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structured content reuse

Sent by Ann Rockley on 13 January 2004 20:08

>Our situation is probably not that dissimilar to most universities in
>that there is a growing recognition that most of our clients interact
>with our website as a first preference rather than resorting to our
>printed publications. This increasingly important population has not
>been well served by priority being given to print publishing processes
>over preparation of content for the web.
>Some of our web content is still initially authored in word processing
>applications, but we're highlighting the importance of the web, skilling
>authors to write for the medium, providing a CMS to facilitate their
>work and utilities to assist them in exporting content to print.

I agree that more and more the web becomes a key vehicle for communication 
and sometimes the sole vehicle. However, when multiple media (e.g., paper 
and web) are required I believe it is important to create content separate 
from format. Formats like XML help us to do this. However, authors do have 
to learn to write differently and designers need to put a great deal of 
effort into designing effective content structures that can be 
appropriately and effectively displayed regardless of the media.

You are correct that word processors tend to make authors think "paper" as 
we author while web/HTML editors make us think "web" as we author. We 
really need a third type of editor that lets us think content. This doesn't 
really exist yet. Forms come the closest, but they do not work well for 
complex granular content.

>University Website Co-ordinator, University Communication Services
>The University of Western Australia
>35 Stirling Highway, CRAWLEY WA 6009
>Email: [EMAIL-REMOVED]    Phone: +61 8 9380 1797
>please trim your posts.


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"Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy" (ISBN 0735713065)
by Ann Rockley with Pamela Kostur and Steve Manning is now available from or For more information visit, 905-415-1885

please trim your posts.
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