20 April 2012

Content flow, HuffPost to TJ, but when?

Six degrees of aggregation, subtitled How The Huffington Post ate the Internet, by Michael Shapiro, is important if you want to understand where the Huffington Post phenomenon came from and is going. Towards the end, Shapiro gives in passing some insights into the impact that improved content flow management has had on the production and distribution of journalism.

Although I have never presented my ideas on combined translation and content flow management to the graphics industry, I believe that a revolution like that produced by the HuffPost will eventually lead to radical change in the TJ and technical translation industries. The big questions are when and how.

HuffPost, a sophisticated online newspaper/blog, is produced using Movable Type social publishing platform (i.e. blogging software).

A change from established content flows for printed documents (typically MS Word for drafting, InDesign or similar for layout, then pdfs and email for corrections; all of this first for the source version then for each translated version) and for web documents (idem except that InDesign is replaced by Dreamweaver or similar) to a workflow using open source products like Movable Type and powerful browser-based interfaces for source and translation input could result in considerable savings and faster turnaround. For technical communicators and translators who like to dream with rose-tinted glasses, this could even lead to customers spending less time and money with graphics agencies and more -- possibly even much more -- on top-flight writing and translation services.

Ah well... We're all free to dream, aren't we.

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