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Beyond the Web

While the concept of content strategy was popularized with the Web, it doesn’t end there. Just as mobile has caused content strategists to rethink their content for mobile devices, the proliferation of other types of customer-facing content is forcing content strategists to rethink their entire corporate content strategy.

Take eBooks, for example, which are creating just as large a shift in content delivery (refer to Chapter 4, “Publishing”) as mobile is, and which are not just an alternative delivery vehicle for print books. PDF versions of white papers are being replaced by eBook versions, and annual reports are also being produced as eBooks with interactive graphs, videos, and audio. Anything that potentially requires offline access or encapsulated reading can, and is, being distributed as eBooks or enhanced eBooks.

Likewise, product content such as online help and manuals is starting to see a shift toward mobile access, and there’s increasing pressure for learning teams to develop mobile learning materials and eBooks as well.

Content is moving into very different delivery vehicles, such as third-party electronic point of sale (EPOS) apps, which necessitate the integration of extremely modular content that’s updated frequently.

Currently, too many organizations create content in something like Microsoft Word, move it into a particular format such as HTML, and then get stuck when it needs to be delivered in another channel such as print. There’s a constant churn of preparing content for one format, extracting that content and preparing it for another, and potentially bringing any changed content back to the first format. These processes are incredibly manual, error-prone, painful, and ultimately they’re unsustainable.

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