Can Tire online?

Online Endeavors Need a Spare Tire « Brain Traffic Blog
September 19, 2015 – 01:31 pm

You need a spare tire in your content strategy. Otherwise, you’ll end up stranded with a blowout on the information superhighway.

Be Prepared

The Boy Scout motto is a simple two words: Be Prepared. (I am an Eagle Scout, you know.) I think of that motto often, in both personal and professional settings.

We’ve all encountered unexpected situations and issues of one sort or another while working with online projects. The anxiety level is usually in direct proportion to the lack of preparedness.

  • Online content emergency + no plan = TIME TO FREAK OUT
  • Online content emergency + content strategy = cool as the other side of the pillow

Preparedness is not always black and white. It’s more of a spectrum, really.

Spare tire as an option

A spare tire. As an option. Really? (Click to inflate)

Some car companies now include a “tire repair kit” instead of a spare tire. It’ll fix some minor problems like a slow leak or a nail puncture. No biggie.

But, if you hit a big pothole and completely destroy your tire, you’ll be left stranded. This happened to me earlier this year. No repair kit would have helped the shredded remnants of my tire. To be fully prepared, I needed a spare.

Issues Known or Unknown

In 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said the following quote. It remains relevant, yet somewhat garbled, today:

[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know.

Believe it or not, spare tires and unknown unknowns can have an impact on what you do online.

Online Content with a Slow Leak

The known/unknown quote serves as a reminder to account for the most likely and obvious things that might affect an online endeavor in some way. Take these flat-tire scenarios, for example:

  • Staff changes disrupt content workflows
  • A CMS update breaks your current site
  • Third-party content provider folds

These things can and should be anticipated. They are “known, ” as Rumsfeld would say. Contingency plans to deal with them can be crafted and shelved until needed. It’s all in a day’s work for a sustainable content strategy.

Online Content-Shredding Blowout

But what about those pesky “unknown unknowns” that Rumsfeld talked about?

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