Past Webinars

  • Recorded: February 26, 2018 Although you don’t need DITA to write according to minimalism principles and you can certainly take a non-minimal approach when writing in DITA, the two go together like chocolate and peanut butter. In this presentation, Dawn explores the relationship between DITA, minimalism, and other technical communication best practices, demonstrating how each aligns with and complements the other. She provides guidance for forming your DITA information model and authoring guidelines to reflect writing best practices while maximizing the benefits DITA offers. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services at LearningDITA Live 2018 Dawn Stevens is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training.
  • Recorded: April 5, 2017 Historically, technical content has been written for humans. But with the rise of artificial intelligence, machines will consume this content to solve problems automatically or help solve problems. This means that machines need to leverage the content in the easiest, most unambiguous possible way. Structured content authoring has been created to optimize the writing process (minimize cost and increase reuse). This way of writing has a lot of impact on what algorithms and content can do with it. Through a set of examples, we will review the benefits and limits of structured content, and how structured content impacts what modern tools and algorithms can do. Presented by: Fabrice Lacroix, Antidot Fabrice Lacroix is a known Web pioneer and the founder of Antidot, the company that puts enterprise content to work. As an entrepreneur, he has been working for 25 years on the development of the Internet and of the Web through several major companies.
  • Recorded: January 20, 2016 DITA-based technical documents are inherently sophisticated and complex hyperdocuments. They are developed through complex revision processes, often by highly-distributed teams. Thus DITA documents and their management present a number of challenges inherent in the nature of sophisticated technical documentation. While the value of this sophisticated approach to documentation has tremendous value to organizations as a whole, it can make the life of individual authors much more challenging, leading to the common complaint “DITA is too hard”. This talk presents the link and configuration management challenges inherent in sophisticated hyperlinked documentation and discusses the features of DITA and DITA component content management systems that address these challenges. If authors and managers understand the challenges inherent in DITA-based authoring they can at least set their expectations and provision tools and resources appropriately. What can attendees expect to learn?
    • The way in which DITA documents are sophisticated hyperdocuments
    • What “configuration management” means in the context of DITA-based documentation
    • The fundamental link and configuration management challenges DITA hyperdocuments present
    • The DITA features that enable and support hyperdocument
    • The link and configuration management features DITA-aware component configuration management systems must provide in order to support authors.
    • A little bit about Aikido
    Presented by Eliot Kimber, Contrext, LLC. Eliot Kimber is a founding and active member of the DITA Technical Committee. He has been working with structured markup for more than 30 years. Eliot is also a co-editor of the HyTime standard. Eliot currently focuses on the application of DITA to the business challenges of Publishers. Eliot is the founder and principal developer of the open-source DITA for Publishers project. Eliot lives and works with his family in Austin, Texas.
  • Recorded: October 29, 2015 Were you taught how to write a classical five-paragraph essay in elementary school? Did you ever learn about beginning paragraphs with topic sentences? Do you know that legal documents like contracts have standard sections in a standard order? Do you think action steps should be in the order they are performed? If none of these structures are new to you, you already know something about structured writing. Yet, the thought of moving to writing with a consistent, prescribed, and semantic structure often strikes fear into the hearts of technical writers and subject-matter experts alike. In this webinar, learn why structured authoring is essential to clear and consistent communication. Consider why using a semantic structure enhances the quality of your writing while also making it available for repurposing and retrieval. Rather than considering structure something to avoid, think of it as something to embrace to make your writing more understandable for your readers. And, consider ways to help those who resist a move to structure to understand its benefits by providing them with a supportive authoring environment. Presented by: JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services Dr. JoAnn Hackos is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado, which she founded in 1978. She is Director of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM), a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. Dr. Hackos and colleagues are called upon by corporate executives worldwide to consult on strategies for content management, development and organizational management, product interface design, customer studies, Web and traditional information architecture, and tools and technology selection.
  • Recorded: April 19, 2016 In this presentation, we embark upon re-thinking the entire content production cycle, and we use The Toyota Way as our philosophy. Expect fun and engaging conversation that will make you question some or all of the time-honoured content production processes and to start looking for waste. We will discuss the Lean principles in Japanese car manufacturing and apply them to content production. We will debate that not only can this be done today, but also that it can be done well. Finally, we will look how using Lean together with a good quality DITA/CMS solution can lead to incredible results in reducing production time and costs, improving team morale, and achieving superior product quality. By product, we, of course, mean content output.

