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 – DeltaXML

July 1, 2023

Calming the Cacophony of Content Changes

If there’s one thing that never changes, it’s that everything changes. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus saw the world as constantly in flux and is often quoted as coining the phrase “Change is the only constant.” The same could be said to be true about technical documentation. No sooner is one release complete before you’re working on the next and everything that seemed to be stable starts to change again.

But how can you be sure that you have control over the changes that are being made? How can you know that the latest update contains only the necessary changes without unintended changes slipping in? How can you evidence changes requested by a regulator in a reliable, satisfactory, traceable way? […]

CIDM Sponsor Profile – DCL

DCL logo: cube on the left and words DCL Data Conversion LaboratoryData Conversion Laboratory Inc
June 15, 2023

Content Structure: The Building Blocks of Innovation

Foundations for Success

All organizations have deep, growing archives of content. From historical documents and photographs to new research articles and product documentation, this content comes in many different forms, yet it can all be mined to create valuable resources for today’s digital-first consumers.

However, content can only unlock new opportunities for organizations if it has a foundation of rich structure and metadata. Simply having information in a digital format, such as a Word file or an image-based PDF, is not enough. For content to be easily discovered and used via modern platforms, it must be converted into a multidimensional XML format from which machines can extract pertinent information. […]

CIDM Sponsor Profile – Fluid Topics

Fluid Topics' logoAnne-Sophie Lardet
May 15, 2023 


Technical documentation has never been more important to the success of an organization.

But at the same time, delivering technical documentation has never been more challenging. Whether it is maintaining pace with product and feature updates, the outputs of different authoring tools and systems across different content creation teams, or serving the right information wherever the consumer expects it, all too often the end-user experience is incomplete or inconsistent. […]

CIDM Sponsor Profile – Kaleidoscope

colorful box next the words Kaleidoscope - Taking your content
May 1, 2023

Seven Thoughts on Efficient Translator Query Management

Decades of experience have shown that translators are excellent usability testers for any kind of text. In their quest for understanding, they often uncover passages that may be ambiguous or unclear. Yes, this can be a hassle to manage, but look at it this way: if your translator does not even understand a text, how can your reader? In other words, solving translator queries has a positive impact on both the source text and the translation! And what if instead of struggling with piles of queries in MS Excel, e-mails, or ticketing systems, you could manage translator queries efficiently and collaboratively? Would this not also be a valuable addition to your quality management system AND save you time and money? We think so! […]

CIDM Sponsor Profile – RWS

Arpita Maity, RWS
April 15, 2023

Driving powerful search with knowledge graphs

Search should be about getting people to complete their mission. Search has evolved just as consumers have in their quest for ease of use. As technology has evolved, so has the search to help people achieve more and more complex tasks. Today consumer expectations are such that search is not limited to just text but also in more advanced formats such as voice, AR/VR, or chatbots. […]

Estimating Documentation Projects

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

Estimation is often an overlooked aspect of the documentation development lifecycle, particularly in environments that require authors to work reactively and meet multiple deadlines in short timescales. Though some amount of project uncertainty is inevitable, failure to estimate documents can have a major impact on the quality of documentation produced. For example, authors might absorb too much last-minute work and might not have time to self-check their documentation, which consequently impacts the quality of work they produce.

Therefore, before agreeing to deadlines, it is extremely important to assess the time and effort required to complete a project and then plan the work schedule. It is also essential to ensure that the projects are not estimated based on individual experience and the estimates are relevant for all authors involved, especially if a project involves multiple authors. […]

Qualifying the Business Value of Content

Headshot of a smiling woman with shortish hairDana Aubin and Trish Grindereng, Comtech Services
March 15, 2023

How do companies measure the business value of technical documentation content, and what does “business value” mean anyway—customer experience, revenue, retained knowledge, or something else? During a recent CIDM managers’ roundtable discussion, members shared their thoughts on defining business value and practices for quantifying the value of content. […]

How ChatGPT will impact TechDoc

Fabrice Lacroix, Fluid Topics
February 15, 2023

ChatGPT is probably the most eye-opening and promising innovation of the past 10 years. I have been in the high-tech industry for over 35 years, lucky to be involved in deploying the Internet and creating the first websites, then working in the search engine technology, knowledge modeling, and machine learning space for 20 years, and I must admit that ChatGPT is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. And it is a shock to everyone, not just tech nerds.

So much so that every company is probably currently trying to assess how this can transform, endanger, or foster its business. ‘What can we do with this? Will it transform the way we work? If we don’t act, will our competitors displace us?’ Interesting moment, full of promises and opportunities. Or not? […]

January CIDM Roundtable: Team Development: Setting Goals

Headshot of a smiling woman with shortish hairDana Aubin and Trish Grindereng, Comtech Services
February 1, 2023

With the start of a new year, it’s the perfect time to think about setting team goals. At January’s CIDM roundtable, we had a great discussion about the diverse ways companies set performance goals and conduct reviews.

Some companies use traditional goal setting where performance planning and reviews are an annual event with goals set at each level of the business and cascaded down. However, other companies are trying different strategies to evaluate employees, which enables goals to be set more frequently and allows for adjustments to changing business demands. […]

English Usages, Enigmatic Rummages

headshot of a man with short dark hair and a mustacheSairam Venugopalan, Qualcomm
February 1, 2023

The queen’s language, the imperial vernacular, the royal dialect,…we’ve seen different connotations of this elite or eerie communication channel or medium of instruction called English. With its far-flung diversification and subtleties, the roots of the British English tree have proliferated into variegated scripts. Conspicuous among the branches of that base tree is international or American English. While all lingos encounter this bizarreness as they have spinoffs, the perplexities are more profound with the English dialect because of the universal and percolated usage or adoption it has. This compendium attempts to muse on a few stark differences that we see with the generalized or global English codifications, offering nuggets for thought, evoking a chuckle, or arousing a revelation. With this subject under the scanner having unbounded lengths and depths, only the surface can be scratched in the excavation or expedition to conduct an anatomy and introspection of the English trove. […]


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