Controlling Your Content
Ensuring consistency in the message and content can ensure your message is received the same way across every media platform it is published through. That’s where implementing a content management system (CMS) comes into play. Making the change from unstructured content to a CMS helps companies provide more effective content development, content management, process management, technical translation management, and publishing strategies while reducing cycle times and increasing productivity. They can also help your company create more effective multilingual and XML management, greater flexibility and performance advantages that will optimize resources and processes. Once you have your CMS, what can you do in terms of reuse to gain greater control of your message?
Be consistent in terminology and phrasing
The idea of reuse would be pointless if everyone used different words to say the same thing. Establishing preferred terminology, contextual references and definitions among your writers can help your company save time.
Agree on the use of capitalization and punctuation
People tend to forget that the use of punctuation affects the reuse in your documentation. Because people use commas differently, it’s important to establish a consistent style for punctuation in order to reuse phrases elsewhere. Capitalization use is another important concept to discuss with other writers, as inconsistent capitalization can have a negative effect on content reuse.
Stay away from synonyms
Replacing a commonly overused word with a synonym makes your writing more exciting and less redundant. However, it’s important to avoid overuse of synonyms when writing documentation because there may not be as many different ways of saying the same thing in other languages, thus reducing your translation reuse and raising your translation costs.
Although they make writing easier, contractions mean different things depending on the language. It’s safer to stay clear of the apostrophe to avoid any confusion.
Consider word order
The way we order our words in a sentence is something we normally don’t think about when composing a sentence. However, word order changes will have an impact on your reuse rate. Replacing excessive use of adjectives with complete clauses can make this less of a problem and boost your reuse percentage.