Personalisation overload: when conditional content goes wild!

This post is re-blog to point you to some content that I created for the venerable Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL) lab repository of webinars, articles and other learning materials. There are two articles and webinar all around the same topic. All three have their own unique points although there is some cross-over to supply different perspectives and levels of depth.

These sessions are more in-depth and generally for those who are looking to understand how to take an advanced technique like content personalisation through inline tagging, and take it to the next level. The management-level overview, however, is designed to be accessible by one and all, and not restricted to techcomm, DITA or another other subset of communicator. It’s useful for anyone trying to understand or explain what conditional audience profiling is, why it’s useful, and how it goes out of control if not properly managed..

The outline of the webinar gives you a good sense of what is contained in all three:

The Overview

Don’t know what conditional content is? Over-using it already? Considering using it in future (in DITA or not)? Need to explain to management why they are ruining your career? Then this session is for you!

Conditional profiling or just “using conditions” exists to address a very valid business need: the ability to specify small fragments of content as being specific to given target scenarios, products, platforms or other audience subsets. It tends however to raise as many questions as it answers: Is it the best tool for the job? Can we do contextually-specific content without conditional content? In highly reuse-friendly standards (e.g. DITA) can you still go overboard? If you do use, when is it a good option vs. not?

The session will address these questions in a clear and visual way, helping you understand how conditions go wrong and what to do when that happens.

Conditions have a dangerous quality of starting out very simple and intuitive and eventually becoming truly nightmarish. Many content-rich environments are either manually copy-and-pasting between various deliverables, or they are drowning in conditions already, while management batters them for more specific and tailored outputs. This session is led by international content strategist and structure specialist Noz Urbina of Urbina Consulting and it will provide you:

  • A way to clarify conditional overload to yourself and to others (especially managers!)
  • The positives and negatives to using conditions at all
  • Best practices around deciding, “How much is too much?”
  • A look at techniques to simplify their use

The links


Article – Part 1

Article – Part 2



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