The 25-page paper, Dynamic Content Delivery Using DITA, authored by Eric Severson, Chief Technology Officer at Flatirons Solutions, explains in sufficient detail how the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) can help content-heavy organizations provide dynamic, personalized content delivery to customers on demand.

This Paper Succeeds Where Most Others Fail

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We really like this whitepaper because it provides a clear picture of how adopting the topic-based content standard can help your organization see the possibilities a standardized, topic-based approach to content creation can provide. It also helps readers understand how such an approach works and why its needed, without over-delivering on the marketing front. Typically, when an organization starts a move to DITA, they try to “make” the standard fit into their current content creation and delivery model. More often than not, this approach results in organizations using DITA to create old school content models that suffer from the limitations of static publishing.

Photo © Roman Sigaev – FOTOLIA

This fact is not surprising. Humans have used the same approach to publishing since the invention of the printing press. But, user expectations are rapidly changing and, as a result, so too must the way we think about publishing (content delivery).

The white paper, sponsored by Flatirons Solutions and Mark Logic, outlines the specific differences between static publishing and dynamic, personalized content delivery and explores uses the history of publishing technologies to help make the case for change. Read the paper to get a clear picture of how DITA can help you improve how you create, manage, and deliver content in ways you may not have considered.

What Do You Mean By Static Publishing, Anyway?

The static publishing model can best be described as creating a specific set of publications created and designed to meet the needs of a wide target audience. This model, the authors write, “involves central decisions on the appropriate content and packaging, followed by distribution en masse to the intended audience.” Of course, this model is chocked full of limitations. “One size fits all” approaches seldom work for “all” and even when we recognize this fact, we use what could best be described as psychic powers to divine what content we need to “single source” content into multiple deliverables, created by repurposing content components to create new optimized deliverables we “hope” will meet the needs of various target audience groups.

What Do You Mean By Dynamic Content Delivery?

As the authors of the white paper correctly point out, “The real problem is that all members of a target audience aren’t really the same.” What’s needed, they suggest, is a dynamic content delivery model that supports the needs of all users. “In this paradigm, there is no central editorial decision that determines what content is appropriate for a particular user. Instead, the reader uses a dynamic search to choose the content he or she considers relevant. The editorial process only determines the raw material—the pool of information—that appropriate for each subject area, from which the reader is allowed to choose.”

Dynamic content delivery involves “pulling” content from a repository and assembling it on demand based on the requirements of the user, instead of the current approach of “pushing” pre-configured information products at end-users and hoping they meet their needs. This model of content delivery is made possible by topic-based authoring (DITA is an example of a topic-based authoring approach). Specific user needs are met through delivery of content that has been filtered by condition (i.e. the instructions for use in a Windows environment are delivered only to those users that work in a Windows environment, and those instructions are also tailor to the individual user by role, so that customer service representatives don’t receive the same content as do system administrators using the same product but in very different ways).

“In some applications,” the authors write, “it may even be possible to automatically choose the appropriate content, based on a reader’s individual profile. For example, for a product installation manual, we don’t need (or want) to ask the user what content they are most interested in. If we know their user profile and the product they bought, we can automatically tailor a manual to fit their situation.”

Read The Whitepaper: Have A Big “Ah-Ha!” Moment

Take a few minutes today and get a copy of Dynamic Content Delivery Using DITA.

The paper explores:

  • How DITA can be used to dynamically assemble topics
  • How variations in content are supported
  • How DITA can be used to simulate dynamic content delivery
  • How Flatirons Solutions and Mark Logic have teamed up to address these challenges
  • Benefits to the bottom line