We talked previously about using intelligent content (content that is described by tags and metadata in a standard format, such as XML) and all the benefits intelligent content can provide. Intelligent content is very flexible, making it searchable and reusable for many different purposes across an enterprise.
But how do you make the fullest use of intelligent content? XML content management systems (CMSs) go beyond just storing intelligent content. These CMSs also provide the intelligent management of content. Here are ways that you can use an XML CMS to intelligently manage your content in order to maximize its value as a corporate asset while minimizing the cost of using it:
Truly reuse content.
Sometimes the term “content reuse” is used to mean “copy-and-paste” when dealing with intelligent content that is being managed in programs like XML editing tools or MSWord. If you are making stand-alone copies of content in other documents, you are only making more work for yourself when it comes time to find and update all of those so-called “reuses,” and you are risking the accuracy of it as well…what if you miss updating one? In an XML CMS, there is true reuse of one source of content; each unique piece of content resides once in the database and is never duplicated. Now you can lower your editorial time and increase your content’s integrity by working with one trusted source of content. So, beware of “copy-and-paste” reuse imposters and get true content reuse using a CMS.
Manage changes to content intelligently.
Once you reuse content intelligently, you can now track and manage the changes to it. Using a CMS’s global change and branching features, you can manage how, where and when changes occur, and by whom. Every change, along with the details of who made the change and when it was made, will be recorded in the CMS’s versions to provide an audit trail for the users and, if needed, allow previous versions to be reinstated.
Enforce writing standards automatically.
A CMS can help to keep writers on the same page by imposing writing guidelines on their work. For example, use a writing template in the CMS to provide a specific format for topics. Develop a vocabulary of acceptable and restricted words for your publications that the CMS can apply to newly written or edited content. Allow the CMS to provide a list of valid values for components that require a choice of specific terminology. These types of CMS features will make sure writers develop content in a consistent way.
Manage the processes around your content.
To improve collaboration between co-workers and reduce the time it takes in your editorial, production and translation cycles, use the CMS’s process management tools. Enforce a consistent process using the CMS’s workflow and collaborative review capabilities, and then track the progress of each project using the project management and reporting tools. Stay up-to-date on what’s happening to content by subscribing to notifications in the CMS. These tools provide an automated way to keep your finger on the pulse of your content. It’s a smarter way to manage your content processes than trying to track everything manually.
Play well with others.
Use the CMS’s extensions to tightly integrate with your favorite editing, review, translation, publishing and presentation tools. These extensions provide an easy-to-use interface that allows users to work in one location while accessing the content repository and its features. These extensions provide a smarter way to work with multiple tools and minimize jumping from tool to tool to get your work done.
Call us at 717-764-9720 or visit our website for help in getting started with your content management strategy.