Remember when context-sensitive help was the revolutionary way to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time in the right way? Just a few years ago, many technical communication teams did nothing but create context-sensitive documentation for software products. They aimed to provide contextually relevant, helpful content based on what the customer was doing in the software at any given moment. These forward-thinking teams deconstructed large technical documents into discrete chunks, which they then hooked into the product interface. Customers no longer had to paw through a fat user manual or poke around in an online...Read More
Industry analysts predict that chatbots and intelligent personal assistants will overtake traditional web interfaces as the primary consumer touchpoint, that they will replace or augment mobile apps, and they will completely transform customer service. If those predictions don’t boggle your mind, read them again. Is your content team ready for that future? Most aren’t. The good news is that with some engineering, chatbots can employ and extend an existing content repository. Intelligent content allows us to use single-source publishing to push content out to interactive channels, including those that involve chatbots and intelligent assistants. Possible benefits: Boost the ROI of existing...Read More
The following is an excerpt from Enterprise Content Strategy: A Project Guide, by Kevin P. Nichols, the fifth book in The Content Wrangler Content Strategy Series of books from XML Press (2015). Enterprise Content Strategy: A Project Guide Chapter 7. Publish and Measure Phases Anyone who has written anything or aspires to be a writer knows that the word publish can bear a profound power. However, within a content strategy, publish functions as a mere step within a content lifecycle where content becomes exposed to an audience. Publish represents the culmination of several steps, and as a step itself, it lives within a...Read More
Every strategic business decision has an impact on content. Entering a new market creates the need for localization. Images that work well in our home market may need to be altered or replaced in order to avoid offending members of new audiences. Mergers and acquisitions create a need for content updating and adaptation. Content obtained from others requires rebranding, creates the need for new metadata tags, and training content creators on new tools and workflows. A new product feature may require your content team to update your content strategy. Unfortunately, business strategists don’t always foresee the impact of their decisions...Read More
There’s been a lot of talk about convergence between marketing and technical communication over the past few years. Most of the ideas being discussed are focused on finding ways to improve customer experience by unifying content production and distribution efforts, but few companies are actually making a concerted attempt to break down the silos that prevent collaboration. Adobe aims to change that. This October 10-12, Adobe will attempt to bridge the gap between technical communication and marketing professionals by bringing together content creators from both camps to learn about structured content. The effort is called Adobe DITA World, an online...Read More
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