The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Marianne Calilhanna

Marianne has been involved with structured content since the days of SGML. She helps people understand the true business value of markup languages (e.g., DITA and other types of XML) in an organization’s content strategy. Marianne is the VP of Marketing at Data Conversion Laboratory, an organization that provides data and content transformation services and solutions

DITA Conversion: DIY vs Outsource? An Oxford Style Debate

Once an organization has determined that DITA XML is the appropriate structure and best approach for managing content, the next decision is “how to get there?”. Often organizations spend more resources vetting tools and various workflows than determining how content is transformed into DITA. Different vendors tout different approaches, making it a challenge to determine what is most cost effective and produces the best results.

Join two of the industry’s leading conversion companies—Data Conversion Laboratory and Stilo—as they debate the merits of DIY conversion and outsourcing conversion. This Oxford style debate starts with an opening statement in which the audience will vote yay or nay in support of the positioning statement. Next, each company will present their position based on their industry experience. Audience participation is encouraged and will allow the debaters to respond and clarify their position. At the end of the respectful and well-mannered debate, audience members vote again, and results will be shared in real-time.


In this session attendees will learn:

  • Understand the decision-making process involved in selecting a content management approach, specifically focusing on the transition to DITA XML.
  • Evaluate the factors that influence the choice between DIY conversion and outsourcing conversion when transitioning to DITA XML, including cost-effectiveness and quality of results.
  • Analyze the arguments presented by industry experts from Data Conversion Laboratory and Stilo regarding DIY conversion versus outsourcing conversion, and critically assess the merits of each approach in the context of organizational needs and goals

Introducing the Component Content Alliance: A Resource for Content Professionals

The Component Content Alliance (CCA) is a new collaborative initiative formed by industry leaders who work in organizations that support content creation and management. The alliance promotes collaboration, knowledge sharing, and the adoption of best practices in component content management – also known as structured content management – across various industries. Comprising leading technology providers, consulting firms, and industry experts, the alliance empowers organizations to drive operational efficiencies, enhance customer experiences, and streamline service and support through optimized content authoring and management processes.

This interactive panel presentation from some of the founding CCA members offers you the opportunity to learn how you can take part in the CCA or rely on the CCA for insights, experiences, and industry knowledge.


In this session attendees will learn:

  • Understand the diverse perspectives and roles within the Component Content Alliance (CCA), including those of industry experts and novices, and how they contribute to the collaborative learning environment.
  • Explore key tenets of content management presented by panelists representing different sectors within the CCA, gaining insights into various approaches and best practices.
  • Identify opportunities for leveraging the CCA as a resource for learning about the content management landscape, including accessing expertise, gaining insights, and fostering professional development.