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Starting Small with Structured Content Management

May 23, 2017

Getting started with structured content management can be daunting: you’ve been tasked with completely overhauling your organization’s content strategy. There are so many things to consider that deciding where to begin can seem like one of your biggest challenges.

There are plenty of clichés appropriate to this situation: the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, don’t try to boil the ocean, and so on. By thinking about the project as a whole, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. 

In this article, I’ll give you some ideas for getting started in small, manageable steps, without ever losing sight of your vision.

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Open DITA: Let’s Make Structured Writing for Everyone

May 10, 2017

DITA XML makes advanced content development and management possible, but DITA XML itself is a complex thing. For some, this complexity makes DITA XML inaccessible, and for others, the complexity over time becomes a chaotic cobweb of references and dependencies. Just looking at all these tags and attributes scares some writers off.

In a recent survey, we uncovered strong indications that the complexity of DITA XML is hindering the spread of structured writing across departments. For this reason, we created the Open DITA Manifest to make a framework that allows other ways of achieving some of the most important benefits of DITA XML, even for those who do not want to work with the complexity of XML. Open DITA is meant to allow everyone access to the power of structured writing.

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Let’s Help Our Colleagues Who Refuse to Work in XML

April 20, 2017

“Looks cool, but couldn’t we just stick to what we have?”

“Being able to grab a piece of content like that would be nice, but I don’t have the time to learn this new tool.”

“Yes, I’d like to be able to publish a white paper using parts of your updated documentation, but all these tags and attributes? I don’t know…”

We have all heard these complaints. 

Since DITA XML became an open standard and DITA 1.0 was released in 2005, people have been trying to spread the use of modular and structured content beyond the traditional documentation department. Some have been successful, but many have been hitting a brick wall when they present XML templates and XML tools to Marketing and Development departments.

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