Tips for Creating a Publishing Backbone

Do you have the elements you need for a solid publishing process? You need a strong backbone to support your publishing initiatives. This is more important than ever, since there are so many formats and devices in which to publish content.

A publishing backbone helps you to organize your data so that it is easy to find and reuse, easy to process, and easy to share across your organization. A good backbone focuses on all of the details that get the project from start to finish rather than the content development itself. Here are some tips for creating a solid publishing backbone:

Describe it.

A good metadata strategy is useful in many ways. It helps you to find your data more easily. It provides values for conditional processing. It can be used downstream by transform processes to enhance search results in output or provide special functionality. A good metadata strategy must be just that—a strategy and not just ad hoc attribute values assigned in your XML.

Categorize it.

A taxonomy is a system of categories and subcategories that allow information to be organized to make it easier to find and relate to other information. You’ve already encountered useful taxonomies in your experience. The Dewey Decimal system is a taxonomy for organizing books in a library by subject, title, or author. If you browse internet kiosks, they frequently have a taxonomy to help you to find the product you’re looking for. In information systems, they are often represented by tree structures, so they fit well in the XML world.

Define the flow.

Workflows are a powerful way to drive your content development process. They regulate the flow of content, just as signal lights regulate traffic through intersections. Imagine the chaos that would occur on the roads if there were no signal lights! Without workflow, you may never really be sure if the right people reviewed your content, or if your content took all the appropriate steps prior to approval. Workflow makes it easier to track the status of your content and keep it flowing through those internal “intersections” smoothly.

Call us at 717-764-9720 or visit our website for help in getting started with your content management strategy