Content transformation is the process of making existing content more versatile and reusable. It’s about liberating content that is locked inside legacy formats and transforming it into a library of modular and dynamic content assets.

In this blog series, we look at each of the four steps of content transformation. For a more detailed resource, including content transformation best practices and an overview of the content transformation toolkit, download our eBook Content Transformation: Breathing New Life into Legacy Content.

Step 1: Locate Your Content

If your company is like most, you have a huge amount of legacy content and it is difficult to locate all the content that has been created over the years. Clearly, the first thing you need to do to transform your legacy content is to find it.

Before you run away screaming, remember that you don’t need to transform every piece of legacy content all at once, “just in case.” Curate and analyze your content first to identify pieces that are relevant to your customers and useful to your authors.

In many cases, enterprise documents contain a mix of relevant and irrelevant content. Typically, expert editors and authors can analyze and identify content that is most likely to require transformation. Subject matter experts might be needed to assess highly specialized content.

Where To Look

You might be surprised at where your content has gotten to over the years. Here is a sample checklist to start your content discovery:

  • Every repository
    • Document control systems (SharePoint, Egnyte, Documentum)
    • CMS
    • WebCMS
    • CCMS
    • LMS
    • Support knowledgebase (Salesforce, Zendesk, ticketing systems)
  • Network shares
  • People’s hard drives
  • Email
  • Confluence and other wikis
  • In-product content
  • Backs of napkins
  • Slack channels
  • Proprietary publishing systems
  • GitHub and other source code management tools
  • Jira, Trello, and other Agile systems

Document the Content Inventory

A spreadsheet can be very helpful for documenting your content inventory. Include information that will help you make decisions about how to handle the content.

For example:

  • Filename
  • Location
  • Topic
  • Date of latest update
  • Writer
  • Analytics that show if the content is still in use or popular

Inventories can be time-consuming to create. However, if you don’t know which content you have, you can’t decide which content you need to transform.

Now that you have located your content, you’re ready to move on to Step 2: Decide Which Content to Transform.

Content Transformation: Breathing New Life into Legacy Content

Ready to liberate content from legacy formats? Want to transform it into modular, dynamic content assets? This eBook shows you how.

Val Swisher
Latest posts by Val Swisher (see all)