Re: Online documentation platforms

Subject: Re: Online documentation platforms
From: Craig Haiss <craighaiss -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 03:51:44 -0800 (PST)

Based on my experiences as a blogger, I have a hunch that WordPress or any similar blogging/CMS tool would make an excellent content management system for online documentation.

Blogging tools have simple publishing interfaces that would allow writers to focus on content instead of non-essential HATT features. Also, the built in search present in most blogs gives users the ability to navigate in a familiar way. (The use of a TOC or index for online documentation seems to be declining.)

WordPress may lack some of the customization options writers would need for tasks like single-sourcing (although it might work since many blogging tools turn posts into XML), but often expensive HATTs are filled with features that writers don't need.

I'd definitely be willing to give WordPress or another blogging tool a try if it seemed to fit the job. Compared to the headaches involed in working with a HATT, mastering tricky features, installing updates, etc. it would probably be a relief to work with a simple blogging platform installed on someone else's server.

Craig Haiss
Blog: http://www.helpscribe.com


--- On Tue, 12/15/09, David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Online documentation platforms
> To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 2:50 AM
> I ran across a brief blog post this
> morning regarding the use of
> WordPress as an online documentation platform (instead of
> Mediawiki,
> in the cited case).
>
> A part of the changing landscape of information delivery is
> the
> implementation of very powerful tools for Web-based
> information
> delivery--and WordPress seems very much at the forefront of
> this. What
> started as a blogging platform has now morphed into a
> popular content
> management system used by many companies for their Web
> presence.
>
> With the rapid spread of web-based applications--whether
> Internet-based or behind a corporate firewall--it seems
> logical that
> new and somewhat more flexible platforms for documentation
> should be
> included. A WordPress platform for doing this might make
> great
> sense--after all, there seems to be a countless stream of
> plug-ins
> available for it, as well as the ability to create your own
> social
> network (BuddyPress) and user forums (BBPress).
>
> This could be a very good thing for technical documentation
> types to
> become well versed in--a process made easier since
> WordPress is free,
> and can serve as a tremendous platform for personal
> websites and blogs
> as well.
>
> The brief article is at
> <http://dougal.gunters.org/blog/2009/12/14/wordpress-as-a-documentation-platform>
>
> David





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References:
Online documentation platforms: From: David Neeley

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