Tame the Content Injection Monster

Content Injection, or rendering Content Types (Component Presentations in Tridion) within the context of another Content Type (Component Presentation) is a powerful content management option.

But be careful it doesn't wreck havoc in your implementations and become a monster to manage.

Run! It's the multi-level, deeply-nested content injected monster!
Source: TridionWorld, with a minor tweak and much respect to the authors--
I regularly cite this article in my own engagements..

Guess the Tridion Blogger

For an SDL CMT WCM knowledge sharing event I presented on the Tridion community (of course!). Tired of explaining the “why” behind sharing, I asked my colleagues for help before the presentation with these questions:
  • Why did you start blogging?
  • What was the hardest part?
  • What do you like the best?
And "Any other thoughts, questions, or feedback on blogging and the SDL Tridion technical community?"

In summary my peers responded:
  • The top reason was to share and contribute, to help others. In second place was, “because Alvin told me too.”
  • The hardest part was starting, finding good topics, and finding motivation and/or time. Though we should keep our audience in mind, it’s paradoxically easiest when we share what’s important to us, not worrying about the audience.
  • The best part for most of my colleagues was seeing how their contributions were actually used and referenced.
Responses also focused on the people aspect of sharing with themes on respect, learning from each other, earned prestige, and of course, beer... I mean meeting new friends.

No time? To address the lack of time and challenge in finding topics, I just offered: “Raise your hand if you were asked a question in the last week or so.” I then asked how often we answer the same questions over and over. These answers would make good topics to share—you’ve already done the thinking and writing, just remove sensitive details. You don’t even need to give away everything.

If you’re still looking for topics, see what SDL sharers have blogged about (Tag Clouds via wordle.net). See if you can guess who’s who by the terms alone. ;-)

Less is More? Just Enough is More.

Take a look at your last boarding pass or your next one if you haven't traveled lately.

Source Stock.Xchang

What's on it?
  • Airline?
  • Gate Number?
  • Departure time?
  • Or Boarding time?
  • Arrival time? No, why not?
Notice what's not on there. As a "user of boarding passes" I appreciate the fact the numbers, times, and information are completely relevant to what I'm trying to do at the time, which is usually getting my butt to the gate with time to spare.
Next time you're thinking about content, maybe as part of a content model in a "Lift and Shift" CMS Project or even in your next PowerPoint slide deck, consider a less-is-more approach.

Or better yet, measure the impact of your content in the context it's used and go for just-enough-is-more.

New New Tridion Best Practices

With the release of SDL Tridion 2013, I'll be managing CreateAndBreak with my test 2013 VM.

Just a few content types at-a-time!

Device Preview renders the site nicely as well. 
SDL Tridion 2013 introduces Bundles, which are virtual folders that allow authors the ability to manually group and add items to an organizational item (rather than by search).

Combine this with the Core Service's role as the API behind-the-scenes for the Content Manger Explorer editor and we can create three new best practices:

  • Core Services Instead of Templating (One API for everything!)
  • The Single-Folder Setup (It's All Bundles)
  • Return of the All-in-One-Component (Beyond Content Forward or Page Backwards)