Articles on Content Structure
TechComm Summer Classic: the phrase “structured writing” seems to demand something in the way of definition, not because its meanings are obscure, but because they are so varied. This is a product of diversity of interests, not lack of definition. My definition is a declaration of my interests; no more.
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When you deliberately create content for reuse, you need to place constraints on the content to be reused and the content that reuses it, and that puts you in the realm of structured writing.
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Where even a few years ago,it was enough to add to a knowledge base or publish to PDF and print, today people expect to consume information on a variety of devices from mobile to desktop.
With the advent and growth of digital media, technical communication and content management professionals are challenged to find better ways to produce and manage content. They aim use structured writing to produce reusable content more efficiently, reduce duplication and rework, and to support more efficient localization and translation.
Arising out of the development of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) in the late 1990′s, structured writing makes use of consistent rules of syntax, metadata, and markup to group and organize content into information types such as concept, task and reference. Authors who practice structured writing make use of approaches such as topic-based writing and minimalism to support the overall content structure.
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