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Scott Abel
The Content Wrangler

Content reuse is one of the biggest benefits content management provides. Effective reuse of content improves productivity, reduced inconsistency, and makes content more accessible. In this installment of In the news, you'll find links to resources that can help you master the fundamentals of reuse, make sense of statistics on content reuse, and find other content-related metrics that can help you make the business case for content management in your organization.

Opportunities for Cost-Savings and Efficiency from Content Reuse and Re-purposing

The TechDoc Community of Practice ( provides a sample content reuse return on investment analysis in Opportunities for Cost-Savings and Efficiency from Content Reuse and Re-purposing ( They also explore reuse versus re-purposing, describe the framework needed to enable content reuse, and provide commonly overlooked content reuse opportunities.

Failing To Reuse Content: Ortho Hornet And Wasp Killer

Content management provides a plethora of potential benefits, one of which includes content reuse (write it once, use it often). Reusing content that should be identical in all instances in which it is used is a smart move. It can increase productivity and reduce content creation expenses by eliminating the need to rewrite content that exists elsewhere. It can help ensure consistency of information, can reduce translation expenses, and can help stave-off legal and regulatory compliance issues.

In Failing To Reuse Content: Ortho Hornet And Wasp Killer ( The Content Wrangler documents a real-world content snafu that could have been eliminated by effectively reusing content. Read the article and take a look at both the product label and companion website (links provided).

How much time does it take to unleash web rage?

Search Engine Watch: "On average, web rage is uncaged after twelve minutes of fruitless searching, although about 7% say ire starts rising within three minutes," according to Roper Starch Worldwide ( ). "The main culprit is all that information - overwhelming at times - which is actually driving some people offline and back to telephoning customer service or other information resources from the pre-cyber generation."

How much time do we waste searching for - but not finding - information that exists?

According to research from International Data Corporation (IDC), "the amount of time wasted in futile searching for vital information is enormous, leading to staggering costs to the enterprise." IDC studies have found that the cost of searching for - but not locating - information costs an organization of 1,000 workers about $6 million US a year. IDC says, "That's not including opportunity costs or the costs of reworking information that exists but can't be located." When these costs are added to the calculation, an extra $27 million US a year is lost. These statistics are included in insightful overview from Thomson Scientific entitled Strategies for Search, Taxonomy and Classification: Getting Just What You Need (

How much time do we waste recreating content that already exists?

Kit Sims Taylor, in a paper presented at the International Conference on the Social Impact of Information Technologies in St. Louis, Missouri, finds that knowledge workers spend more time recreating existing content than creating new content. Now here's a case in point for content reuse.

Taylor says, "Roughly one-third of productive time is spent in knowledge reworking. The other nearly two-thirds is spent in knowledge finding and communication, with only about 10% of time spent in actual creation of new knowledge...While most of us do not like to admit that much of our creative work involves reinventing the wheel," Taylor writes, "an honest assessment of our work would indicate that we do far more recreating than creating."

Reusing content provides Hewlett Packard will significant savings

Doug Henschen, Editor, Intelligent Enterprise, writes: "There's plenty of hype about enterprisewide content management, but few companies have come as close as Hewlett-Packard to taking a truly holistic approach." Henschen interviews Mario Queiroz (, HP's vice president of content and product data management, who led the company's three-year effort to rationalize taxonomies, metadata, technologies and management approaches spanning 17 business units. "The deployment touches some 85 percent of the products sold by an $83-billion technology giant, yet the practices aimed at efficient content reuse are pertinent to any size organization." Although Queiroz is tight-lipped on the specifics, he provides some cost savings figures that may prove valuable.

Copyright 2005, The Rockley Group, Inc.