Collaborative content modeling: Interdisciplinary techniques for less painful projects

Room Lakeshore A
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Well-structured, reusable content is a critical part of modern digital projects, but keeping the entire team in sync about what that means can be a communications nightmare. Developers, designers, content editors, and stakeholders all care about different aspects of the content—and use different tools to capture their pieces of the puzzle.

The good news is that these different views don’t have to conflict. By using each discipline’s perspectives to inform the others, we can gain a clearer and richer understanding of the content—avoiding common pitfalls, developing better lines of communication, and spotting often-overlooked opportunities for improvement.

In this workshop, we’ll play the role of a project’s launch team—discovering and designing a content model from scratch, then iterating it as we examine the requirements through the eyes of each discipline. We’ll study what various content-related deliverables capture, what they leave out, and what situations they’re best suited for.

Along the way, we’ll:

  • Learn how different disciplines visualize and document content models.
  • Use familiar tools and deliverables to coordinate those disciplines during the planning process.
  • Communicate the right content model insights to the right stakeholders at the right time.
  • Keep everyone on the same page as evolving requirements force last-minute changes.

About Jeff Eaton

In 1983, Jeff Eaton used a Fisher-Price Printing Press to publish a neighborhood newspaper. Today, he helps large and small companies build and deploy their own publishing platforms. As a digital strategist with Lullabot Inc., he’s worked with clients including Sony/BMG Music, Fast Company and Inc. Magazine, World Wrestling Entertainment, Verizon Wireless, MSNBC, and more.

He’s a frequent writer and speaker at web and open source conferences; the host of the Insert Content Here content strategy podcast; co-author of the first edition of O’Reilly Media’s Using Drupal; and a shameless fan of well-curated ephemera collections. In a previous life, he worked as a freelance writer and a copy editor, jobs that he recalls fondly while building editorial tools for today’s content teams.

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