How Do You Connect Content Silos

We’re talking about breaking down silos, like everyone could speak to and understand each other seamlessly if only we put all their offices together in one big room. But it does not work. It doesn’t work because the differences between us run deep, based on years of focusing on different areas of experience. And [silos] are necessary, because these different areas of experience are based on real jobs to be done and the language we develop that allows us to do them. Language diversity can be a barrier to communication, but it is an absolute necessity for all of us to do our respective jobs. (Diversity of experiences, not language, being the real barrier.)

“So we should focus not on tearing down walls but on building bridges.”

Doesn’t that sound ideal? Permeable silos  connected by bridges. I can practically hear the creaking and tumbling of the contents flowing, like so  many ears of corn, from silo to silo.

Who connects the silos?

I wonder how many companies build these kinds of bridges between silos. IBM is, at least to some extent, as Andrea Ames notes in a recent interview.

Phone Number

Beyond wondering who , I wonder how . How do content professionals permeate and connect silos? Where do we punch the holes? How do we build the stuff… connectors?

Looking for an answer, I returned to Enterprise Content Management . Turns out that connector stuff has a name.

Pedestrian crossings.

What is a pedestrian crossing?

To get started, let’s see how enterprise content management describes this term. I’m lifting this section verbatim with Ann’s permission in a sidebar that appears in the book (pages 196–7) titled Crosswalk :

“A simple example of the differences between the three systems is how a document is named. The CRM system refers to the name of a document such as a brochure find phone number in mexicowith the Title metadata tag. The KM system calls it Subject and the CMS uses a combination of information product and title. The CMS introduces additional complexity: it uses the title in multiple ways, because a title can exist at multiple levels in an XML document – for example, document title, section title, and subsection title are all considered titles, but are clarified by their location in the document hierarchy. [This figure] illustrates an example of a crosswalk.


Learn more about crosswalks

Pedestrian crossings. What a promising concept. Color Cyprus Phone Number List meintrigued! Unfortunately, my Google search turned up only a few articles, old ones written in academic language that doesn’t mean much to me (like the language found in Issues in Crosswalking Content Metadata Standards ).

So I wondered. How well do pedestrian crossings work? Who owns them? How are decisions made? Can crosswalks be as simple as a spreadsheet, as shown here? What other forms might they take? How can an organization prove its worth?

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