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- By Michele Marques, Associate Manager - Information Design and Development

 

Some people are surprised when they hear that my team is providing information in a documentation wiki - and especially that my team is authoring content in the wiki. DITA and XML content management systems are hot, and some of my STC colleagues are concerned that I'll lose out on content reuse.

 

How does reuse help?

As an author, when you reuse existing content, you don't have to write that content. You benefit from reviews and edits on the reused content. And, if you have a process beyond copy and paste, you can automatically get the updates made to the reused content.

 

As a reader, when content is reused, you get the advantage of consistency - the same information appears exactly the same in all locations. For example, if several products use the same reporting console, the general information about how to use the reporting console would be identical. If the content was not being reused, it might be different - and you might be left wondering which version was the most accurate or the most complete.

 

Can you reuse content on the wiki?

This depends on what wiki you're using. Confluence wiki has features to reuse an entire topic (include) or excerpts of a topic (multi-excerpt include).

 

Can anyone reuse my content?

This depends on who you mean by "anyone" and what you mean by "reuse."  Anyone authoring on a Confluence wiki can reuse any content on that same Confluence wiki instance, and will get the benefits that I mentioned above.

 

Other people are able to copy and paste from the wiki, or export wiki topics to XML or Word formats. This doesn't provide the benefit of automatic updates, but you can sign up for notification when topics are updated. However, do keep in mind that all content on docs.bmc.com is copyright by BMC.

The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.

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