    Presented by: Nenad Furtula, Bluestream and Galyna Key, Datix

    Nenad Furtula is partner and a VP of Sales and Marketing at Bluestream Database Software. Nenad has been working with XML and bringing XML related products to market for over a decade. Currently his primary professional interest lies in building and socializing a DITA-enabled value-based component content management system called XDocs. Since discovering the field of technical communication 15 years ago, Galyna remains convinced that it is the coolest and most creative discipline out there. Over the years, she stopped trying to figure out whether she is a project manager, product manager, engineer, designer, tester, localisation expert, or a knowledge architect and decided to have fun changing her hats on a regular basis. Galyna is currently leading the transformation of customer learning experience (LX) at Datix. Previously, she did the same at Autodesk, where she built a high-performing LX team from the ground up. She holds two Master’s Degrees; one in Philology and another one in Technical Authorship, and she is a Fellow of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators.
  • Recorded: February 27, 2018 Join us to learn how companies are using Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) as the single source to power their learning content, including leveraging learning objectives to drive personalized learning. Dawn Stevens, President of Comtech Services, and Amber Swope, President of DITA Strategies, are co-chairs of the Learning & Training OASIS subcommittee and will explain how DITA can provide the structured foundation for your learning initiatives. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services and Amber Swope, DITA Strategies Dawn Stevens is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado. She is also Director of the Center for Information-Development Management, a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. With over 25 years of experience, including 15 years at Comtech, Dawn has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. With both engineering and technical communication degrees, Dawn combines a solid technical foundation with strong writing and design skills to identify and remove the challenges her clients face in producing usable, technical information and training. Amber Swope is an internationally recognized expert on the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) who specializes in helping teams develop their information architecture and implement DITA. With over 20 years of experience in the information development field and 12 years of DITA expertise, Amber helps teams design and optimize their environments to improve efficiency and reduce costs. When she’s not busy helping to change the world with XML, she can be found playing soccer, walking her puppsters, and enjoying Portland, OR.
  • April 1, 2020 Implementing DITA with a small team of technical writers does not have to be expensive or difficult to set up. We'll go through the steps of implementing a DITA solution using GitHub for storage and workflow and Oxygen XML Editor for editing. We'll also look into how you can automate publishing and receive feedback from your end users. As a practical example we'll look into how editing, collaboration and publishing on the Oxygen XML Blog works. Presented by: Radu Coravu started working more than 10 years ago as a software developer for Syncro Soft SRL, the manufacturer of the popular oXygen XML Editor. During the last years, his main focus has been in the development of the visual XML Author editing environment and the specific-DITA support provided by oXygen. He provides support for complex integrations and helps steer the product in the right direction, all this with some development on the side.
  • April 5, 2018 Content can be created and managed in primarily two different ways – structured, following an XML-based information model or unstructured, without any specific information model. Over the last few years, we have seen a surge in companies (more so in a few particular industries) evaluating or migrating to structured content. • What is the current state of these companies and/or the industries? Did these companies migrate successfully? • Which specific information model did most of these companies choose? Why did they choose what they did? Adobe recently surveyed a diverse group of 2000+ content professionals across 30+ countries to better understand their preferences, usage, and practices around structured content. The results revealed interesting trends in the areas of adoption of structured authoring, structured content management, the journey towards chatbots, and collaboration use cases, to name a few. Join Adobe Tech Comm Evangelist, Stefan Gentz, as he shares the latest insights in structured content management based on the findings from Adobe’s 2017 – 2018 Tech Comm Survey. Presented by: Stefan Gentz, Adobe As the Global Evangelist for Technical Communication at Adobe, Stefan’s mission is to inspire enterprises and technical writers around the world and show how to create compelling technical communication content with the Adobe TCS tools. Stefan is also a certified Quality Management Professional (TÜV), ISO 9001 / EN 15038 auditor, ISO 31000 Risk Management expert and Six Sigma Champion. Stefan is a popular keynote speaker and moderator at conferences such as tekom, tcworld, Information Energy, Intelligent Content Conference, Congility, LocWorld, TCUK, STC, GALA, ELIA, TTT, Translation Forum Russia and many other. He is also a member of the Conference Advisory Board of the world’s biggest TechComm event, the tekom / tcworld Conferences, and an Ambassador for the Globalization and Localization Association. He is also an active social networker on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Recorded: January 18, 2018 The experts will discuss the evidence of trends for more SME-authored content, and investigate the forces driving the trend. They will also share good practices for safeguarding quality content and efficient production when more and more documentation is written by people outside of the information development team. They will also discuss potential benefits to using more SMEs, and raise some questions around the real cost of using SMEs to author content. What does it mean for the tech writing profession if “anyone can write technical documentation”? If you feel as though you have to fight to have information development specialists write your content, come and hear how others are experiencing changing patterns of content development. Share good practice regarding handling SME-authored content as we look for ways to build collaboration without sacrificing standards and efficiencies. Discuss how to leverage your Information Developer experience and skills when folks from other teams are writing content, and brainstorm with the panel the new skill sets we must nurture to be successful in a collaborative environment. Presented by: Sharon Figueira, Toni Mantych and Joe Pennachio Sharon Figueira has eighteen years’ experience as a technical communicator. For the past few years, the main focus of my career has been DITA XML, content management, and migrating content into DITA and a CCMS. My team won the RFQ to migrate Ericsson’s content to a DITA XML/CCMS solution. Since then, we have migrated thousands of pages of content, performing pre-migration analysis, restructuring content, maximizing reuse, and producing variant output. Sharon recently joined IXIASOFT, a leader in the content management software industry. Toni Mantych describes her professional purpose and passion as “Solving client problems with content, and content problems with technology.” She is currently Director of Information Experience at ServiceNow. She has taught numerous courses in the graduate Technical and Professional Communications program as Portland State University and speaks regularly at content industry conferences. Joe Pennachio is a skilled professional with experience building and directing technical teams globally. Significant strategic and operational experience with a strong bias towards executing organization-wide transformation, achieving increased efficiency, and reducing cost. Proven ability for identifying and analyzing critical customer and business needs and implementing change. Joe joined QUALCOMM in January of 2016 as a Senior Director of Technical Communications.
  • Recorded: May 10, 2016 In the age of IoT, connected devices have opened up a whole new way of supporting your customer. Learn how you can leverage real-time device information to provide your customers with an immediate diagnosis and troubleshooting walkthroughs before they even notice the problem. In this session you will learn:
    • How to create adaptive decision workflows as part of your documentation
    • How to trigger the right workflow at the right time based on device information
    • How to serve the workflow to customers through your web or mobile application
    Presenter: Hannan Saltzman, Zoomin Hannan Saltzman is the Vice President of Product Management at Suite Solutions. For the last 15 years, Hannan has served in senior R&D and product positions, focused on helping organizations extract critical business insights from their information assets using smart analytics. At Suite Solutions, Hannan and his team develop innovative products that help organizations reduce customer effort by providing personalized and consistent product information across customer touchpoints.
  • Recorded: August 10, 2017 For many manufacturers, the service (after-market) business is becoming more important as they are looking to improve customer satisfaction and service-related profitability. However, the cost of service has proven to be very high and maintenance issues are often dealt with inefficiently; a service engineer often still needs to go onsite to inspect the problem, order spare parts and then go back a second time to perform the actual maintenance.  Moreover, research found that it takes a service engineer up to 50% to troubleshoot an issue as maintenance information is either difficult to find, use or understand due to the way it’s delivered, for instance in the form of complex and ambiguous content in lengthy PDF files. Through smart, connected products thanks to Industrial Internet solutions, manufacturers and service organizations will be able to collect, analyze and capitalize on the data gathered from the use of their products: from early problem identification to predictive maintenance to generating new revenue streams. During this 45 min session Berry Braster will discuss how a solid content strategy (allowing for dynamic and augmented service information delivery) combined with IoT strategies will improve the profitability in the service business in both the short and long term.

