What does re-usable & updatable content look like?

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Session Description

A round-table that aims to bring together written content creators (writers of curricula, manuals, reports, documentation, etc) within the community to identify what content is currently reused and updated by others, what content others wish they could reuse and update, and the barriers (and capacity) of those who want to engage with or build off of others content. The outcome of this session is to build understanding and promote synergy among written content creators that will spur new practices for making their content more accessible to the rest of the community for reuse, community contribution, and updates.

What does re-usable & updatable content look like?
Presenter/s Seamus Tuohy, Jun Matsushita (iilab)
Bio/s Seamus Tuohy is a Senior Technologist and Risk Advisor for Internews. He is one of the chief architects of the SAFETAG digital security risk assessment system and the designer and developer of the CoPilot censorship simulating trainer toolkit. Jun Matsushita is the director and founder of iilab, information innovation lab based in Berlin. iilab researches, designs and develops public interest technology projects.
Language English

Session Comments

Thanks to all the amazing participation in the workshop! Here are some links and for further digging into some of Seamus and Jun's work on this:

How content management usually works

  • How the content ecosystem looks like
    • Dissapearing Content
      • Once the funding runs out projects, or the people who can support and update them, disappear.
    • Hard to Update content
      • No easy way to add comments, contribute, or translate
      • Hard to update without skilled laborer (designer, programmer, etc)
    • Hard to re-use content
      • the source (raw text and images) is unavailable
      • Content is locked in formats that are hard to extract from (PDF)
      • Missing a license, or licensed against reuse or remixing
    • Hard to collaborate
  • How the CMS world looks like
    • (monolithic, strongly coupled, hard to maintain... )

Round table (1 or 2 minute max per person)

What you like most about their current content management workflow? What you find most painful ?

How it could work

Content as Code is an approach to develop workflows and technology to improve content re-use and maintainability.

It aims to make content authoring and management benefit from software engineering collaboration best practices.

Our design goals are to enable:

  • Focused Writing
  • Localisation and translation
  • Low barrier to collaboration
  • Track changes and manage contributions
  • Content Reuse
  • Multiple publication channels

The Human Aspect of Content

Tools, techniques, and tools for aiding the human aspect of content creation.

  • Track/Update
    • Website change trackers
    • RSS feeds
    • “If This Than That”
    • Bug/Issue/vulnerability trackers
    • Social media trackers
  • Edit
    • Collaborative Editing Environments
    • Markdown Previewers
    • Forking, Branching, and Revision Control
  • Maintain
    • Workflow Support
      • Auto-publishing based upon “review” tags
        • Publish (article) if tags==[draft_ready, editor_review]
        • works in most CMS’s
      • Using a CMS to publish alternative formats and markdown
        • Index’s
        • Document properties (updated time, type of document, etc.)
        • Raw markdown of content
          • Provided for others
          • Allows you to move away from an old CMS as needed
  • Publish
    • Publish to a format that can be used to publish to multiple other formats
      • Markdown -> Html -> PDF, Webpage, etc.
      • Markdown -> Docbook -> PDF, Webpage, etc.
    • Use Jenkins to auto “Internet Archive” your site
      • Auto-archive all links your site points to
      • Auto-archive your website every time you add new content
  • Notify
    • Jenkins and contacting list-serv’s, e-mails, twitter feeds, etc. that content has been updated
    • Building notifications into static documents so that end-users can seek out updated content manually
      • Embed html links auto-created to include the documents current version that link to generic to tell a reader if they are reading the most up to date link.
      • PDF’s can have active elements like buttons that can be used to check for updates and link back to the server,