Small Steps to  Content Strategy
Who Am I? <ul><li>Neil Perlin - Hyper/Word Services. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In tech. comm. since ‘79 at DEC. </li></ul></ul...
Contents <ul><li>Why Have a “Content Strategy”? </li></ul><ul><li>Big Issues in Small Steps </li></ul>
<ul><li>Why Have a “Content Strategy”? </li></ul>
Shifting Environment <ul><li>We’re in an era of increasing flux: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing in relative decline vs. oth...
The Response <ul><li>Working under these conditions quickly, cost-effectively, and responsively means defining and formali...
Why Now? Why Not Now? <ul><li>Now? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You’re at a transition point – preparing to go online or switch o...
Philosophy and Cautions <ul><li>Distinguish between strategy and tactics. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare for the former bef...
An Unpleasant Question <ul><li>What doc group goals are we pursuing? </li></ul><ul><li>What  company  goals are we pursuin...
<ul><li>Big Issues In Small Steps </li></ul>
Four Big Issues <ul><li>Strategic Direction </li></ul><ul><li>Definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Stan...
Strategic Direction <ul><li>What’s the company’s strategic  business  direction? </li></ul><ul><li>How does doc support th...
Help Define That Direction <ul><li>Learn the company’s direction in general and with regard to “content,” NOT “doc.” </li>...
Definitions <ul><li>“ Strategy” – Must define it to create it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business aspects, technologies, other...
Culture and Politics <ul><li>How does doc relate to other groups? </li></ul><ul><li>With what representatives? Credibility...
Need To/Willingness To Keep Up <ul><li>Hard to keep up with technology and tool changes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Names are c...
Need To/Willingness To Keep Up <ul><li>The issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are these new technologies?  Tools? </li></u...
Political Issues <ul><li>Missing the point – Doing something for coolness, or not wanting to kill a bad idea for fear of l...
Political Issues <ul><li>Posturing – Pushing “bold leaps,” even if impractical, unneeded, or harmful. </li></ul><ul><li>Tu...
Standards <ul><li>Does/would your company support: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>External standards – For technologies, outputs, e...
Some Broad Standard Suggestions <ul><li>Consider your culture. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make standards “invisible” by embeddi...
And Some Specific Ones… <ul><li>Think ahead – will these idea fly in your company? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop in-house ...
Validation Example <ul><li>For example, this page: </li></ul>
Validation To This… <ul><li>From Jigsaw – but do these errors matter? </li></ul>
Thinking Outside That Box… <ul><li>This WinHelp code: Produced this: </li></ul>
Until the Box Closed… <ul><li>As HAT HTML converter “fixed” to this: </li></ul>
<ul><li>Next Steps… </li></ul>
<ul><li>Once you understand the environment, you can move from strategy to specific tactics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Informa...
As You Do, Remember… <ul><li>KISS! </li></ul><ul><li>Plan before you begin in order to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimize fla...
Thank you... Questions? Hyper/Word Services 978-657-5464 [email_address] www.hyperword.com Twitter: NeilEric
Hyper/Word Services Offers… <ul><li>Training • Consulting • Development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flare  •  RoboHelp  •  RoboI...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Small steps to content strategy

775

Published on

Neil Perlin's content strategy presentation for LavaCon 2011

Published in: Technology, Business
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
775
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • 1
  • 5
  • 17
  • 5
  • 5
  • 5
  • 7
  • 2
  • 17
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 15
  • 7
  • 2
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 7
  • 17
  • 2
  • Small steps to content strategy