    Presented by Berry Braster, Etteplan

    Berry Braster is the Technology Director of Technical Documentation at Etteplan, a specialist in engineering, embedded systems, IoT, and technical documentation solutions with over 2500 employees worldwide. Berry has over 16 years of experience in the field of technical documentation and has assisted many global companies with their content strategies, how to effectively communicate technical information and apply universal standards for content, including Simplified Technical English and DITA.
  • Recorded: March 23, 2016 Manuals are rapidly becoming the last items people rely on to find information about the products they have purchased. Leafing through the pages of a printed copy seems too old today. In fact, even finding the printed manual may be difficult in most environments. Instead, we search for answers to our questions using the ubiquitous Google search. Most of the manuals that were in our kitchen drawers are available online but do we really want a PDF of a manual to try to page through? PDF searches are pretty much useless for finding the specific answers to our questions or solving our problems. Instead of a PDF, we’d like a page with the answer, something we often can find without going to the product website. Topics are the new information resource. Presented by: JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services and Nenad Furtula, Bluestream Dr. JoAnn Hackos is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, Colorado, which she founded in 1978. She is Director of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM), a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. Dr. Hackos and colleagues are called upon by corporate executives worldwide to consult on strategies for content management, development and organizational management, product interface design, customer studies, Web and traditional information architecture, and tools and technology selection. Nenad Furtula is partner and a VP of Sales and Marketing at Bluestream Database Software. Nenad has been working with XML and bringing XML related products to market for over a decade. Currently his primary professional interest lies in building and socializing a DITA-enabled value-based component content management system called XDocs.
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