RE: Real value (was implementing single-source) - demonstrated!

Subject: RE: Real value (was implementing single-source) - demonstrated!
From: "Glenn Emerson" <gemerso1 -at- rochester -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 20:50:20 -0500

Just out of curiosity--how do you single source video? or sound? Can you
single source Flash animation? I'd love to see one of those in print. Lets
see Frame + SGML single source a CBT.

Managing your content for print, where duplicate procedures abound in
service documents is one thing, and a good one. But too many single source
mavens think one size fits all. It doesn't. When all you have is a hammer,
all problems begin to look like nails.

But you forget, when we go to the movies, it's not to see a bunch of
subtitles that were single-sourced from the novel scrolling up the screen.
Just think, George Lucas could have saved a bundle on all those special
effects shots in the Phantom Menace!

While "single sourcing" (actually, good content management) can reduce word
count and enable reuse of specific textual procedures, it cannot reduce word
count in the same way that PC based multimedia can. Properly developed
multimedia WBT, CBT, help and "documentation" systems obviate much of the
need for text in the same way a properly directed movie does. And dumping
all of the content of the print manual into an online deliverable is not
good content management. All of the research in web usability will tell you
that. Simply because people don't use or browse or consume information
online the same way they do print. Generally, I've found that single-source
advocates poo poo that inconvenient fact--"we must make the content easier
for the machine to manage and the consumer will just have to get used to
it."

Just my $.02,

Glenn Emerson
Curriculum & Documentation Analyst
Xerox Global Knowledge & Language Services


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