Why “Shaping Information”?

To make information actionable, authors must shape it into stories. Classification and management systems must help this narrative process.

Professional communication should have a carefully shaped narrative flow, for example leading readers from known facts to new, or alternating abstract concepts with illustrative examples. It must progress to a clear and actionable ending. To no small degree, authors have to tell stories.

Yet other shapes are applied to content as it’s drafted, reviewed, and released. These shapes are expressed in structured content types, taxonomies, and database fields. These technical structures can support the first kind of structure: the narrative flow, making it easier for authors to sequence their ideas and for readers to find what they’ve written. However, the technology and processes sometimes get in the way, stripping context from content and burdening authors with trivial tasks.

How can we develop technical and formal structures that let information tell a story? My posts here explore this.