The LavaCon Content Strategy Conference | 27–30 October 2024 | Portland, OR
Scott Abel

Scott Abel has been helping content-heavy organizations improve the way they author, maintain, publish and archive their information assets for over two decades.

Dubbed “The Content Wrangler” Scott Abel is the founder and CEO of a global content strategy consultancy with the same name. Abel also serves as a content strategy evangelist for Heretto, an AI-powered component content management system platform in use by technical documentation teams globally.

Abel also serves as the editor of a series of content strategy books from XML Press and is the producer of several content industry events including Technical Documentation Roundup and Information Development World. In addition, Abel also serves on the advisory board for the Customer Experience Certificate Program offered by the University of California Santa Barbara, Professional and Continuing Education division.

The Unseen Challenges and Hidden Costs of Adopting Markdown for Technical Documentation

As a linchpin in the field of technical documentation, Markdown has become a widely adopted format known for its simplicity and perceived user-friendliness. Its role in facilitating the creation and management of digital content across various platforms has positioned it as a go-to tool for many tech docs teams. However, beneath its surface of convenience and widespread adoption lie challenges and costs that are far-too-often overlooked.
This talk will explore these unseen aspects, particularly focusing on how Markdown’s adoption may inadvertently hinder the development of essential capabilities in technical documentation teams. You’ll learn why the process of selecting Markdown, often influenced by a desire to include software developers as contributors, brings forth a set of unseen challenges and costs that merit closer examination.
This presentation delves into the complexities of these challenges, exploring how the selection of standards like Markdown can negatively impact an organization’s efficiency, innovation, and overall content strategy.

In this session you will learn how to:

Attendees will learn how adopting Markdown introduces:

  • Scalability Limitations: How Markdown, despite its fast set-up time, may not be well-suited for scaling content production to meet growing organizational needs.
  • Personalization Obstacles: How markdown prevents tech docs teams from delivering personalized content.
  • Multi-Channel Experience Hurdles: Insights into the struggles of leveraging Markdown for delivering seamless multi-channel experiences, an increasingly crucial aspect of technical documentation.
  • Advanced Formatting and Design Constraints: How Markdown’s simplicity, while beneficial for basic tasks, can be limiting when advanced formatting and intricate design are required.
  • Difficulties Integrating with Modern Tools and Systems: The challenges in integrating Markdown with other cutting-edge tools and systems necessary for dynamic content creation and management.
  • Impacts on Team Skills Development: Discussion on how reliance on Markdown might limit the technical skill development of documentation teams, potentially hindering their ability to adapt to more complex tools and technologies in the future.