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Podcast Podcast transcript

The pros and cons of markdown (podcast, part 1)

In episode 97 of The Content Strategy Experts podcast, Sarah O’Keefe and Dr. Carlos Evia of Virginia Tech discuss the pros and cons of markdown.

“I think markdown has a huge user base because most people need to develop content for the web. But there’s a set of people that need to be working in something more structured for a variety of reasons, and those are the ones who use DITA.”

–Dr. Carlos Evia

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Webinar

Unifying customer experience with enterprise content strategy (webinar)

Does your website include content from multiple departments? If so, you need an enterprise content strategy rather than a departmental strategy. Enterprise content strategy addresses each content type as part of the overall user experience.

In this presentation, Elizabeth Patterson explores how to build a holistic content strategy across your customer-facing content groups.

“Your content needs to be searchable, it needs to be consistent, and prospects need to be able to find it efficiently.”

—Elizabeth Patterson

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Podcast Podcast transcript

The importance of content governance (podcast)

In episode 96 of The Content Strategy Experts podcast, Elizabeth Patterson and Gretyl Kinsey talk about the importance of content governance.

“An important part of governance is knowing that changes can happen. Keep your documentation in a central place where everybody can get to it and understands how it’s updated. If you don’t, some groups may start creating their own and that can result in unofficial documentation that doesn’t necessarily capture what should be captured.”

–Gretyl Kinsey

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Podcast Podcast transcript

DITA 2.0: What to expect (podcast)

In episode 95 of The Content Strategy Experts podcast, Sarah O’Keefe and Kris Eberlein (chair of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee) discuss the upcoming release of 2.0. What can you expect if you are currently in DITA? And what do you need to know if you are considering DITA?

“If you’ve been shoehorning diagnostic information into troubleshooting topics,  you’re going to have a good semantic place to put that content with DITA 2.0.”

–Kris Eberlein

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Content strategy

Content scalability: Removing friction from your content lifecycle

First published in Intercom (October 2020) by the Society for Technical Communication.

Scalable content requires you to assess your content lifecycle, identify points of friction, and remove them.

Company growth magnifies the challenges of information enablement. When you grow, you add products, product variants, markets, and languages—and each of those factors adds complexity. Process inefficiencies in your content lifecycle are multiplied for every new language or customer segment.

As a result, content scalability—increasing content throughput without increasing resources—becomes critical. Consider a simple localization example: when you translate, you have a few manual workarounds that require 1 hour of work per 100 pages of translated content. So if you translate 100 pages of content into 8 languages, you have 8 hours of workarounds. But as your content load grows, you are shipping 1,000 pages of content per month and translating into 20 languages. Suddenly, you are facing 200 hours of manual workarounds per month—the equivalent of one full-time person per year.

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Content strategy

Improving structured content for authors

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.

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