Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Building for Content Syndication.

Tom Masciovecchio, Director of Publishing Systems, Simon and Schuster discussed building a system for the purpose of content syndication. He noted that trade publishers have different needs for their product when compared with STM publishers, fewer opportunities to re-use and re-purpose content chunks.

That in itself is an important consideration for publishers in approaching the shift to XML. Andy Feit had said earlier that Mark Logic wanted to help publishers of content maximize the value of their content. What did the publisher hope to achieve? Simon and Schuster, in dealing with ordinary books actually have fewer opportunities for re-using chunks of their information. If I understood the speaker's meaning correctly, they recognize the potential for syndication but they are still in the early stages of forming the strategy and are moving primarily to make themselves ready at the right moment. (Note: that's my interpretation of his comments, not statements made by that speaker.) They do realize that they must adapt in order to keep their authors satisfied.

Their focus has been on developing a digital warehouse that would house three key elements of the content (the book content itself, the bibliographic information associated with that specific book title, and most importantly for trade publishing, key rights information.)

I think I had encountered the meat of Tom's presentation at another conference in terms of the S&S rationale for building their digital warehouse. What I hadn't realized or heard elsewhere was the process by which they are transforming their book content into digital XML form. They create PDF files of the book content which are then OCR'ed and the OCR is subsequently tagged in XML. They have not yet disrupted existing production processes.

No comments: