Bittman for a taping before his lecture. Having in-house resources allowed us to quickly get it together, and during my allotted 15-minutes, I got great material from a guest who arrived grumpy (he has just flown in to Boston from Miami — in November) but left engaged and excited to give his talk to a packed auditorium.

Not to mix metaphors (carpentry, mollusks!), but content peeps, you should ask yourselves: am I using everything in my toolbox? From what else in my background can I draw to build better interactive experiences?

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