Content Convergence: Trends In Technical Communication

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  • 1. Content Convergence Trends in the Creation, Production, and Maintenance of Technical Content
  • 2. Content Convergence Content Convergence
  • 3. Content convergence is a move away from content silos.
  • 4. Paired with content integration, which is combining content from multiple sources.
  • 5. Together, they have powerful communication potential.
  • 6. Content convergence means portability. Content can be mixed-and-matched to fit new contexts.
  • 7. To be portable, content needs to:
    • Be structured
    • Have semantic properties
    • Be findable (searchable)
    • Conform to standards
  • 8. Portable content makes context more important. Portable content makes context more important. Content must support multiple contexts.
  • 9. Complex contexts demand concise content. Shape content around a single concept.
  • 10. Context changes content. The ability to re-use content across contexts increases content value.
  • 11. Content is not isolated. Content is not isolated. Content does need to be self-contained.
  • 12. Convergence creates possibilities. The end goal is user satisfaction.
  • 13. For customers: Portable content creates value
    • Content is integrated from:
    • Airline booking
    • Hotel booking
    • Car rental booking
    • Google maps
    • Weather network
    • User-generated content
    • … and more.
    • Convergence is automated, generating an automatic, customized itinerary.
    • This convergence of content provides a value-add service to the user.
  • 14. Portable content creates efficiencies For organizations, portable content creates efficiencies. Content must support multiple contexts.
  • 15. Portable content can look like this
    • Blog posts
    • Images
    • Twitter posts
    • Upcoming product releases
    • User-generated content
    • Visitor login
    • Ratings information
    • Ecommerce data
    • Audio files
    • Product descriptions
  • 16. Or like this Training instantiation TechComm instantiation Support instantiation
  • 17. When architected well, it happens seamlessly. Information portal Tech Comm content User-generated content Engineering content CRM content Support center content Marketing content RSS feeds Subscriptions Training content
  • 18. Users demand more, better, faster.
  • 19. Users demand it
    • Organic content convergence
    • World of Warcraft
    • Some users dissatisfied with documentation provided.
    • Built their own database.
    • Better quality, more features.
    • Apple
    • Search for “iPhone help” and observe the results
    • Search for an error message by number (e.g. “error message 12846”) and observe the results
    • Users will create their own documentation.
    • Their sites will come up higher in search engines.
    • Your reputation suffers.
    • Brand management issues arise.
  • 20. World of Warcraft
  • 21. The market demands it
    • Organizations need to deliver more content, faster, cheaper.
    • The content needs to work for many similar products.
    • There is a need to deliver to multiple markets , sometimes in multiple languages.
    • There is too much content to deal with, to create linear content.
    • HP
    • HP knowledge base has integrated all content into a single page
    • Highest result in the search engines
    • Well designed convergence experience for users
  • 22. HP Knowledge Center
  • 23. The move away from single-use, linear content is happening fast . Every day, the bar is raised a little higher.
  • 24. The pressure is on to devise strategies for portable content. You snooze, you lose.
  • 25. Strategies are business-dependent
    • There is no formula.
    • The solutions are as unique as the business and the reasons for needing the strategy.
    • It means changes in technologies.
    • It means change in processes.
    • It means change in skill sets.
    • There needs to be a strategy.
    • The strategy needs to be rooted in business requirements.
  • 26. It means rethinking the nature of content. Treat content as a valuable corporate asset.
  • 27. Good content design ties into experience design
    • Subsets of experience design are:
    • Multi-channel experience
    • Digital experience design
    • User experience
    • User-centered design
    • Service design
    • Usability
    • No matter what you call it, the end goal is to improve the experience for the end user.
  • 28. Content should be a corporate strategy. Do you have a good content strategist?
  • 29. T-shaped thinkers are particularly adept at convergent, synergistic thinking.
  • 30. Think outside the box
    • What are the touch points ?
    • What can be automated for users?
    • What are the preferences of your audiences?
    • What is required by regulatory?
    • What is the best you can provide, in practicality?
    • How creative can you be?
  • 31. Think holistically; act boldly.
  • 32. Contact Info and Acknowledgements
    • Presentation © 2008 Intentional Design Inc.
    • Presenter:
    • Rahel Anne Bailie, Content Strategist / CM Consultant
    • +1.604.837.0034
    • Photographs used under Creative Commons:
    • Pencil design: George Hart