CIDM Matters

CIDM Matters is an electronic newsletter published on the 1st and 15th of every month. Browse these articles published in CIDM Matters or subscribe to the newsletter by selecting the “Join Us” option on the navigation bar.

CIDM Sponsor Profile – Antenna House

Antenna HouseMichael Miller
December 1, 2023


Turn HTML and XML into PDF with Antenna House Formatter

Seventy percent of CIDM Member companies use Antenna House Formatter to produce their paged output.

Without the right formatting engine, formatting your structured content from your CCMS system into paged output can be a time-consuming and laborious chore. Antenna House is a powerful engine for 100% automated document formatting. Highly customizable, Formatter can be tailored to your company’s unique requirements, producing print-quality paged output (most often PDF) with all the attributes of the printed page. With support for over 30 scripts and 80 languages, MathML, SVG, and CGM Antenna House is the leader in standards-compliant, high-speed publishing and is used in thousands of implementations worldwide to produce millions of pages daily. […]

Roughing It Out with Reviewers

Headshot of woman with long dark hairGeetha Haridas, Qualcomm
November 15, 2023

If you’re writing documentation, you need to ensure it’s accurate.

End-user orientation, clear writing, and attractive presentation of content are some of the key attributes of good documents. However, documents are truly worthwhile only when they provide accurate information. Incorrect information serves no purpose and could be detrimental in use. […]

CIDM Sponsor Profile – Heretto

Heretto lobo with black lettersSarah Cuellar
October 15, 2023


About Heretto

Heretto is one powerful CCMS platform to deploy product and API docs to a self-service portal designed to delight your customers.

With Heretto, you can create, manage, deploy and delight with documentation delivered to any channel, in any language. Not only do you get the internal perks of real-time collaboration and faster content production, but your customers will be delighted with immediate, personalized answers on any device. […]

CIDM Sponsor Profile – Stilo

Stilo logoTJ Dhaliwal, Stilo
October 1, 2023

Overcoming Roadblocks on the Journey to a Structured Standard

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, structured content is essential for organizations to manage and deliver their information efficiently. A structured standard systematically organizes and presents content, enabling seamless integration across multiple platforms and channels. However, transitioning to a structured standard can be challenging, and often hindered by various roadblocks. This article will explore some common roadblocks and strategies to overcome them, focusing on getting stakeholders on board, scoping the project, addressing resistance to change, handling legacy content, and managing limited budgets and resources. Additionally, we will briefly touch upon industry applications of a specific standard like DITA. […]

Automation in Technical Documentation

Headshot of a smiling woman with shortish hairTrish Grindereng, Comtech Services
September 15, 2023

In the ever-evolving world of technical documentation, some CIDM members are at the forefront of a significant transformation—automation. These members are seeing a profound shift in the way their companies are approaching content creation and delivery. […]

What consumers want from self-service customer support

Scott Abel, Heretto Content Wrangler
September 1, 2023

In 2023, The Content Wrangler and Heretto commissioned a survey of US consumers to collect data on their preferences and expectations. The survey sought to identify and understand common consumer thoughts about customer service and self-service support. […]

Where Do Technical Writers Belong?

headshot of smiling women with short dark hairDana Aubin, Comtech Services
August 15, 2023

In a recent CIDM Roundtable, we gathered to discuss where technical writers belong within the enterprise. To start the meeting, I shared that this question reminded me of a book from my childhood, Flap Your Wings by P. D. Eastman. In the book, a boy finds an egg on the bank. Seeing an empty nest in a tree, the boy assumes that is where the egg should be. When mama and papa bird return to their nest, they are surprised to find a strange egg, but they decide to nurture it. Eventually the egg hatches, and out pops a baby alligator. Despite its odd appearance, mama and papa bird feed their baby, and feed it, and feed it. And the baby alligator grows…and grows…and grows until it no longer fits in the nest. Mama and papa bird try to teach the no-longer-a-baby alligator how to fly, but it falls…and falls…and falls until…splash! The alligator lands in the water and lives happily ever after. […]

Celebrating Technical Communication Excellence: The CODiE Awards Best Knowledge Center/Help Site

Scott Abel, Heretto Content Wrangler
August 15, 2023

Far too often, the work of technical communicators fails to receive the recognition it deserves. Our teams are typically understaffed, underfunded, and under equipped. Our leaders sometimes need help connecting the value of what we produce to the experience prospective and existing customers encounter when interacting with our content.

There are no Academy Awards for technical documentation. That is, until now. […]

Communicating and Collaborating with a Global Project Team

Headshot of woman with long dark hairGeetha Haridas, Qualcomm
July 15, 2023

Technical Authors often work in cross-functional teams, which include one or more specialist groups such as development, testing, product management, program management, and marketing. These groups are interdependent and collaboration between the individual groups is essential for product completion.

In a cross-functional team, documents are designed and developed either by an individual author on a project or multiple authors handling different parts of the documentation (Hackos 1994). Authors are typically responsible for planning, scheduling, developing, and delivering documentation. Authors coordinate with developers, testers, and other subject matters to ensure the validity and accuracy of content (Hart-Davidson 2001). They also work with project managers to ensure that they deliver documentation according to the schedule. […]


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