July 2024
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I frequently use the following terms in my presentations and blog posts.

Term Definition
Content Management System (CMS) Method of storing and retrieving content. At its simplest, CMS is simply the folder structure and file structure that you use to keep track of your content. More typically, CMS is used to refer to a software application or system that automates workflow, facilitates storage and retrieval of content, and assists teams in maximizing re-use.
Content Model The guidelines, templates, frameworks used to formalize the structure of your content and establish the relationships between content modules. The model helps you determine the granularity and structure of your modules. (Ann Rockley, pg 133 of Managing Enterprise Content)
Content Module A single chunk of content that can be re-used in its entirety. Modules are typically 1-2 paragraphs in the case of descriptive text; a single warning, caution, or note; a procedure (or, in some cases, a step within a procedure)
Content Strategy The vision and goals used to determine when, where, and how content will be used, archived, or deactivated, as well as ownership, business goals, and so on. This strategy can be at the department level or at the enterprise level. The content model uses the strategy to ensure that the overall business goals are being achieved.
Controlled language Any process or methodology that restricts vocabulary in a systematic way. STE is one specification; Caterpillar uses another, the Plain Language movement promotes another.
Double-byte language Language that requires 2 bytes (16 bits) of computer memory to store a single character. Examples are Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
Globalization Aligning the product design, marketing, packaging, and support materials with a global product strategy.
Ideographic language Language that uses a single character to represent a concept or entire word. Examples include Chinese, some Japanese scripts, Korean, etc.
Internationalization Creating a flexible system architecture and processes for the product and documentation so that they can be easily customized to meet the needs of a specific locale. Generally focuses on the technical side of globalization.The key idea is that this process is accomplished in the source documentation.
Locale The combination of culture, region, and language that make an area unique.
Localization The process of taking a product or service then reviewing and modifying it so that it is acceptable to a specific locale.The key idea here is that this process creates the target.
Metadata Information about information. Metadata allows you to find and track content. Examples include index entries, keywords, the summary window that you can fill out in Word, etc.
Modularization The process of determining how granular your content needs to be to be most effective.
Modular writing The process of creating content so that each chunk is largely self-contained and at the most effective level of granularity to maximize re-use.
Scripts The system of characters used to write a language. One script can be used for many languages, or you can have multiple scripts for a single language.
Simplified Technical English (STE) The specification for using a controlled vocabulary to make the English easier to understand and to reduce localization costs. The formal name is ASD-STE100.
Single-byte language Language where each character requires 1 byte (8 bits) of computer storage space. Examples include all European languages and most other non-ideographic languages.
Single sourcing The process of writing one time and using the same content in many places without modification.
Source The locale in which a document or product originates.
Strategic Planning The process of determining direction for a company or department. This process involves figuring out where you are now and where you want to be, as well as high-level goals for getting to where you want to be. Good strategic plans include cost/benefit analysis, a timeline, high-level goals, metrics for measuring success, and priorities for which goals are most important to the success of the plan. Such plans are also “living documents”, with the flexibility to make changes should the need arise.
Structured writing The use of XML or other tagging language to create a consistent structure and tags for the content so that it can be reused more easily.
SWOT Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Marketing-speak for a form of analysis that helps you analyze your company’s current status. Also called a SWOT analysis (the ‘w’ stands for weakness). Strengths and weaknesses are things within the company that impact your strategy (e.g., training needs, strong change management process). Opportunities and threats are things outside the company that impact your strategy (e.g., scientific breakthrough that you can capitalize on, competitor files a patent on something that you are working on)
Target The locale into which the document or product is transferred.
Time to Market The length of time it takes to get a product from design to availability to the customer.
Translation The process of taking information in one language and transferring it to another language. A good translator considers not only the text itself, but also the conventions, idioms, and expectations of the audience for the target language