Michele Linn, VP of Content at CMI, applies a core concept of intelligent content – reuse – to content marketing. Find out how her team did it. – Intelligent Content
This is another great article from the Intelligent Content folks at the Content Marketing Institute. I understand the basics of intelligent content and reuse, but I haven’t used it in a way that’s similar to this in my professional work…yet. I’m hoping to take information from this article and pull it into my future work. This looks like a good introduction on how I–and you–can get started.
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Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog, TechCommGeekMom.com, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/daniellemvillegas, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog.
All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.
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4 thoughts on “Content Reuse: A Super-Simple Way to Get Started –”
Thanks for sharing this, Danielle. I would love to hear your methods for reuse as well. So many options!
You’re welcome! It’s a good article. At this point, I really have never tracked items that were reuseable content much on my blog, other than making sure that there were links to previous articles that were related to a current topic embedded in the text. As someone who has used many content management systems, I’ve tried to reuse things like images, or again, if I happen to know that a certain page from one department has the same information, I’ll just cross-reference the information rather than have it rewritten. But that’s all based on memory of what different internal websites that I work on have within the company where I am.
I think going forward, you had some great suggestions on the basics of keeping better track of that information. I’m starting to wonder if the next step up from doing a spreadsheet is perhaps setting up a simple database in something like MS Access or the like, and that way you could use keywords and other things that would make it more searchable as well as create reports for it more easily. It’s going to take further thought and study on my part to think of ways to do this going forward in my future endeavours with other companies.
I was reading along thinking, This is great! This is fabulous! Everyone needs to read this! Until I came to the part where it said that reuse is just copying and pasting.
That is NOT REUSE!!! It’s copying and pasting content that now will need to be managed in two or more places and may need to be translated two or more times.
I’m all for the idea that reuse is easy to implement and easy to manage. But I hate it that an outfit with CMI’s reputation is equating reuse with copy/paste.
I understand your point, Larry. And you are right. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is always possible, depending on context of how your content architecture is set up. I know that for some of the main intranet sites that I work on, images are copied over into different areas, because they are seen as various microsites instead of one big site with many moving parts. I have copied and pasted photos of people to be represented in two different sections. Did I re-use something that I already had? Technically yes. Is it the most efficient way of doing it? Not really. But I think this is what people are used to doing. I’m not saying it’s right or defending it other than knowing that I’m as guilty a party to doing that as anyone else. I try not to do it whenever possible, but sometimes it’s not feasible in a practical way, depending on where you are and how things are set up. This is why things have to change. Yes, there will be the need for double translation, etc. but I still think that the essential premise that Michele outlines here is still more than what a lot of people do, even at big corporations.