13 March 2014
2014 is shaping up as a very interesting digital content publishing year. In addition to book publishers, we are working with government, magazine/newsletter, enterprise and institution publishers ...
Oops. (Somewhat embarrassed)I forgot to include the blog post link as very kindly pointed out by Dave Cramer (@dauwhe).
Here it is. Digital Content Publishing Diversity
Sorry about that.
2014 is shaping up as a very interesting digital content publishing year. In addition to book publishers, we are working with government, magazine/newsletter, enterprise and institution publishers who need complete digital content strategies.
By the end of February we had:
Meanwhile the K-12 education textbook conversion and interactive upgrade projects are ramping up while academic and trade content continue on their steady paths.
The interesting trends we see are:
There appears to be a rapid digital content publishing evolution underway that is not being addressed by yesterdays tools.
Government, institution and business organizations have long published valuable content using print, file exchange and website tools such as CMS or LMS. Apparently these solutions are not working as well, or perhaps comprehensively, as they need to be.
desktop applications... are a graveyard
for valuable content that needs
a long-term digital future.
There is also a clear message that people with significant valuable digital content have realizing computer desktop applications, such as InDesign, Quark, Sigil, Calibre, etc. are productivity and quality inhibitors. Worse they are a graveyard for valuable content that needs a long-term digital future. Conversion now tools do not deliver a digital content future.
DAM and ECM systems sort-of address some of these issues as storage cupboards for some aspects of digital content but there is a very big difference between 1) use-once and store for statutory compliance business documentation and 2) formally published information. The published information tends to be a very bad fit in ECM systems.
The days of treating publishable content as a static asset that can be stuffed away in some file format, into some sort of file management system, is passing very fast. And so it should.
Here is our list of publishers by organization type we have worked with this year:
Here are some of our 2014 " publishing projects with a difference" in a little more detail. These new digital content projects certainly make you stop and think about the nature of publishing in general and the potential power of digital content fulfilment and delivery as either a compliment (in the near term) or alternative to print.
The National Health Service CQC (Care Quality Commission) has to create and distributed hundreds of reports each month on all aspects of the health care system in every corner of the UK. The large, detailed and formal reports go through a Word document authoring and review process, then typesetting and finally independent extraction of the content for selective content availability on a reporting website. They needed the reports in PDF, Online in two documentation systems and (new) available as e-books. It was a pure digital content publishing play.
The solution had to eliminate production costs, simplify the author and review process and get the reports into all formats instantly and automatically.
IGP:Digital Publisher had ALL the required publishing tools in place. We demonstrated the importing of the Word files and instant output of the formats. It was so successful they requested an Online forms report authoring system rather than going through a Word document. The solution was implemented in a matter of a week or two and was executed in a six-weeks with available, proven and reliable digital publishing production technology; IGP:Digital Publisher.
An organization has monthly newsletters that need to be translated into 206 (yes that is two-hundred and six) languages and published at the same time in six formats: print PDF, online PDF, ePub, ePub3, Mobi and antiquated PDB (in two variants). Different editions, formats and languages have different advertisements, inclusions and detail requirements.
This had turned into an unmanageable workflow nightmare on the desktop, and many formats could not be delivered.
Each month the English master word processor manuscript is sent to the translators and the translation is returned in two weeks. The translation manuscripts are then imported into IGP:Digital Publisher, are processed and are instantly ready for format generation. IGP:Digital Publisher handles the mapping of language fonts to language templates using dozens of prepared Font Schemes. The interesting challenge of this was to ensure the languages and fonts are correctly handled. ISO 639-1 really works!
In IGP:Digital Publisher the workflow is sparse, easy and the formats can be modified or increased at any time.
We are now evaluating the addition of a custom bulk format generation module so all six formats for a monthly project of 206 language editions (1,236 formats) can be auto generated as a single operation and sent to a distribution system. Everything else is standard IGP:Digital Publisher.
Business document strategies have relied on a combination of PDF and online resources for a long time. Solutions like DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture ) systems, generic CMS and InDesign for print were adequate in slower business days. Now they are proving incredibly expensive and in most cases cannot generate the required delivery formats and packages.
There is now a strong requirement for all-of-the-above plus off-line digital content delivered for mobile devices. More importantly is the ability to maintain, change and update content faster and more reliably and break the print production hardcoding and delivery deadlocks.
A highly designed print brochure can be replicated as a fixed layout ePub as many publishers do. However this business wants to be able to use the digital assets dynamically as well as for the production of print and e-catalogues. That is another story.
We have implemented a number of digital archive projects in the past but these are again coming to the fore with the requirement for easy content access, search and format packaging while upholding digital archiving best practices. There are a few projects in the wings which we may be able to report shortly (we have to respect the NDAs). The projects are to make massively important historical scientific and cultural documents available for research and education.
Publishing used to be easy before the age of the Internet when all content was nicely segregated into audio, video and print and made available through their respective retail outlets.
Today the content delivery dimensions
have become even more complex
With the internet, publishing became a little more diverse and separated into boxes with web pages being delivered with Content Management Systems (CMS) and other technologies such as Learning Management Systems (LMS). While CMS is good for online content delivery it simply doesn't have the power, flexibility and tagging patterns for advanced, multi-format, digital content production and management.
Today the content delivery dimensions have become even more complex with all the above plus Apps/Web-apps and standard or custom e-book formats and the market expectation that published information will be available digitally. Here are the main digital content publishing delivery options:
There is also considerable additional complexity because we have to consider the inclusion of sub-structures for any but the most simple content. By this I mean:
The final dimension is the production and content complexity of any publishing works. Depending on the type of publishing all of the following are factors:
Why is producing and delivering such a wide range of content genres so easy in the IGP production solution domain? The answer is simple. IGP:FoundationXHTML.
All digital content (except print) is delivered in HTML, why use some arcane XML that has to be expensively processed to create the outputs. ().
We discovered the power and sense of using XHTML in 2007 with a half-million document digitization and archiving project for a University. That included journals, theses, exam papers, books journals and archive documents.
The advantage of (X)HTML(5)
is the content is presentation ready
in production and in any package.
Ultimately the quality of digital content production, ownership and publisher distribution never gets better than the structural, semantic and processing grammars used to manage it. Then the tools can exploit that quality and consistency of tagging. The advantage of (X)HTML(5) is the content is presentation ready in production and in any package.
Most valuable publisher content is not digital distribution ready (although it may be web ready), while there is an emerging need to manage government, institutional and corporate information that has published content value as distributable content for multi-format delivery
Future digital content production solutions will not be found looking at the existing tools, techniques and skill sets. Irrespective of the size of the publisher, the production dimensions of digital content ownership are:
The solutions discussed in this post all use IGP:FoundationXHTML and are built on off-the-shelf or modified versions of IGP:Digital Publisher and AZARDI:Content Fulfilment. These are tools designed for the current and emerging challenges of modern digital content publishing. They work because they are built on tried, tested digital and proven digital content production axioms.
Posted by Richard Pipe