The importance of content governance (podcast)

Gretyl Kinsey / Podcast, Podcast transcriptLeave a Comment

Scriptorium owl wearing headphones

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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DITA 2.0: What to expect (podcast)

Sarah O'Keefe / Podcast, Podcast transcript2 Comments

Scriptorium owl wearing headphones

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 scalability: Removing friction from your content lifecycle

Sarah O'Keefe / Content strategyLeave a Comment

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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Understanding content migration (podcast)

Bill Swallow / Podcast, Podcast transcriptLeave a Comment

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In episode 94 of The Content Strategy Experts podcast, Bill Swallow and David Turner of DCL take a look at content migration and discuss all of the players and parts involved.

“It’s not just about moving the content and loading it to the new system. You actually have to transform the content from the unstructured formats.”

–David Turner, DCL

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Improving structured content for authors

Bill Swallow / Content strategyLeave a Comment

compass and notebook

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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DITA to PowerPoint: Exploring the challenges

Simon Bate / White papersLeave a Comment

Presentation slides

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. 

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DITA for small teams (podcast)

Gretyl Kinsey / Podcast, Podcast transcriptLeave a Comment

Scriptorium owl wearing headphones

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.”

–Sarah O’Keefe

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Content operations (content ops)

Sarah O'Keefe / Content OperationsLeave a Comment

materials for designing and planning for building a house

Content operations (content ops 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 content ops:

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. 

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