Component content management is all about reusing content modules to save on content creation time, avoid inconsistencies in content, and trim translation costs. When you’re given a new writing assignment, you must be able to find the right content to reuse. If no matches are available, then you know you need to create something new. Here are three effective ways to find existing modules in a CCMS:
Create an intuitive, simple system for categorizing content in the CCMS that any writer can figure out. Build logical collections of warnings, tasks, references, and other content modules that make sense to the writers. These collections can help to narrow the scope of the content to hunt through when looking for reusable content.
Look for details.
To find the right content, use the CCMS’s advanced search capabilities with multiple criteria. For example, if you want to find content about how to use a touch screen on a smart phone, you could search for:
Text that contains the words “touch screen”
Using this search, you might get hundreds of hits, and they may pertain to various devices rather than specifically smart phones. But, you could be more specific and narrow your search results by searching for:
Text that contains the words “touch screen” and “operating techniques”, and the phrase “touch screen” is within 5 words of the phrase “smart phone”
This more pointed search might yield a handful of hits to review, saving you time in your writing cycles. The more detailed your search criteria, the fewer hits you will have to review to find that perfect content.
Use the information about your information.
In addition to searching for specific text, use system-generated or user-defined metadata, such as dates and users, to find the right content. You can search on these attributes by themselves, or combine them with search criteria on the content itself. For example, you could search for:
Text that contains the words “touch screen” and “operating techniques”, that was created within the last month, by user Fred, and contains a graphic called “touchscreen.jpg”, and was translated into German
Now, that should result in some very specific hits!
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