Pressure to Produce
One of the consequences of the electronic information revolution is that authors and their organizations are under growing pressure to produce more content, in less time and at ever-higher levels of sophistication. The seemingly endless ability of the Web to deliver information has created the expectation that an endless supply of ever more elegant information will be available for delivery. Unfortunately, content that takes a few seconds to locate and consume may have taken multiple people several hours or days to create.
Authors and information managers in this climate often view any demand for new or enhanced markup as an additional burden for which they receive no corresponding recompense or funding, and as a result want no part. Sadly, most editorial managers have experienced situations in which that fear is borne out by history. Consequently, creator organizations often view information capture changes with suspicion, especially those that have not been explained to them. Whether justified or not, this reaction must be taken into account by markup developers.
Alternatively, any attempt to impose a markup requirement "by force" through the standards process is likely to foster a level of antagonism that will have lasting negative impact on the information community as a whole. Further, the authoring components of some organizations are large, have significant budget and access to executive management and therefore have considerable clout. While IT professionals may hold authors in relatively low esteem, they court problems if they fail to understand the power of these groups. Again, the project manager often finds him or herself acting as moderator between potentially antagonistic groups.
On the other side of the coin, consumers in today's "free" Web culture take, and indeed demand, resources, without assigning sufficient real value to the information product to justify its additional cost of creation. This is equally true of markup protocols especially in view of their transparency in the delivery experience. Even more so for those that require a significant increase in creation and management resources. After all, information is a business that is highly sensitive to the cost of production and one that must also show a satisfactory return. Unfortunately, consumers fed on a growing diet of seemingly "free" information resources have come to expect no less.