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.

iiRDS: A Standard for Intelligent Content

Mark Schubert & Ulrike Parson, parson AG
August 15, 2019

Intelligent content has been a buzzword for quite a while now. It is a promise to deliver all the content you need at the right time. For example, you’re a service technician going to maintain that PrettyBigMachine, you’ll need the maintenance instructions for all the components that are up for scheduled maintenance, plus a list of required tools and the time you will need for your work. […]

What makes a top-notch organization?

Sabine Ocker, Comtech Services
August 15, 2019

During last month’s CIDM Round Table member participants observed that all top-notch organizations must exude both excellence and quality. They identified several critical measurements, which are summarized in this article. […]

How do we know our content is effective?

Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services
July 15, 2019

Ask any technical writer what is the measure of success for their work and they will tell you that their documentation must meet the needs of their users – it must give users the information required to answer their questions, solve their problems, and complete their tasks in an effective and efficient way. […]

Upcoming Best Practices Conference: Measuring Success

Comtech Services
July 15, 2019

Conferences can be one of the most rewarding training and networking opportunities. The diversity of voices and session offerings often kickstarts or revitalizes passion for an organization and for the work to be done. It’s especially helpful when all of the speakers come from the industry and have had similar struggles to what you’re going through. […]

Choose Your Own Adventure

Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services
July 1, 2019

One of the most popular children’s series during the 1980s and 1990s, was Bantam Book’s Choose Your Own Adventure series, which sold more than 250 million copies between 1979 and 1998. In these books, geared toward children aged 7-14, the reader assumes the role of the protagonist and makes choices that determine the main character’s actions and the plot’s outcome. […]

User Stories

Sabine Ocker, Comtech Services
June 15, 2019

The topic of last month’s CIDM Round Table was User Stories and Technical Publications. Although user stories are traditionally a software development tool in the Agile methodology, we discussed how they can also assist the technical documentation process. […]

McAfee’s Journey to Personalized Content Delivery

Dee Beck, McAfee
June 1, 2019

Today McAfee has a live, customer-facing documentation portal ( that hosts multiple versions of 60 products translated in up to 20 languages. Despite achieving this milestone in 2017, we have a long way to go before we deliver truly personalized content. Launching has been just one step in the journey. […]

A Look at Lightweight DITA

Alan Houser, Group Wellesley, Inc.
June 1, 2019

DITA is a proven architecture that has helped organizations to transform how they create, manage, and deliver content to support their customers and strengthen their business. But DITA remains challenging for many organizations. Even for DITA adopters, aspects of content workflows remain challenging: […]

Is Your Team Considering Git? Get a Branching Method

Daniel Reifsnider, Sony Interactive Entertainment
May 15, 2019

This article seeks to provide a short explanation of the benefits of having a branching methodology. I’d like to start this article off with two statements. First, I apologize for the pun in the title. Second, I absolutely agree with the title’s statement. […]

The End of the Technical Writer?

Keith Schengili-Roberts, IXIASOFT
May 1, 2019

For roughly six years, I have been keeping track of the number of technical writer job postings on—the largest job aggregator website in the United States. With the exception of a brief surge in technical writer job postings in late 2015/early 2016, there has been a steady decline in technical writer job postings. […]