A lifecycle of serviceable content

Information is the lifeblood of business. In an increasingly interconnected world, the content lifecycle, and its structural capabilities, will be a major differentiator between success and failure.

The distinction between content and information is simple: content is the material available, or delivered; information is the meaning derived from the content, by the audience.

To prepare for an information-driven future, we must design our content to fit that world. To harness content’s power – to turn it into information – we need structure that can release that power.

Content goes everywhere

Content is an enabler; a trigger. To maximise its value, it must reach all the people and places that can use it, as information.

Flowing into all the right places

We exchange content in many ways; the number of human interaction channels and media increases daily. But there is no one way of presenting content: optimal message delivery requires adaptation to the medium.

To get content everywhere it is relevant, it needs to start without any presentational or behavioural baggage. Only then can we automate its clean delivery across media.

Reuse and repurposing

Content separated from presentation is flexible; representations for different audiences remain synchronised, without manual duplication. Clean content is easily repackaged for new media; allowing faster and more cost-efficient access to new channels.

To be reusable, content must be structured. Each part must be identified and defined. Otherwise, only the entire block can be reused, eliminating contextual relevance.

Capturing meaning

To enable structure, we must dissect the presented message. We must identify the purpose of each constituent element.

We need to understand the meaning implied by presentation, and describe it semantically. We must define the content structure so machines can work with it.

The content lifecycle

Content evolves; it is not static. Business context change, demanding new material. Any interaction with content could change the content itself.

Ownership and responsibility

Defining a content structure is a first step. We also need to create the content that will exist within that structure. Once it exists, we must maintain it. The processes and responsibilities of the content’s lifecycle are an integral part of their structure. Without them, the content will lose value.

Governance processes extend beyond the content management platform. They form part of a wider solution: a complex system involving people and their interactions. Meaningful content management – whatever its purpose – requires understanding of responsibility for processes, especially by those affected.

The ravages of time

The digital world is beset by a create-and-forget mind set about content. Freshness is seen as the dominant value.

Occasionally, this is true. Usually, it is false.

Some content is time-sensitive. Some has a prolonged shelf-life. Knowing and managing the difference is important to content governance. Ignoring the distinction is a recipe for communications disaster.

You need processes – as part of your information lifecycle definition – that deal with the effects of time on content. Does it need to be removed or updated? What triggers these changes?

The Excolo advantage

Excolo believes that information is key to business processes; that structured content with appropriate governance is imperative to success.

Designed for diversity

Communication is complicated. Content contains many layers of meaning (words, imagery, etc). The visual presentation, and the myriad channels and media used, only muddy the issue.

Excolo deconstructs communication, models the semantic and contextual value of its elements, and provides a structure that can deliver your content meaningfully across myriad channels. We focus on your need to reuse and repurpose content from a single source.

Governance model

A content model that cannot be maintained, either because the system is unsuited or there are insufficient resources, is a failed model.

To deliver content models that add real value to your organisation, now and in future, Excolo analyses how your processes interact with the content you create, including its full lifecycle – from concept to removal – as part of the model.

© 2014, Excolo