Intelligent content is not something that everyone understands, yet it could be the single biggest recent development in the way that information is managed and presented, particularly by companies that have larger content management needs.
What Is Intelligent Content?
Content (text, images, etc.) that is created in a way that does not limit it to be used for only one purpose, within one technology or for only one output. This content became necessary because of the ever-increasing number of ways with which people consume content.
In a recent blog post, Stefan Gentz wrote that intelligent content must have three key attributes: it must be structurally rich, semantically aware, and be automatically discoverable and reusable.
Let’s break down each of these attributes to truly understand what they mean:
Structurally rich – Must be presented in a way that gives meaning to the structure. An example of this is a typical structure of a research document, which might include an abstract, purpose, results, and conclusions. The content itself is different from document to document, but the structure remains fairly consistent.
Semantically aware – semantically aware content has meaning beyond what the content itself is portraying. It is tagged with a description that tells us what it refers to, which is why it is easy to find and understand. For example, a web document might have information about author, date, and file size: this data tells us about the content itself, making it semantically aware.
Automatically discoverable and reusable – content that is discoverable is easy for users to come across and understand while reusable content can be shared across several different platforms without losing its impact. In the digital age, reusable content is critical because of how many different types of machines and devices people use to consume content.
Localization & Intelligent Content: A Great Match
It is especially important for localization efforts because of its strong emphasis on organization and reusability. For localization procedures, which often deal with repetitive content like product descriptions or directions, intelligent content makes translating one piece of content into multiple languages much easier. Intelligent structures can be re-used at different points in the localization process. Using the earlier example: if we know that we need to have abstract, results, purpose, and conclusion in every single translated version of a research paper, it becomes a less difficult task to provide that study in a different language.
This type of content allows you to break down parts of the translation process into smaller chunks. This is because the content itself is separated from its publishing format. Since your translated text does not have any impact on the layout itself, it's possible to handle translating the text and formatting it in two separate processes, saving both time and money.
You can achieve two critical localization goals: using fewer resources on translating content like studies, descriptions, and websites, and improving the end user experience by making it easier for your localization team to select more appropriate, culturally specific content for your audience.