We’ve come to the end of our ten-part series “Ten Golden Rules of Global Content Strategy.” In the time since I started this series, the topic of global content has become even more high-profile. I seem to read about global content almost on a daily basis. And it’s only been a few months.

There is no doubt that we are a content-driven society. Yes, we are in the “technology revolution.” However, technology really powers content, much like heavy equipment powered factory production during the industrial revolution. Combine the plethora of content with the ever-flattening world, and you get an explosion of words, images, sounds, and video that are reaching more and more borders.

The next decade is going to pose some real challenges for people who create, manage, and localize content. Websites are already hundreds of pages deep. Many companies have already lost track of what they have created and distributed. This is why content strategy has become so critical and we have seen the advent of C-level positions in the content arena (for example, Chief Content Officer).

As I like to say, once you go global, complexity exponentiates. For example, managing your source language and four foreign languages does not mean you have only five  languages to worry about. There are so many possible permutations of what-content-is-in-what-language-for-what-country-on-what-page that simple math just goes by the wayside.

Also driving the content tornado are mobile devices. Global mobile content strategy is another topic with its own issues. But combine all the content * all the languages * all the devices, and those issues can be downright overwhelming.

So, what’s a content person to do? Well, to start with, I recommend getting really smart about a number of basic content strategy topics:

  • Content management systems
  • Content modeling and structure
  • Structured authoring
  • Taxonomy
  • Reuse

And then I’d add in global content topics:

  • Global management systems (or global content management systems)
  • Terminology management systems
  • Translation memory
  • Localization and translation workflow
  • Machine translation

Armed with the right background information, you will be able to help your company (or your customers) wrangle all of that pesky, never-ending global content and beat it into submission.

And, if you need help, please give Content Rules a call.

What was your favorite topic in the series? What topic(s) are missing that you’d like to see covered? Drop me a line or respond in the comments below. And thanks for reading!

Val Swisher
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