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.

Let’s build the Technical Content Industry 4.0

Anu Singh, Fiserv
February 1, 2021

Let’s begin with the Industrial Revolution that started off with the manufacturing industry and the heart of the revolution was laid around productivity, scale, automation, and use of technology. With the advent of time, this industrial revolution transformed into a technology revolution that fosters personalized experiences with more on-demand supply at a reduced cost.

The focus of Industry 4.0 expanded itself to include optimization of resources for enhanced efficiency, product distribution using multiple platforms while emphasizing localization and turning the overall experience to be the One-Stop solution using a single window approach. As we are ever-evolving, this One-Stop solution has manifested itself beyond manufacturing and is relevant to almost every industry now including the technical content industry. […]

Integrating Portals to Improve Customer Experience

Dana Aubin
January 15, 2021

At the same time that the product documentation team at Allscripts was changing vendors for our product documentation portal, the IT team was changing platforms for the customer hub where customers access the documentation portal, download software, get support, pay bills, and so on. Also, the federated search tool in the old customer portal was being retired by Google, so a new tool was implemented. These changes occurring concurrently gave us a unique opportunity to integrate the portals before rolling them out to improve customer experience with both portals.


Confluence Review Process

Arun Chandran, Dell EMC
January 15, 2021

Every document written is reviewed to ensure it represents accurate information. The review and approval process can make a document or break a document. To get the best possible result, every stakeholder should efficiently and clearly provide their feedback. […]

Microsoft Teams: Bringing us together

Zara Reyes, Waters Corporation
January 1, 2021

Togetherness can be explained as a state or feeling of closeness to others. It provides us with a sense of security, belongingness, support and gives us strength in difficult moments.

Right now togetherness is everything. This time last year, who would have thought 2020 would bring what it did. Social distancing is not in our nature. As humans, we are social beings who connect emotionally using our body language and verbal cues. We do not normally spend our days alone with no social interaction. The little things in life, such as the small social interactions we once had daily, now seem to belong to a distant past, and last year showed just how important it is to stay connected. […]

2020: The year things changed

Sabine Ocker, Comtech Services
January 1, 2021


2020 turned out to be a most singular year. We have experienced uncertainty, challenges, and personal and professional stressors. Many aspects of our working lives have shifted and changed in profound ways. Although there’s no way to guess what 2021 will bring, I’ve been contemplating a few of the more impactful changes that have left me wondering what to expect this year. […]

DIY DITA output customization

Yendra Waney, Oceaneering
December 1, 2020

When I started at Oceaneering, Microsoft Word was the basis of the documentation. So, I started the migration to DITA on the very first day. My manager at that time didn’t know about DITA, but he was pleased that I rewrote a manual with 20% fewer words. By the way, that was not because of DITA. Now the next challenge was to make the DITA output a bit similar to the Microsoft Word formatting. In other words, I needed to customize the output. […]

ConVEx Sets the Standard for Online Events!

Kathy Madison, Comtech Services
November 15, 2020

Over six hundred ConVExers from twenty-one countries, thirty-one US states, and 6 Canadian provinces participated in CIDMs first-ever virtual experience. The main-stage sessions, including the Insights & Inspiration talks and Industry Panels, were the most popular. The attendees also had the opportunity to join Zoom rooms for small candid conversations with speakers and vendors.

During the event, attendees were very highly-engaged in the ConVEx Slack workspace. They asked the speakers questions, made comments about the presentations, and started new discussion threads. The most active channels were #inclusivity-and-accessibility, #analytics-for-content, #contentcatharsis, #book-recommendations, and #petpalooza. Here are a few noteworthy posts/threads from the inclusivity and analytics channels. […]

Establishing and Improving Cross-team Collaboration with UX Designers

Sean Watson, ServiceNow
November 15, 2020

Integration between UX design and content writing is in the early stages of development at ServiceNow. Because of this, there’s a lot of opportunity to define processes in those relationships. The following are some key takeaways learned for successfully establishing a process that builds strong functional relationships across teams.

Perhaps the most impactful task you perform as a content writer is procuring information. There are several types of information required to perform a task. This information is typically acquired by meeting with a UX designer or a team of UX designers, and possibly a product or project manager. […]

Working with SMEs

Kathy Madison, Comtech Services
November 1, 2020

In a recent CIDM member roundtable discussion, we explored all things related to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). A SME is a highly knowledgeable individual who performs specialized functions in a given organization. Traditionally we think of the SME as and the engineer responsible for whatever it is we are writing about, but SMEs can come from any department in your organization. They can be from product management, user interface (UI), user experience (UX), customer support, quality assurance, and even from our own technical writing team. The SME is essentially anyone we go for answers to our questions.

Regardless of who the SME is, we have to build a good working relationship with them, starting with establishing our own value and authority. We must always represent the technical writing organization in a positive way, continually showing our value. A few best practices to create a strong collaborative environment include: […]

Dynamic Publishing with a Headless CMS

Sabine Ocker, Comtech Services
October 1, 2020

Last month, we invited Barry Grenon and Kevin Kuhns of Genesys to come to the CIDM Monthly Round Table and give members a demo of their dynamic publishing environment. Since a headless CMS is an essential component for that environment, I circled back around with Barry and asked him a few questions. Below are his responses.

Sabine: Can you tell us about your role at Genesys—what are you responsible for, how long have you worked there, what kind of deliverables are created by your organization?

Barry: I have been working for Genesys for 13 years. Currently, my role is Director, Information Experience (IX) Platforms. My team is responsible for the administration and customization of our various IX websites. Deliverables include website content (prime delivery) covering all aspects of our technical documentation. This online content is also a source for generated PDF, in-application contextual help, and in-application notifications.

Sabine: Can you help readers who might not be familiar with a headless CMS environment understand what it entails?


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