Tips for Using Intelligent Content

According to Ann Rockley of The Rockley Group, “Intelligent content is structurally rich and semantically aware, and is therefore automatically discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable, and adaptable.“ This means that content components are well-defined and described using tags and metadata in a standard format, such as XML, that can be processed and used by many different tools.

While many writers love word processing programs because of their ease of use, content within word processing files is flat and undefined, making it difficult to share and reuse it. Many publishing tools use their own proprietary format, making content saved in these files nontransferable with other tools. So, if you need your content to be more flexible, consider giving it some intelligence. Here are ways that intelligent content can be used to your benefit:

Use it with many technologies.

When your content is structured in a standard like XML, it becomes portable to many different technologies. It can be understood and shared by different databases and most editing, translation, and publishing tools. Using one source of intelligent content that is managed in a content management system, content can be easily transferred and processed by all types of tools. You will eliminate lots of duplicate content in many different file formats and consolidate your content base.

Use it for many purposes.

As your organization expands its reach to potential and existing customers, it may be necessary to create new publications to better serve them. Rather than “reinvent the wheel,“ intelligent content can be quickly searched to pull relevant content from the existing database to mix-and-match it for new publications. This can expedite the creation of new information sources and get critical information out to customers and prospects faster.

Use it in many outputs.

With intelligent content, you are not limited to one publishing tool. Intelligent content can be delivered and processed by many different publishing tools, allowing you to create publications in print, on the Web, on CDs and DVDs, and on mobile devices such as smart phones and e-book readers — all from one source of content. Rather than having multiple files in various formats for each deliverable that you publish, imagine the consolidation you could have with one trusted source of intelligent content!

Use it to make your content a corporate asset.

When content is abundantly structured, tagged with appropriate metadata and stored in a content management system, it can be easily searched, shared and reused with many departments and divisions within an organization. It is critical that assets like boilerplate content, corporate names and slogans, product information and sensitive material such as legal disclaimers are consistent across the enterprise. Convert your information into intelligent content and it will become more valuable to the entire organization.

To learn more about intelligent content, attend the Intelligent Content conference in Palm Springs, CA on February 25-26, 2010. For more information about the conference, visit

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