Yesterday I said that transforming content apples into apple pies takes time but it doesn't have to take all the time in the world.

One way to save time is by sharing ingredients.

Content creation is a process.

To write an article, you'll do some activities:

  • Research
  • Write code
  • Develop thoughts
  • Interview people

The article cannot be written without at least some of these activities. These are all ingredients.

Ingredients are learning activities that can almost always be leveraged across content types. They are knowledge accumulators.

How does knowledge sharing save time?

The same way it works in recipes:

When cooking recipes that share ingredients, you need to buy fewer ingredients.

Or for developer content:

When producing content that reuses knowledge, you spend less time acquiring new knowledge.

I'll use video courses for example since I have historically tracked my time.

Producing one course on one topic took me 120 hours.

Producing two courses on two topics also took me 120 hours – 60 hours each.

What gives?!

The two courses shared a knowledge base – Azure Storage. One was on using CDN with storage and the other was CORS rules – but it was still the same focus area. I could switch to one course while waiting for reviews on the other without any problem, which let me "weave" production simultaneously.

The learning activities I do during a course include:

  • Research
  • Plan demos
  • Create code
  • Thought refinement
  • Plan exercises
  • Writing (I script)
  • Recording

All of this builds my knowledge around the subject matter. By having a single focus area, I was able to:

  • Reuse slides
  • Reference the same articles and documentation (MS Docs)
  • Use the same tools (Azure SDK, Azure CLI)
  • Maintain the same headspace (Azure Storage)

These were two content pieces of the same type – but you can see how I could have mixed in different content types using the same ingredients.

If this sounds so basic then think about this:

Every persona you have, every feature you release, every technology SDK you support, every vertical you serve, every conference you go to, ad infinitum – you increase the number of ingredients you need exponentially.

Instead of choosing a corner bodega to grab tonight's ingredients from, you are choosing to take a plane and ride in the back of a pick-up to a Wal-Mart in rural South Dakota.

Until you have the budget to build a hyperloop, you might not want to spread yourself so thin.

Luckily, there are ways to filter and narrow down the list of ingredients to something more managable but I'll save that for later.

Have a lovely day,
Kamran

Sharing content ingredients