Alongside Education and Publishing, Design is a profession from whom Technical Communicators can learn a great deal. The BBC TV series, The Genius of Design, looked at new trends towards green, “cradle to cradle”, design, where components in objects are designed to be capable of being stripped down and reused infinitely.
I’ve never head anyone talk of an infinitely reusable document, but that is, in essence, where we are heading with DITA based content. DITA offers the promise of being able to reuse topics over and over again. Unless the content becomes irrelevant or incorrect, that is.
So can technical authors apply the concepts of “cradle to cradle” (C2C) to its profession? It might offer new and useful ways to explain the value of DITA based authoring.