Home > Collaborative Authoring > Single Source vs. Dynamic Source

Single Source vs. Dynamic Source

I recently became aware of a conversation among technical writers: single vs. dynamic source.  Tom Johnson and Michael Hiatt cover the topic at length, and pretty soon a podcast of the two interviewing will exist.  My goal is to expose you to the discussion.

Single sourcing means you create all your content in one place (e.g. in Flare or RoboHelp), publish the finished product, and go back periodically to update it. That’s worked for a long time, but since the world changes, so do our methods.  Now that the world is so connected, something more along the lines of dynamic sourcing is possible.  I say “more along the lines of dynamic sourcing” because there isn’t a formal system for that quite yet.

Dynamic sourcing will take over because it makes it easier to address all of the issues that arise with any given program. The term, dynamic sourcing, means your finished product is always changing (and it’s always changing because anyone can contribute to it).  Instead of having one person discover all of the issues associated with the product, several people can contribute their ideas to better it.  In short, dynamic sourcing will take over because of the “two heads are better than one” principle.

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