    1. 1. Small Steps to Content Strategy
    2. 2. Who Am I? <ul><li>Neil Perlin - Hyper/Word Services. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In tech. comm. since ‘79 at DEC. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creating hypertext since ’85, WinHelp since ’90, HTML since ‘91. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training and consulting on HATs since ’95, XML, mobile devices, single-sourcing, structured authoring since ‘98. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Certified – Captivate, Mimic, Flare, RoboHelp, MobiFlex, others now gone. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Contents <ul><li>Why Have a “Content Strategy”? </li></ul><ul><li>Big Issues in Small Steps </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Why Have a “Content Strategy”? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Shifting Environment <ul><li>We’re in an era of increasing flux: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing in relative decline vs. other forms of comm. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Content” being created by more sources in more forms than ever before. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More single sourcing to more different outputs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology advancing rapidly, with brand new things coming. </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. The Response <ul><li>Working under these conditions quickly, cost-effectively, and responsively means defining and formalizing how we create and manage content – a strategy. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The “winging it” days are ending. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May also help tech comm justify its existence by participating in and even helping direct the larger strategy. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Why Now? Why Not Now? <ul><li>Now? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You’re at a transition point – preparing to go online or switch online formats anyway. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your workflow problems have grown to the point that it’s time to take action. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content strategy is hip, we’re hip, ergo… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not now? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No reason – defining CS simply boils down to revisiting how and why you work the way you do and changing as necessary. </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Philosophy and Cautions <ul><li>Distinguish between strategy and tactics. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare for the former before doing the latter. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make decisions deliberately. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid the “Ready, fire, aim… oops” approach. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But avoid paralysis by over-analysis. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anticipate a continuing, often messy effort. </li></ul>
    9. 9. An Unpleasant Question <ul><li>What doc group goals are we pursuing? </li></ul><ul><li>What company goals are we pursuing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the company know or care that doc is pursuing those goals – e.g. indicates doc’s credibility within the company. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>Big Issues In Small Steps </li></ul>
    11. 11. Four Big Issues <ul><li>Strategic Direction </li></ul><ul><li>Definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Standards </li></ul>
    12. 12. Strategic Direction <ul><li>What’s the company’s strategic business direction? </li></ul><ul><li>How does doc support that direction? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the past, doc was reactive and didn’t have to know about strategic direction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Today, as companies are adapting to weird new technologies (Twitter? QR codes?), we have to help make decisions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If not, then others will make decisions for us. </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Help Define That Direction <ul><li>Learn the company’s direction in general and with regard to “content,” NOT “doc.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Such as social media. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Help set that content and general direction. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get enough credibility to get involved. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay involved to keep, extend that credibility. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think ahead and extensibly. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay on the edge – embrace technical change. </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Definitions <ul><li>“ Strategy” – Must define it to create it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business aspects, technologies, other? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Topic-based authoring” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Structured authoring” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>May just mean that content has “structure”. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Online” – Web? Browser-based online help or doc? PDF? Mobile? Other? </li></ul><ul><li>Any other? </li></ul>
    15. 15. Culture and Politics <ul><li>How does doc relate to other groups? </li></ul><ul><li>With what representatives? Credibility? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness to speak other groups’ language. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effect of company culture when picking reps. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Young, petite, shy women may have problems. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>So may lone reps and hostile writers. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Need a political sense. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Doc reps must participate in all events. </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Need To/Willingness To Keep Up <ul><li>Hard to keep up with technology and tool changes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Names are confusing or confusingly similar: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Windows Help vs. Windows Help. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WebHelp vs. Web Help. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HTML Help vs. HTML help. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Single sourcing vs. multi-channel publishing. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chrome? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google Docs? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Native apps vs. web apps vs. eBooks. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Need To/Willingness To Keep Up <ul><li>The issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are these new technologies? Tools? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How and when may they affect my company? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And me? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are people amenable to keeping up? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will strategic change make people leave? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You’ll gain people with new tool and technology skills but lose people with domain knowledge. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Political Issues <ul><li>Missing the point – Doing something for coolness, or not wanting to kill a bad idea for fear of losing a learning opportunity. </li></ul><ul><li>Infeasibility – A plan to kill the doc group by having the engineers write the content, or wanting to “automate” doc work via a CMS. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yet the idea keeps popping up… </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Political Issues <ul><li>Posturing – Pushing “bold leaps,” even if impractical, unneeded, or harmful. </li></ul><ul><li>Turf – Content strategy may require some-one to give up some power. </li></ul><ul><li>Competition – “Content” is cool and pays well, so consultants are now competitors. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Defining a content strategy is often what they do; we need to do so too in order to compete. </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Standards <ul><li>Does/would your company support: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>External standards – For technologies, outputs, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From external bodies – W3C, OASIS, IDPF... </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Like XML, HTML 5, CSS, ePub, mobi… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>May affect tool selection. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal standards – For workflows. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Like information structure and templates, indexing, wording, CSS specifics, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Some Broad Standard Suggestions <ul><li>Consider your culture. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make standards “invisible” by embedding them if possible, like Flare’s master stylesheet. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publicize the standards, train people on them, made adherence mandatory. </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. And Some Specific Ones… <ul><li>Think ahead – will these idea fly in your company? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop in-house expertise. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay out of the code. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use styles and CSS for all formatting. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay flexible – font sets, relative sizes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Validate your code – try http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think inside the box – Avoid tool “hacks”. </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Validation Example <ul><li>For example, this page: </li></ul>
    24. 24. Validation To This… <ul><li>From Jigsaw – but do these errors matter? </li></ul>
    25. 25. Thinking Outside That Box… <ul><li>This WinHelp code: Produced this: </li></ul>
    26. 26. Until the Box Closed… <ul><li>As HAT HTML converter “fixed” to this: </li></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>Next Steps… </li></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>Once you understand the environment, you can move from strategy to specific tactics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information analysis and type definition. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control mechanism definition. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Output definition and cross-output feature set “rationalization” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sources and types of content, writing changes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool evaluation/re-evaluation, purchase. </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. As You Do, Remember… <ul><li>KISS! </li></ul><ul><li>Plan before you begin in order to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimize flailing and operational disruption during implementation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help internalize the processes in the company. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimize feature and expectation creep, esp. in political environments. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>KISS! </li></ul>
    30. 30. Thank you... Questions? Hyper/Word Services 978-657-5464 [email_address] www.hyperword.com Twitter: NeilEric
    31. 31. Hyper/Word Services Offers… <ul><li>Training • Consulting • Development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flare • RoboHelp • RoboInfo • Mobile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mimic • Captivate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>XML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single sourcing • Structured authoring </li></ul></ul>

    ×