Arranging A Marriage of Content Priority and Code-Based Presentation

And oh, how beautiful it can be:

When Editors Design: Controlling Presentation In Structured Content

Jeff Eaton presents a really great overview of a number of techniques used to a) allow editors ease of control over their content presentation by assigning emphasis and priority, and b) structure so that content can be reused smoothly for multiple implementations or future upgrades to features.

Why does this distinction matter? First, it becomes much easier to preserve emphasis when the content moves from one publication channel to the next. Custom-tailored HTML can be generated when the story is sent via email; simple CSS rules can be used to vary the article’s appearance in a responsive Web design; and a content syndication API passes along the emphasis information without assumption. In addition, emphasis will evolve more gracefully than explicit layout decisions. As the primary website’s appearance changes (and visual templates come and go), designers can decide how to best communicate the emphasis that the editors have chosen.

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