Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Day: January 4, 2010

Publishing Perspective 2010

By Ted Treanor, Senior Publishing Consultant

Publishing predictions for 2010 abound. As a digital publishing pioneer and visionary, Ted Treanor has been well positioned ahead of the curve, with a unique vantage point to see what’s in store for the industry. At this tipping point, publishing convergence of print and digital has collided with mainstream. Let us know what you think of these predictions.

Let’s see if 13 predictions will be lucky for publishing.

  1. New eReading devices will proliferate. The market is responding like the California gold rush.  Not only will there be new companies launching in 2010, but big electronics firms will have their products. CES will be a haven for digital reading, which will astound everyone.
  2. Pricing experimentation will take center stage.
  3. Digital sales channels both retail and distribution will grow rapidly.
  4. The ePub standard (IDPF.org) will strengthen as an international industry standard. ePub will compete with PDF for the top format for commercial content.
  5. The big surprise this year will be the number of large recognized companies that will strategically target the digital publishing eReading and content space. At least one major communications infrastructure company (possibly wireless) will stake a claim through a publishing partnership. Other prime segments will be computer manufacturers and printer manufactures.
  6. Trade associations will scramble to stay relevant in their attempt to lead members through this time of convergence of print and digital.
  7. Content workflow using XML technologies will become standard for single source production to multiple print and digital editions.
  8. Publishers will attempt to build direct relationships with their reader customers…not very successfully in 2010.
  9. Technology and services companies will further enable authors for self-publishing and in their sales goals. At least one big name author will experiment in self-publishing in 2010.
  10. eCatalogs will become a standard tool in selling content to booksellers, librarians, etc..
  11. Digital galleys will gain in popularity.
  12. E-content will be grafted into print in innovative ways.
  13. New ebook data reports and ebook directories will become ‘must-have’ resources. Gilbane Group has a series of three publishing transformation reports planned in 2010.

Follow me on Twitter @ ePubDr

Focusing on the “Content” in Content Management

The growth in web-centric communication has created a major focus on content management, web content management , component content management, and so on. This interest is driven primarily by increasing demand for rich, interactive, accessible information products delivered via the Web. The focus is not misplaced but may be missing part of the point. To be specific, in our focus on the “management” part of CM, we may be missing the first word in the phrase…. “Content.”

It’s true that the application of increasing amounts of computer and brain power to the processes associated with preparing and delivering the kind of information demanded by today’s users can improve those products. But it does so within limits set by and at costs generated by the content “raw material” it gets from the content providers. In many cases, the content available to web product development processes is so structurally crude that it requries major clean-up and enhancement in order to adequately participate in the classification and delivery process. As the focus on elegant Web delivery increases, barring real changes in the condition of this raw content, the cost of enhancement is likely to grow proportionally, straining the involved organizations’ ability to support it.

The answer may be in an increased focus on the processes and tools used to create the original content. We know that the original creator of most content knows the most about how it should be logically structured and most about the best way to classify it for search and retrieval. Trouble is, in most cases, we provide no means of capturing what the creator knows about his or her intellectual product. Moreover, because many creators have never been able to fully populate the metadata needed to classify and deliver their content, in past eras, professional catalogers were employed to complete this final step. In today’s world, however, we have virtually eliminated the cataloger, assuming instead that the prodigious computer power available to us could develop the needed classification and structure from the content itself. That approach can and does work, but it will require better raw material if it is to achieve the level of effectiveness needed to keep the Web from becoming a virtual haystack in which finding the needle is more good luck than good measure. Native XML editors instead of today’s visually oriented word processors, spreadsheets, graphics and other media forms with content-specific XML under them, increased use of native XML databases and a host of rich content-centric resources are part of this content evolution.

Most important, however, may be promulgation of the realization across society that creating content includes more than just making it look good on the screen, and that the creator shares in that responsibility. This won’t be an easy or quick process, requiring more likely generations than years, but if we don’t begin soon, we may end up with a Web 3 or 4 or 5.0 trying to deliver content that isn’t even yet 1.0.

China-Based CSOFT Launches TermWiki

CSOFT International Ltd., a provider of multilingual localization, testing, and outsourced software development for the global market, announced the upcoming launch of TermWiki, a multilingual, collaborative and Wiki-based terminology management system for the the localization industry. TermWiki comes with enhanced Google-like fuzzy match search capabilities, automated notification features, detailed accessibility and user profile management, a structured dispute resolution infrastructure, image and video support, as well as customizable forms embedded in the system to facilitate compliance with relevant ISO standards for the presentation of terminological data categories. TermWiki is scheduled for public release this spring. http://www.csoftintl.com

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