What Shipping Containers Can Teach Us About Digital Content Standards

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Proposal
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Excerpt

Global trade wouldn’t be as efficient without the invention - and standardization - of shipping containers. Standardized containers have globalized our economy across the shipping industry in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

What can this earlier standardization effort teach us about the tools and systems we’re building today? What are the struggles of our digital age? How are the struggles of shipping goods in 1950s similar to our content struggles now - and how can we move forward?

Description

Global trade wouldn’t be as efficient without the invention – and standardization – of shipping containers. Standardized containers have globalized our economy across the shipping industry in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

“Modern globalization could not have happened without the container,” Marc Levinson, author of The Box tells us.

What can these earlier standardization efforts teach us about the tools and systems we’re building today? What are the struggles of our digital shipping age? How are the struggles of shipping goods in 1950s similar to our content struggles now – and how can we move forward?

In many ways, we’re in a digital age of pre-standardization of content. Each online platform has its own systems of tagging, labeling, and organizing content, but these tagging systems typically don’t sync with each other natively. Content managers have to manually adjust content for different platforms – their CMS, Twitter, Facebook, Google – this list goes on. We build APIs, screen scrapers, and other hacks to try to gather and move information from one system to another. We’re relying heavily on manual processes in a purely digital landscape. It doesn’t have to be this way.

In this presentation, we will look at the parallels between modern product shipping and postmodern digital content “shipping” – where we’ve excelled and where we’re missing the boat. We will look at our recent history of attempts at web standards, review recent efforts for content standardization within individual organizations, and talk about how we at Georgia.gov have been tackling the questions of content standards and potential solutions. Then we will look at how communities are tackling content tagging now through efforts such as schema.org, and ask how we as open source champions can begin to scale standardization efforts across the industry at large.

The process of standardizing shipping containers was not an easy one, but it was well worth the effort. What kind of impact would we see if we as an industry could standardize content containers across the web, and where would we start?

Tags

content, standards, schema

Speaking experience

Nikhil Deshpande has presented on many topics surrounding Georgia's migration to an open source platform. Most notably, he was selected to be the keynote speaker for the 2013 DrupalGovCon, Washington DC and 2013 Drupalcamp Atlanta. Partial list of experience:

2015 NYC Camp, United Nations New York, NY
Panelist, Government leaders panel
http://nyccamp.org/session/government-leaders-panel

2015 Acquia Engage
Public Sector Breakfast Panel: Digital Innovation and Transformation in Government
https://engage.acquia.com/

2015 S2LQ, Montreal, Canada
Georgia's Investment in Open Source
http://s2lq.com/conf%C3%A9renciers-0#nikhil-deshpande

2015 GOVTalks, Atlanta
Content: Get to the point
http://portal.georgia.gov/interactive/govtalks-content

2014 Digital Summit, Atlanta
Extreme Makeover; Georgia's Enterprise Web Redesign
http://digitalsummitatlanta.com/2014/speakers.html

2013 Drupal Gov Con. Washington DC
Keynote

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Kendra Skeene presented as a panelist and speaker for conferences such as Acquia's Engage, GeorgiaGov's GOVTalks, and Great Wide Open.

2016 Great Wide Open
Access By Default
http://www.slideshare.net/KendraSkeene/access-by-default

2016 Great Wide Open
Open Source On My Mind: How Georgians Benefits from a Centralized Enterprise Drupal PaaS

2015 GOVTalks: Content
Content of All: Accessible Content is Better for Everyone
http://portal.georgia.gov/interactive/govtalks-content

2015 Acquia Engage
Public Sector Breakfast Panel: Digital Innovation and Transformation in Government
https://engage.acquia.com/

Speakers

  • Nikhil deshpande headshot

    Nikhil Deshpande

    Director of GeorgiaGov Interactive

    Biography

    Nikhil is Director of GeorgiaGov Interactive, a division within the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA). GeorgiaGov Interactive provides content publishing solutions and strategic counsel to the state of Georgia agencies and elected officials. Nikhil oversees the strategy and operations of Georgia.gov and the Drupal-based web publishing platform which hosts around 75 websites for state agencies and elected officials. Nikhil has 15 years of public and private sector experience in web services.

    Nikhil led the Drupal migration project for GTA to centralize Georgia’s web presence on an open source platform hosted in the cloud. Nikhil speaks and writes about Georgia’s Drupal project hoping to help other state and local governments realize the benefits. Nikhil is an advocate of open source and web standards.

    He holds a master of fine arts in Interaction Design and a master of design degree in Visual Communication. Nikhil is also an adjunct faculty member at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Atlanta campus, where he teaches Interaction Design and Social Gaming. Reach Nikhil on Twitter @nikofthehill.

    Sessions

      • Title: Open source on Georgia's mind
      • Track: Business
      • Room: B204
      • Time: 4:455:30pm
      • Excerpt:

        The state of Georgia runs its web publishing platform using Drupal. This was the first open source implementation handled by any state at an enterprise level. Within a period of one year, the state needed to build a Drupal based platform and migrate 55 websites with new interface designs. This talk addresses the costs benefits Georgia saved by implementing open source and showcases some of the challenges and wins the state experienced while moving to open source.

      • Speakers: Nikhil Deshpande
  • Kendra headshot

    Kendra Skeene

    Director of Product for GeorgiaGov Interactive

    Biography

    Kendra is the Director of Product for GeorgiaGov Interactive. She oversees the state’s enterprise Drupal platform, directing product strategy and working with development partners to create new products for the platform’s customers. She has managed several initiatives with the GeorgiaGov Interactive team, including the responsive and accessible platform initiatives.

    Prior to leading the product team, Kendra led support and training for the GeorgiaGov platform, where she kept a close pulse on user issues and platform health. Kendra has more than 15 years of web design and development experience and has been involved in web-based training for nearly as long. Kendra has worked as a designer, developer, and content manager with six different CMS systems over the years.

    Sessions

      • Title: Accessible By Default
      • Track: Practice
      • Room: B302/303
      • Time: 3:454:30pm
      • Excerpt:

        Making your website accessible for users with disabilities isn’t flashy, but it’s necessary. Websites built for universal access benefit all users, not just users with a disability. They’re also more SEO friendly, and are generally built to be more user friendly. From generating increased revenue, to providing better access to services, the benefits of developing accessible websites are real and measurable.

      • Speakers: Kendra Skeene

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