Published on April 7th, 2009 | by Rahel Bailie2
Content strategy includes convergence, integration, and syndication
If you think content production is complex now, wait until it starts converging with content from other departments or groups. Or when users, dissatisfied with the quality of the documentation provided, start their own DIY documentation project, and it ranks higher in the Google rankings than your own support site.
If you’re being asked to use your content in more than one way, you might be at the stage where the more part includes methods or technologies you’re not really familiar with. Maybe content re-use means syndication or collaborative creation with other departments or divisions, or incorporating content from other sites or user generated content. It could mean figuring how to build community or provide better support or get better feedback.
Maybe more means creating or incorporating help from the technical side, sharing the content in a knowledge base, putting it on the Web, maybe with automatic updates, and adopting XML, perhaps figuring out how the new DITA standard works for you in all of this.
No matter what your situation, you’re in the position where you’re supposed to figure out the XML stuff and the Web stuff and the quality stuff and the stuff around RSS feeds and copyright, how it all fits together, and why you need any of it, anyhow.
After all, if you’ve even tried to coordinate content creation between departments, or track the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns, or just share content between a CMS and LMS, you’ll recognize how hard it is to find two systems that play nice together, let alone get an entire corporate strategy in place. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. The promise of content management was to solve the silo problem, but in many cases has simply created larger silos.
I’ve posted slides from my workshop, where we look at:
- The concepts of content convergence and integration, the principles behind it, and the market forces that are driving the trend
- Opportunities created by content convergence in various contexts, from technical documentation converging to support documentation to marketing material to user-generated content
- The changing nature of content to allow for successful convergence, and the changes in processes to support it
- Ways to prepare your organization to adapt, and explore ways to allow content convergence to drive improvements in business efficiency and customer relationships