Neil Perlin poses the question (and answers in the negative) in a response to my post “Time to Move to Multisourcing“. Perlin raises a number of points that deserve discussion. But first, a little clarification is needed.
The term “single sourcing” is used to mean a number of different things in tech comm and content strategy. Among them:
- Producing PDF and Web pages (or help) from the same source file or files.
- Content reuse (in other words, storing a single source for a piece of information and publishing it in various places).
- Using a single repository/file format for all content.
These three things are independent of each other, though they may well be used together. For instance, you can produce PDF and help from the same source files stored locally on different workstations running different software, and you can use a single repository and file format without reusing content or outputting to more than one format (as many people using a Web CMS or Wiki do).