Pacific Rim fandom and the content Jaeger
If it wasn’t already obvious from previous posts, I’m a huge nerd. And like all huge nerds, I love a good fandom. Pacific Rim certainly fits that bill… giant robots called Jaegers that are used to battle even bigger inter-dimensional creatures called Kaiju. What’s not to love? It’s no wonder this film has continued to thrive long after its 2013 release.
In addition to the mechs and monsters, I also love the global nature of the story: countries work together to solve a global problem. In this universe, co-pilots link minds with each other to operate the Jaegers, sharing every thought, impulse and emotion. They call this joining of minds drifting.These copilots are often twins, or lovers, or even father and son since this type of connection, being so intimate, requires a huge amount of compatibility. They call this compatibility drift compatibility.
Compatibility and customer experience
While geeking out with a coworker the other day, I realized drift compatibility isn’t just for Jaeger pilots. The global content a company produces can be just as powerful as a robot battling the complexity of a monstrous customer experience.
“How so?” you ask, looking a little perplexed. To break through the content creation, translation and delivery process requires sophisticated technology that has that drift compatibility. Still skeptical? Let me break it down.
- Separation of content and layout: The separation of formatting from content prepares content for translation and enables dynamic content assembly for customers. Because content is not trapped within a specific context, it can be repurposed. This separation of content and layout unlocks personalized, dynamic content for use in different contexts. This creates greater business agility, flexibility and efficiency.
- Componentized content: DITA topics in technical documents, XML components in a content management system or segments of sentences or phrases within a translation memory all offer unparalleled reuse opportunity as content is stored in small ‘chunks’ that can be taken apart, assembled and reused in multiple contexts and output formats.
- Taxonomy and terminology: Taxonomy classifies words into hierarchical groupings, categorizing content, and terminology systematizes words with something in common. When taxonomy and terminology are applied to both content creation and translation, content can then be assembled in meaningful ways. For more on this topic, take a look at this smart take from Content Rules.
- Open standards: Open standards ensure content, interoperability, business processes and delivery work together to provide content liquidity. For more information on the standards used in various SDL technologies, I’ve gathered some useful resources here, but be forewarned, these are for the true nerds out there like me that want a much deeper dive.
- CMIS – an interoperability standard for content management systems
- oData & oAuth – open protocols for web queries and authentication
- schema.org – a collection of web content standards
- DITA – an industry standard for technical documentation
- S1000D – an industry specification for technical publications within Aerospace and Defense
- TBX – an open standard for terminology exchange
- TMX – an open standard for translation memory exchange
- XLIFF – an open standard for pre-filtered, translatable content
As you can see, there’s a lot of depth to the drift compatibility between content management and translation management technologies. Luckily, companies like SDL are squarely focused on ensuring you can pilot your content Jaeger. Now excuse me while I go re-watch Pacific Rim and anxiously await the highly anticipated but oft-delayed sequel.