Woe unto you, content strategists, who have been unlucky enough to end up in a niche discipline that most enterprises look at as a luxury (if they even recognize it as a separate and unique discipline at all). Jumping from one freelance gig to another like a traveling jongleur, simultaneously hoping to find a home, and dreading the thought that you'll end up as a common minstrel in a corporate communications job writing the dreaded corporate-speak content pieces that employees ignore at best and hold in contemptuous disdain at worst.
Depending upon your career history, your personal network and the set of opportunities in your neck of the woods, you could be lucky enough to end up in an eCommerce shop writing minimalist copy for the users and business sponsors who don't know enough to appreciate the fine details of your craft. You could also put money in your purse by doing piece-work blogging for advertising driven content sites, but the life of a writer is neither as glamorous as it sounds nor as lucrative as you might wish. What is a meaning-minded content professional to do?
What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?
The dark ages of the organization and hierarchy-centric intranets with a combination of resource intensive governance models and self-limiting command and control policies are coming to a close. It has been too long that your talents have been wasted writing corporate messages that drive as much engagement as the "lather, rinse, repeat" instructions and "do not eat" warning labels on shampoo bottles.
Lo, a new opportunity is coming across the horizon that, with the rise of the social intranet, can breathe some fresh life and meaning into a what has been a hard row to hoe; Community Manager. Community centric employee experiences are sprouting up in the desolate wasteland that has until very recently been devoid of meaningful employee engagement.
Social Intranets are the East and the Engaged Employee is the Sun
Social Intranets are the fresh new marketplace in the enterprise kingdoms and tight governance is being replaced with curation. The reign of one-way intranet managers is over. Content will no longer be presented as if from the church of old in a top-down fashion. In its place, content creators will have to be a little more like the shrew and adopt a coy posture where employee desire to read and engage is the coin of the realm. It is this paradigm shift in our current age of enlightenment that harkens the rise of the community manager role.