In the couple of decades that I have been involved in the Technical Communication industry, there has been a very interesting migration of processes and workflows.
At first, simply creating our content in a word processor was a huge productivity enhancer. This was a case of collecting the “low hanging fruit of productivity”, but it caused its own issues. We evolved further by creating our content in standardized templates in a desktop publishing system. This approach gave us a standard look and feel across our documentation set. Some enterprises started to manage their unstructured content in Content Management Systems, while others were happy to put in place a simple revision control mechanism.
Some large enterprises started to create structure content in SGML format, while others were happy to perfect the automated book paradigm. Paper output was the normal, but soon PDF became the online format of choice. SGML was too complex for most non-Government entities. XML soon came on the scene. Managing and publishing this XML Content with more sophisticated Content Management Systems became the trend.
Lately consumers have adopted and adapted to a mobile content interactive experience using their new tablets and smart phones. Single sourcing content to these multiple devices in an automated fashion is the current “holy grail”, but which approach is best? The choices are very interesting.
The current question that is begging to be asked is, so what is next?
I hope you come to TCWorld India 2013, Bangalore February 21st and 22nd. We can talk more about what you think the future of TechComm will bring.