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November 6, 2023

Food for thought: What content ops and cooking have in common

Once again, it’s that time of year—the time when we use food analogies to explain critical concepts about content strategy, operations, and more! 

(Who are we kidding. It’s always time for that.)

Last year, Bill wrote this blog post that related preparing for a holiday meal to the key components of content operations including content strategy, taxonomy, and more. 

This year, I want to build on that analogy. Oh and of course, share our team’s updated list of favorite holiday recipes!

To customize, first componentize

In my family, not everyone enjoys the same ingredients. Many have dietary restrictions that affect the menu, including allergies to gluten, dairy, and legumes. Sweet potatoes are a great example of how we build the meal with everyone in mind. 

I love adding everything: marshmallows, pecans, brown sugar, butter, and so on, until it’s essentially a crustless pie. Some people get overwhelmed by those options and just want to keep it simple with butter and salt. Others just eat the sweet potato as nature intended. (Well, at least cooked.) 

Our solution? We bake all the sweet potatoes plain and set out containers with the individual ingredients. This method takes more upfront work, but in the end, it’s easier to accommodate dietary restrictions, and everyone gets to enjoy their sweet potato just the way they like it. [Ed.: Or ignore it and get extra cranberry sauce.]

This customization can be applied to content operations. If you want to grant your users—whether they’re individuals, systems, or both—the ability to create custom content, consider breaking your content into components

Content as a Service

Content as a Service (or CaaS) builds on the benefits of componentization by making it easy to create custom content at scale

Maybe you have a merger (or several) on the horizon, you’re localizing content for new regions, or your business is growing exponentially. With CaaS in place, your organization is ready to adapt to disruptions in your business and industry. 

Whatever your users’ requirements are, componentization and CaaS give your organization the ability to efficiently deliver custom content at scale. 

AI as a time-saving tool

Of course, AI has been the dominating topic in the world this year. No one knows the full impact it will have, but in cooking terms, I’m thinking of AI like the blender I was recently gifted. 

AI-generated image (by of a blender in a modern kitchen with red chile in the blender, powered red chile on the counter, and other red chile sauce ingredients around.

AI-generated image created by

My blender has several settings that blend, pulse, and puree without requiring a human to manually push buttons (other than turning the setting on). Though this was unsettling at first as I’m not accustomed to blade-wielding devices working independently inches away from my hand, it’s saved me some time while I’m making my red chile sauce

Even though the blender has suction cups that supposedly keep it in place while it works, it’s tried to jump off my counter before, so I always stand close by when it’s on. I also manually check the quality of the blend afterward, and often give the red chile manual pulses to get the texture exactly right. 

The blender automates a task that makes my workflow easier, but I still have to be there to oversee, manage, and be responsible for what’s being created. AI is similar: It’s an efficiency tool that requires human oversight. For more on this, Sarah O’Keefe has great insights on how AI will impact the content lifecycle and what your organization should do now to prepare. 

What’s coming in 2024?

Componentization, CaaS, and AI aren’t the only developments that will have an impact on the future of content. With the 2024 just around the corner, Scriptorium principals Sarah O’Keefe (CEO), Alan Pringle (COO), and Bill Swallow (Director of Operations) are hosting the webinar ContentOps 2024: Boom or Bust? to prepare you for what’s coming.  

Green slide with white text, "ContentOps 2023: Boom or Bust?" Scriptorium principals share their analysis of - and predictions about - content operations trends."

In this webinar, Sarah, Bill, and Alan will guide you through: 

  1. Three key trends in content operations
  2. The predicted impact of these trends in 2024
  3. How your organization should adapt

Join the webinar on Wednesday, November 8th at 10 am PT/1 pm ET, and register on BrightTalk. If you can’t make it, you can register to access the recording later. 

Lastly, if this post got you in the mood for some real food, be sure to check out our team’s new list of favorite holiday recipes.

If you’re even hungrier about future-proofing your content operations, let’s talk! 

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