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BusinessWeek Integrates Print and Web Workflows Using Adobe InDesign, InCopy and SoftCare K4

Press release from the issuing company

August 2, 2007 -- SoftCare today announced that BusinessWeek magazine has fully integrated its online and print workflows using the SoftCare K4 Publishing System and Adobe InCopy and InDesign. All content – print-only, print-to-Web and Web-only – is being handled by the system, and writers, editors, copy desk and art staff are working entirely within K4 to manage the production process.
BusinessWeek is one of the first K4 customers to develop a workflow that includes traditional print content and online-only articles in the same K4 system. This unique production process was possible thanks to K4’s flexible scripting and customization capabilities coupled with its ability to generate XML directly from the SoftCare K4 content database to any site-specific requirements.
BusinessWeek magazine is a leader in its market, with 4.7 million readers each week in 140 countries. Its Web site, www.businessweek.com, averaged more than 6.7 million unique users per month in the first quarter of 2007, a 22 percent increase over Q1 2006.
Flexibility and versatility for print and online production
The magazine’s staff had been using K4 for its print workflow for almost a year, along with K4 XML Exporter to repurpose print content for online publishing. But print-to-Web material accounts for only 20 percent of BusinessWeek’s online content; the other 80 percent, created specifically for the Web site, was being managed by a completely separate combination of Microsoft Word and EditPlus HTML editor.
Using the same system to manage print and Web workflows has been a goal of the K4 project plan from the start, according to Mauro Vaisman, Senior Director of Editorial Technology at BusinessWeek. “It’s the future of publishing, and it’s actually the present-tense of publishing,” Vaisman said. “Having two different departments for print and online just does not make sense anymore. For us to share staff, the first thing we had to do was find a common tool. Our print users were already K4 users. We just had to figure out a way to turn our online staff into K4 users also.”
K4’s comfortable user experience was a starting point. But the system’s flexibility and scriptability is what made the transition practical. With K4, the two tools BusinessWeek’s staff previously used for writing/editing and HTML formatting/tagging were reduced to one. Now, instead of creating a story in Word and pasting it into EditPlus for HTML tagging, BusinessWeek users compose in InCopy and click on custom JavaScripts to apply the HTML tags.
“Basically we’re taking away the excuses a writer or editor might have to get out of InCopy, so they can keep all aspects of the workflow in the system and get all the benefits of the system at the same time,” said Steve McCarthy, manager of editorial technology. “K4 gives them version control, security, statuses, all kinds of valuable database tools that they didn’t have before.”
BusinessWeek is finding all sorts of ways to use K4 to expand the definition of multimedia workflow. For example, the staff has developed a new utility that lets podcast writers and television reporters write an article in InCopy, then hit a key and get an on-the-spot estimate of how long it will take to read it out loud.Vaisman noted that the script-timing tool was conceived and built in just a few days, demonstrating the system’s versatility and power. “K4 provides the flexibility we need to implement new tools in a fast and efficient manner,” Vaisman said.