Structured content authoring tools behave differently than traditional tools like Microsoft Word, which causes difficulty or reluctance among authors to use them. Structured content imposes strict rules around content purpose (semantics) and placement. These tools diverge from the traditional WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) look and feel, which can be jarring for many authors. Fortunately, many structured authoring tools can be modified to feel less imposing.
PDF format at the end of this post.
We’ve worked on a few DITA-to-PowerPoint projects. In some cases, the project sounded like a natural fit. In other cases, the fit was less than compelling. Even in projects that seemed to have a natural fit, we encountered bumps in the road with the DITA content, the design of the slide masters, or both.
There are many good reasons to create a DITA-to-PowerPoint conversion. It’s an attractive idea to use the same material for slides and student materials (such as handouts). A DITA-to-PowerPoint conversion also allows you to create slides by reusing content from your existing topics.
In episode 93 of The Content Strategy Experts podcast, Gretyl Kinsey and Sarah O’Keefe talk about how to determine whether DITA XML is a good fit for smaller content requirements.
“Scalability or anticipated scale is actually a good reason to implement DITA for a small team.”
Content operations (or ContentOps) refers to the system your organization uses to develop, deploy, and deliver customer-facing information. Rahel Bailie refers to it as the way that your organization operationalizes your content strategy.
Over at easyDITA, there’s a more aspirational definition, which includes the purpose of good ContentOps:
Content Operations — ContentOps — is the infrastructure that maximizes your content creators’ efforts and guards against procedural errors by automating as much of the content development process as possible.
In episode 92 of The Content Strategy Experts podcast, Elizabeth Patterson and Alan Pringle share how you get started with a content strategy project and what you can do if you really don’t have a solid grasp on your needs.
“It’s about opening yourself up to getting feedback from someone who’s done this stuff before, and may come up with some solutions that you didn’t necessarily consider in your own thinking.”
Learning content is any material used for educational purposes, including e-learning courses, training guides, instructor guides, instructional videos, and more. This might represent the bulk of the content you produce, or it might be just one part of your overall content set. Either way, it’s important to develop a plan for creating, updating, and delivering learning content as efficiently as possible. Here are some tips for addressing learning content as part of your content strategy.
In episode 91 of The Content Strategy Experts podcast, Gretyl Kinsey and Simon Bate continue their discussion about using text strings and microcontent. This is part two of a two-part podcast.
“Make sure that their voice is heard. All groups that are using your strings need to have some input or have a way of communicating their needs to the organizations controlling those strings.”
– Simon Bate
In episode 90 of The Content Strategy Experts podcast, Gretyl Kinsey and Simon Bate talk about using text strings and microcontent. This is part one of a two-part podcast.
“They’re starting to get the idea of taxonomy and how important it is for all parts of their business to communicate using the exact same language. If this can be captured and put in one place, then those strings can be available to everybody.”
– Simon Bate
You’ve started developing a content strategy and are getting a better grasp on the content lifecycle. But what do you do about older content? It’s not as relevant as your most recent content, but there are still times when it proves useful. Your archiving approach is an important part of your content strategy and is often overlooked.
If you are moving from one content environment to another, you only want to convert what’s necessary. Archiving and organizing your content will help you decide what legacy content you want to convert. Here are some things to keep in mind when putting a plan in place for archiving content.
In episode 89 of The Content Strategy Experts podcast, Gretyl Kinsey and Bill Swallow talk about strategies for avoiding the misuse of metadata and DITA XML-based content.
“The more you fine-tune how your content model needs to operate, the easier it’s going to be to move it forward over time. The more you start taking shortcuts and using metadata for purposes other than what it was intended for, the more problems you’re going to have.”
– Bill Swallow