Updating your content strategy

Wednesday, 14 March 2012, 16:03.

As digital publishing matures, much is made of content reuse and ‘curation’. Rather than thinking in terms of books or even websites, increasingly content can be conceived of and delivered as a service. This service may be delivered via a subscription site, a newsletter, a datafeed or one of the many other formats we have open to us. Whatever the delivery method, content is the constant.

And so we hit on another ePublishing buzzword: disaggregation. In order to be flexible in terms of delivery, content should be written in a way that allows it to be re-presented in a different context (excerpted, mashed up with content from elsewhere etc) and still make sense.

If content is written and labelled appropriately it can be used to create a completely new product based solely on content about one niche topic (think of a newsletter which contains news stories relating only to Portsmouth FC or a spinoff medical website solely for nurses treating patients with Alzheimer’s).

Creating a publishing strategy that ensures content is relevant and available when and where customers expect to find it is an essential part of the process.

Sounds good? Of course there are certain ground rules. In order for this to work content should:

  • be modular;
  • have quality metadata;
  • be current & accurate at the point of reuse; and
  • be editorially and stylistically appropriate in the new context.

Best avoided:

  • departmental silos (inconsistency across different departments producing content hinders reuse);
  • inconsistent taxonomy and metadata (again, a warning against silos); and
  • poor editorial, writing and licensing guidelines (content should be reusable, tagged, edited to stand alone etc).

Although technology will help future-proof the business, without work on the content there is a risk of getting stuck at the ‘books on screen’ stage of publishing evolution. Organisations should be looking to create content which can be leveraged not once, but many times, thus spreading the word to more people and maximising the value of the content.

Find out how a Single Source Content Management Solution can provide the repository to store content in media neutral format, enabling content to output into many formats