Recently we looked at a case where the work of one author was spread across numerous subjects and content sites over a long period of time.
While it was easy to rely on search engines to try to find currently accessible copies of this work without date or place restrictions, there was the common problem of how frequently the items had begun to lose or change their connection to a currently relevant interest of the author’s audience.
We decided that the diversity and distribution of the content was actually hiding the author’s steady commitment to certain subjects. We started to find and group the items, link them visibly to a focus on the subjects, and publish a selective catalog of the available materials as curated portfolios for each subject.
Using eXie, we built the frame shown here, making it easy to see each major subject addressed in the overall collection of works. We dedicated a column to each subject. Then, to make it clear where the works were being sent and found, we specified those locations generically, in separate rows.
The result was a master “frame of reference” to the distributed content, able to “map” both the online access points and the overall breadth of the collection.
Content gets solicited and presented in different locations for different reasons. With the frame, we regrouped the content based on its ideas instead of on those occasions. Then we assigned the online locations to the appropriate groups.
Capturing the locations of the content within the groups of ideas made it possible to see how it contributes conceptually to the strength of the author’s ideas. Additionally, it became easier to see whether the quality or style of the content is holding up well for broader or longer use when working with the idea..
In effect, the frame also reveals where new or improved content would be appropriate. This triggers a curatorial perspective that also transforms the collection into a source for selective portfolios.
Another of the possible follow-ups will be that content found in one location can, through comparisons, influence the content found in another location, to improve either of them or inspire additional new content. The frame shown here tracks seven potential portfolios (columns). Over time, targeting content to different locations becomes a more refined decision; meanwhile the consistency and sharpness of the ideas can develop selectively in the context of the portfolio.
A final observation to make is that the frame’s groupings, and a portfolio, can include multiple types of content media, which will demonstrate the content maker’s ability to address diverse presentation circumstances while retaining consistency in the ideas communicated.