I worked at Microsoft some years ago and I wrote an article that was published in TechNet. This was a big deal at the time as I was new to MS and not directly involved in the product teams, which is where most of the TechNet content was generated.
TechNet was the main knowledge repository for Microsoft back in the day. My article related to patching and service pack best practise, this has been superseded by Windows Update however many of the principles I wrote about in this article are still true today, some 20 years later.
Just because something is old, does not mean it is not good. Gold is gold, and many of us have old content that will always stand the test of time. I am talking about lasting trends. Principles within each business that need good documentation to support it, and that the foundation, whilst old, are still relevant years after they were created.
So how do you ensure your “old gold” content is still available and maintained? Making it easy to maintain is one of the ways we can achieve this. We need to take this content and make it evergreen to ensure that it stays current, relevant, and up to date. This takes a paradigm shift, a shift to delivering it via the web where the content is not hidden away in documents and files that are difficult to discover.
Evergreen content is living content and lives within a dynamic document. It is a document that is frequently updated and maintained. An example of evergreen content is an article in Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia that we all turn to at one point that is freely available and seemly well trusted. Its articles, in contrast to “static” documents, such as an article in a single edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, can be easily amended by all.
Moving to an Evergreen delivery platform
So how do we move this otherwise static document-based old gold content to the web? Organizations’ policies, procedures, templates, forms, and FAQs are all candidates for being converted to evergreen content. I’m not suggesting that document-based content is stale, but moving the content to the web increases its exposure and will help drive the evergreen concept.
The above article mentions the idea that a fundamental paradigm shift is needed. No longer should we think that DOCX and PDF is the best reading format, nor should they be the final destination for organisational content. Most evergreen platforms are web-based and therefore we need to understand how to better and more easily transform DOCX and PDF to HTML.