Collaborative Authoring Trends and Costs
How do you go from 5 authors to 47, all collaborating on the same documentation? This is the issue Anne Gentle wrestles with in her post Collaborative Authoring -- Tools and Costs. She explores everything from Author-it Live to Drupal, Mediawiki, Alfresco, and SharePoint, including cost breakdowns for each tool.
Anne also cites research from Forrester about the rising trend of collaborative authoring:
37% of organizations surveyed in Forrester's Q4 2008 enterprise and SMB software survey consider implementing a collaboration strategy important in 2009
I think collaborative authoring will continue to grow in the future. Large, expensive solutions may give way to more popular, open-source options. As more groups adopt open-source solutions, the open-source solutions will become stronger. Any time you have thousands of developers and users behind a platform, they create a surge of extensions and themes, hacks and tutorials, enhancements and workarounds.
No single project team can compete with the collective contributions of thousands of developers on a global scale. And just maybe -- here's a thought -- the best platforms for collaborative authoring are those platforms that are collaboratively constructed themselves.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.