Screens, Research and Hypertext

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Create Once, Publish Everywhere

Write something one time. Use it in multiple places. What's not to love?

When you write and store your content modularly, you can reuse it in all sorts of interesting ways. You might hear this referred to as “create once, publish everywhere” (shortened to “COPE”) or “single-source publishing.” Those are both pretty dry and technical.

I prefer to think of it as Content Everywhere.

You write, edit, and approve a single source of content. Since the content is modular, you can create different combinations of modules.

And thanks to the Internet’s magic robots (more formally known as Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs), you can push different content combinations to different platforms. You might send a photo and some tags to Instagram, combine those with a factoid and send them to Twitter, or send the photo and a short summary or pull quote to Facebook. Package a longer set of paragraphs with some images and charts and send those to your blog and to Medium.

Animation showing content being entered into a form and then moving to multiple different formats.

Modular content gets pushed from your CMS (left) to a variety of platforms

Don't tell anyone I said so, but you can even assemble your modular content into PDFs. (No one will read 'em, though.)

For more context

What do you mean by modular content?

What to read next

Why would we want to publish everywhere? We already have a website.

Other items of interest

This has been true since at least 2014. Seriously.

My readers need to print PDFs in order to write in the margins!

What does a shift to "create once, publish everywhere" mean for how we think about research communications?