In a typical content workflow:
- A writer writes an article
- The article gets sent to an editor
- The editor sends back an edited version
- Optionally, someone reviews it (legal, accuracy)
- The article gets published on the website OR
- The article is submitted to another website as a guest post, etc.
So the article needs to be in a format that is easy to email around to various people, in a format that they can be accessed on a variety of platforms.
The defacto program for this has always been MS Word (or an Open Source equivalent), but word processors are actually terrible for this type of work.
Anyone familiar with pasting content from Word into websites knows that Word loves to add quotes-that-are-not-quotes and all sorts of other non-standard junk characters that need to be painstakingly cleaned up and replaced with proper HTML entities. Words that are bolded or italicized need to be replaced with
em tags, and links have to be re-written in HTML format, with title attributes added.
The alternative is to use plain text files that include HTML markup right in them. This is great for me because I'm a web developer, but when you include non-technical people in the content flow, they complain that the HTML makes it hard for them to read.
Given that more articles are published and read online than in print and the proliferation of content marketing and guest posting, it seems that someone must have come up with a better option for working with content destined for online publication, in an offline file format.
Are there more suitable tools/formats than word processors for preparing online content?