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?
With the ability to reduce costs, shorten project schedules, and meet an organization’s strategic goals, topic-based authoring using a content management system (CMS) is a cost-effective way to create content. If you’re thinking about making the move, here are some things that you should not do. If you already made the move and you’re struggling, these “do not’s” may show you where you took a wrong turn.
Technical communicators often cringe when they hear talk of using XML to write their content. Despite all of its benefits, XML may be perceived to be overwhelmingly technical for writers who are used to authoring their content in MSWord. If you are one of those writers who fear XML, keep reading. We’ve provided three tips to help you better understand XML and ease your anxiety:
This past October, we had the pleasure to attend the 2013 LavaCon Conference in Portland, Oregon. The week was filled with insightful presentations and thought-provoking roundtable discussions, making this conference worthwhile for any attendee. Vendors, guests, and speakers took advantage of Twitter throughout the conference by tweeting at the trending hashtag “#lavacon2013.” Through this hashtag, Twitter users were able to communicate their key takeaways and opinions about the sessions and the conference itself. Here, we recap a few of the most popular #lavacon2013 tweets as shared by some of the presenters and attendees at the conference.
This month, we asked Vasont CMS user Deb Bissantz, Technology Lead from LSI Corporation, for her tips on the roles needed when moving to a content management strategy. As LSI’s Technology Lead, Deb’s responsibilities include: CMS administration, structured template maintenance, WebWorks ePublisher stationery maintenance, and training. Deb is also an active member of the DITA Technical Committee and the DITA Adoption Committee. Here are Deb’s tips:
Technical communicators play a key role in keeping an organization’s customers happy. As a primary touch point between the company and the customer, the content you produce and deliver can make customers feel comfortable and satisfied about your products and services when it is accurate and easily accessible. On the other hand, it can frustrate customers and send them to your competitors when instructions and information aren’t clear and helpful. The experience a customer has when using your content can make a big difference in their loyalty to your company.
Scenario: After getting several reports of customers complaining about the user guides for their products, the technical communications managers spend weeks developing new guidelines to make their content more consistent and clean up the vocabulary used by the writers. They create a list of acceptable and unacceptable terminology. Then, they hand over the packet of new guidelines to their team of writers. The writers get to work.
After a few weeks, the managers realize that the writers aren’t consistently instituting these new rules, causing the content they collectively produce to be discordant. So how can the managers get the writers to comply with the new guidelines? Here are some tips to consider: