This is the third part of a five part series on how enterprise 2.0 tools can work for an enterprise of one, myself in this case. I decided the three main sections are one: content monitoring, two: content collecting, assembling, and creation, and three: content publishing and archiving. Step two then reaches into both step one and step three for new content. I also enlisted the help of Gil Yehuda, former analyst at Forrester Research. Here is my current approach to step three - Content Collecting, Assembling, and Creation.
This is where I am certainly more old-school. If a content source is something I want to comment on or save for my blog consulting work, I open a Word doc, copy the title and link and sometimes the entire text. I may title the doc with the proposed title for the related blog post. Then I put it in a to-do folder for one of the four main blogs I write or a new ideas folder for the consulting work. Of course, I sometimes use the content for both purposes. This gets the material saved and in the queue. I can then delete the original email or newsletter to keep my inbox and desktop from becoming overwhelmed. Some content just dies here but the good stuff gets passed on to become a post or some other published content.
I will next create the actual blog post or other content piece using Word. If it is content based on an interview, I can easily send the post through email for fact checking to the interviewee. This is a courtesy I always do to make sure I took good notes. However, I retain control over the final version of the content.
Once I am finished I have to do a “save as” to a plain text .txt file to strip out much of the unwanted html code that Word adds to a document. I also have to take extra steps in Typepad to limit any html import as it can do a number of bad things such as mess the RSS feed. I always save the plain text doc once it is posted as a desktop back up to what gets put in the cloud through the blog platform. If then are multiple materials such as illustrations, I will create a folder for the piece.
I think that Microsoft should create away for content to be easily exported from Word to blogs. There are a lot of people out there writing blogs and this would give these blog writers fewer reasons to move away from Word. I have even mentioned this to Microsoft on occasion.
Now this process is adequate, but not ideal. The pain is not enough to push me into a more enterprise 2.0 solution but there is some pain. I also wanted to potentially be more consistent with what I write about so this step is where I enlisted the majority of Gil Yehuda’s help. He offered a desktop alternative and a cloud alternative. I will cover them in the next post.