RE: Best Practice...Reuse Content

Subject: RE: Best Practice...Reuse Content
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 17:27:46 -0500

Tricky question, because whom would the ladder-dweller consider to be an expert?

There's Sarah O'Keefe at, who does a great job on presenting best practices for shared content. For example, see her 2005 presentation at

JoAnn Hackos has published extensively online and in print about single-sourcing.

How about O'Reilly? Try, or really anything on, which O'Reilly owns.

There's lots of stuff on single-sourcing at - surely the most visible Web site for our profession. (But beware of the STC's single-sourcing SIG, which is apparently moribund.)

And again, the real question is, what names would *she* recognize?

Heck, if anyone at my company mentioned "John Posada" as their source for something, I would recognize that as an expert's name.

-----Original Message-----
From: John Posada
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 5:00 PM
To: List, Techwriter
Subject: Best Practice...Reuse Content

Humor me for a minute

I'm now a Knowledgebase analyst with an opportunity to present a case to rearchitect my company's external knowledgebase that is used for customer self-help support.

Understand that to do what I'm asking, there will be changes at the code level, so I need to build a pretty strong case.

We currently have three regional knowledgebases; US customers, Canadian customers, and UK customers.

Based on an analysis that I recently performed, 29% of the content is almost identically replicated in all three regions. Let me say that again. 29% of the content appears pretty much the same in three regions. So, if it takes 50 words to describe something, we have 150 words doing it; 50 in each region.

I've made a recommendation that we have one piece of content, written once and shared by the three regions. Pretty simple, huh?

You and I know the benefits to this...that is not my question and I have some interest in this concept from some levels in this company. However, the person I have to convince is pretty high up on the ladder and her hot buttons are "best practices prescribed by experts"

Therefore, I'm interested in material that backs me up on the premise that there shouldn't be the same content written more than once, preferably from people with name recognition.

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Best Practice...Reuse Content: From: John Posada

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