DCL/The Content Strategy of Things Q&A

Q&A With Scriptorium's Bill Swallow On "The Content Strategy of Things"


On November 28, 2017, Bill Swallow, Director of Operations, Scriptorium Publishing, presented the webinar “The Content of Things”. The response was so good that we reached out to Bill for a quick interview to get more insights on his webinar. Here's the interview:

  1. Q: What are the advantages of using the “hierarchy of content needs” model?

    A: The hierarchy of content needs can be used to quickly assess where you are with regard to IoT readiness. Knowing where your content stands, you can then begin to piece together what needs to happen to move it to the next level.

  3. Q: In the “hierarchy of needs” model, what does "mechanically connected" mean and how does one go about to make sure their content is mechanically connected?

    A: "Mechanically" may have been me misspeaking, but content needs to be interconnected. Every piece of content needs to be associated with an ID be referenced by other related content pieces. This way synonyms can be substituted when contextually appropriate, and other related information can be passed along with the content depending on the use case.

  5. Q: What do you mean by “rich metadata”? When it comes to strategy governance, how often should we review ours to see if it is still relevant (i.e. are we supporting all formats and/or external publishing systems; are our goals still aligned, etc)?

    A: Metadata should identify every pertinent aspect of the content (audience, purpose, language, geographic targets, context, applicable devices/formats, and much more). Depending on your authoring approach and content model, you can use inheritance models to facilitate much of this, so you don't need to tag each and every piece of content with every attribute.

    As for governance, much of your metadata should derive from your taxonomies and business needs. As these change, you will need to review and likely modify pieces as needed.

  7. Q: Akin to the W3C Consortium, is there a central standard for the IoT (given that you are talking XML and that this is open and extensible).

    A: There are many standards surrounding the IoT, but not for source content development and content management. That is, there is no one XML content model designed for the IoT (and for this level of interoperability it does need to be XML). Most internet-enabled devices currently share information/data but do not pass human-consumable content through to other devices. This leaves content development focused on one target device. However, as we've seen through single sourcing and multichannel publishing, pass-through content is very likely a trend that will catch on as more and more devices join the IoT.


Bill Swallow

Bill Swallow, Director of Operations at Scriptorium, specializes in content strategy with an emphasis on handling challenging localization and terminology scenarios. With two decades in technical communication, Bill has extensive experience in technology implementation, localization, and management. His experience on both the client and vendor side of localization has made him (rather painfully) aware of all of the potential pitfalls in content localization, from technology considerations to workflows to writing practices.