IDG Communications Media AG in Munich is a subsidiary of the world's leading media company for information and communication technology, International Data Group (IDG) in Boston. IDG sees itself as a service provider for the ITC industry with media, services, events and a comprehensive data pool. IDG's portfolio includes media brands such as PC-Welt, Macwelt, COMPUTERWOCHE, CIO and ChannelPartner.
IDG publishes more than 80,000 articles annually via its editorial portals. More than 500 authors work to create articles such as product news, best practices, user reports and expert opinions, which are published in various media channels and formats such as print, web, tablet and mobile.
In addition to permanent authors and editors, external contributors are also involved in the creation of content. Contributors are professional journalists, academic teaching staff, experts or business personalities in the broader sense, who are intended to provide readers with independent opinions and expert knowledge. These contributors are distributed throughout Germany. On the one hand, they work autonomously and independently from topic planning to publication, on the other hand they are dependent and collaborative with the editorial staff.
The production of content for the digital and print media is therefore mainly decentralized, using different computer systems, different file formats (.doc, .txt, .pdf, e-mail, etc.) and many detours. Approvals are laboriously made via e-mail. Re-use of content, which is mostly produced for print, in the digital channels is only possible by copying content. This often results in redundant content in the system, which makes text updates much more difficult to maintain and cost effective.
XML-based structuring of content makes it possible to publish it automatically, quickly and highly economically in print and on the Web, to publish it mobile for smartphones or to make it available on the publisher's social media channels. Xeditor enables both internal and external authors to create, edit and deliver content to the company's private cloud.
All content created with Xeditor is stored media-neutral in XML format, making format adjustments by the editorial team unnecessary. The real-time validation processor prevents or automatically corrects incorrect entries in advance and increases data quality.
Xeditor has been completely adapted to individual requirements and company workflows. As a special challenge, a customer-specific content pool had to be connected in addition to the regular internal editorial content pool, which contains articles and image rights of external experts and contributors. Before content is transferred from this content pool to the editorial content pool, it must be checked by an internal employee using the accept/reject functionality. The installation and integration of Xeditor into the IDG system landscape was carried out in close cooperation with the development team. The web-based solution allows future software updates to be carried out centrally.
With Xeditor, the creation of XML content is similar to that of well-known and widespread Office products: based on MS Word. This means that authors can immediately work efficiently with Xeditor, even without technical knowledge, training or workshops.
The collaboration between editors, authors and contributors has become more structured and efficient thanks to the professional commenting system and change tracking, and release cycles have been optimized. Authors can concentrate on writing content and create high-quality and semantically appealing documents. The simultaneous operation of the various media channels with the same number of staff and less complexity of the processes involved had positive economic effects on all business processes. The resources freed up as a result were used to create additional content: IDG was thus able to provide its readers with more expert knowledge and opinions.