The Case for Dynamic Publishing
This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
Communicating has never been more difficult. The ubiquity of the Web, the explosive rise of blogs, wikis, and other social media, and the widespread adoption of smartphones and other hand-held devices have all raised consumer expectations — even as they drown us in a glut of information. And despite the barrage of information at consumers’ fingertips, retailers, manufacturers, and other companies struggle to market their products and services effectively; publishers race to deliver timely information to new media; and pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions, and government entities must work very hard to meet requirements to share and disclose information to protect public health, safety, and our general financial well-being. This is because when organisations finally do get the attention of their audience, communications are too often stale, inaccurate, inconvenient, or irrelevant.
Delivering high-quality information has never been easy, but in the past fifteen years, the challenges in doing so have exploded:
Product innovation comes faster and faster
Global expansion has become the key to revenue growth
Regulations in many industries have become tighter
Social media and digital devices are new and compelling media that you must satisfy, even while print and Web remain critically important
Dealing with these problems means overcoming the limitations of traditional publishing — the process that organisations use to create and deliver their communications — which was established years ago for the hand-crafted process of a print-only world.
In traditional print-based publishing, authors and designers not only create information but also design its appearance and control the layout of each page — a labor-intensive process that must be repeated for publishing to each medium in today’s cross-media world: Print, Web, e-mail, social, and digital. In addition, reusing information means copying and pasting, which creates redundant versions that must be reviewed, translated, and updated separately, for as long as the information lives. And with traditional methods of handing off projects from one person to the next, it’s a nightmare to keep track of who has what and where the latest version can be found.
The inefficiencies of traditional publishing lead to problems in the accuracy, relevance, and appearance of the information itself because there’s just too much work to do, too much room for error, and too many limitations to meet the demands of modern publishing. As a result, traditional publishing is cost-prohibitive and drains organisations of resources rather than supporting business goals.
Dynamic publishing offers the key to overcoming these drawbacks. Instead of asking authors and designers to hand-craft every page for every type of media, dynamic publishing shifts content creation to a structured approach using XML. XML is the basis for automating design, layout, and production, and it lets you quickly produce all of your document types on all media types and in all languages — whether you’re rolling out new materials or making minor changes to existing materials.
The automation of dynamic publishing not only streamlines the process and improves productivity and costs, it also lets you spend more time creating and improving your information and less time producing it. Improvements to your information quality can have significant impact on your ability to satisfy and even delight your audience.