Authoring Strategy for Multilingual Deployment

Information Architecture

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Information written once, stored centrally, updated only at that location and accessed via multiple publishing media is more accurate, consistent, up-to-date, and cost-effective than diverse information sources with ad hoc management. There are a few stellar examples of this activity with the Philips Consumer story being one of my favourites. Enterprises spend millions each year on transmitting information to their customers, limiting these costs and ensuring customer satisfaction are important and not mutually exclusive activities.

Topic based writing gives information architecture its basic building blocks and the judicious use of some boiler plate text, metadata and content models provide methods to assemble these blocks of information into knowledge packets appropriate to multiple publishing methodologies.

In recent years XML has become the format of choice for holding information content while reserving its rendering possibilities. SDL has conducted an insightful survey over several years on the industry's migration XML, and predicts the movement into XML to continue in the years ahead.

Controlled Language (CL) is the use of a subset of natural language in order to achieve a goal. In an commercial setting this can mean constraining terminology, style and grammar to ensure comprehensibility, readability or (machine)translatability of source text.

Customers are served through the web in the 21st century, so "search" is an essential element of an information strategy. Finding and understanding the appropriate information is the customer's primary concern. Facilitiating this outcome should be our primary goal. Clear writing style, rapid translation process and technology, ease of access, precision and recall of search, comprensibility of content, clarity and consistency in terminology are all supporting elements of this core customer satisfaction goal.

Intelligent Content is the next stage in the development of customer communication on the social web. This exciting area is being developed by the CNGL consortium and maps new frontiers in customer communication through the web.