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.
  • March 6, 2019 In a world where Google sets the gold standard for providing relevant search results, how can technical documentation teams create findability that is always spot-on for every single reader? Relevance of search is determined by a combination of content metadata, contextual knowledge about the user, and the search query itself. The challenge therefore resides in collecting and analyzing these elements, and applying them systematically to every search query to create truly personalized search results. Presented by: 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 on December 14, 2016 Content is king, and organizations are creating content in amounts that were unheard of just a few years ago. Marketing and Technical Publications teams often develop content in different tools and store content in separate content management systems, which makes it extremely difficult to share content and deliver a unified and consistent customer experience. Gone are the days when you had the luxury of getting phone calls from confused customers. Today, consumers would much rather tap or swipe their way to your competitor. To address this problem, Adobe has created an end-to-end solution for DITA authoring, publishing, and component content management based on Adobe Experience Manager. This integrated solution speeds up the delivery of technical content on the market-leading platform that has helped marketers deliver compelling digital experiences. Join Stefan Gentz, Product Evangelist, and Dustin Vaughn, Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe as they discuss and demonstrate this DITA CCMS and how to integrate technical and marketing content. Presented by: Stefan Gentz and Dustin Vaughn, Adobe Dustin Vaughn is a Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe who manages a team of experts in Adobe's Technical Communication and eLearning products. Dustin has over 10 years of industry experience and has served as a panelist, speaker, and Adobe representative at various conferences. He designs, develops, and hosts technical, solution-oriented demonstrations for strategic global customers. 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: February 22, 2017 Although traditionally businesses may still regard technical documentation as an afterthought, there is a change as product information is more and more regarded as an integral part of the product, businesses are looking for more efficiency gains and cost savings, and the future role it will play in the way information will need to be delivered using technologies like Augmented Reality, but also how content connects to IoT. During this webinar, Berry will discuss how content quality plays an important role in achieving these goals, as well as discuss how the use of Simplified Technical English and other documentation standards facilitate product marketing and help make content future proof. Presented by: Berry Braster, Etteplan Berry Braster is the global Sales Director of Technical Documentation Services 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.
  • Date: June 12, 2019 Abstract: Ever since DITA was first used, the greatest obstacle to adoption has been usability. Whilst technical authors have been prepared to learn the intricacies of DITA, others in the content creation lifecycle have been more obstinate. Bluestream together with Simply XML will show how the extensible XDocs CCMS can be integrated with clear browser and desktop authoring environments to allow subject matter experts to create and collaborate on content without ever having to see a tag. Presented by: Rik Page is Sales and Marketing Director at Bluestream Software and has been working with both component content and document management solutions since 2001. During this time he has worked with custom DTDs and Schemas, S1000D, iSpec2200 and DITA. His experience covers a wide range of industries including education, banking and finance, manufacturing and healthcare. A keen advocate of technology and innovation Rik has taken part in multiple consultancy projects and helped formulate solutions all over the world. Over more than two decades, Doug Gorman commercialized the structured writing methodology known as Information Mapping. In the process he realized that XML(DITA) could be used beyond Technical Publication Departments to modernize the enterprise content supply chain. The authoring and repository tools, however, would need to be easy to use. XML would need to be utilized but hidden “under the covers.” Simply XML’s authoring tool, Content Mapper, is a Word Plug-in where the author sees a Word User Interface and the CMS uses DITA XML. Content Mapper is designed for organizations that understand the value of XML as the content architecture, but with many of the 1 Billion plus non-technical authors who use MS Word on a PC. Content Mapper is integrated with Bluestream’s XDocs CCMS to help organizations achieve better content for readers with the important efficiencies of content reuse, single source publishing, and other process improvements.
  • September 9, 2020 This is a presentation that provides an intersection between content and design. It is a high-level practical guide to analyzing your content, deciding what you want to do with it, developing style naming conventions, and developing editorial style guides, design style guides, and style templates. Once you get to that stage, you can then consider how content management systems, automation, and xml might fit into your publishing processes. Presented by: Marie Gollentz is a Senior Solutions Consultant focusing on the European market. Prior to joining Typefi, she held a number of positions in the publishing industry in London, including at the publisher of Research Fortnight and the London School of Business and Finance. Marie holds a Masters degree in European Political Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences from Sciences Po Strasbourg. She is trilingual in English, French and Spanish.
  • February 12, 2020 Products are sold into markets that cross both country and language boundaries, so product documentation must be localized. Localizing documentation is made easier with DITA, a capable Component Content Management System (CCMS), and a Translation Management System (TMS). Even with these systems in place, you must always consider best practices and pitfalls. Jim will begin with an overview of the localization process, of how content flows across systems and organizations. In this context, we will discuss techniques and also wins and pitfalls in automating and streamlining the localization process. In this session, attendees will learn:
    • About the localization process-what are the various roles and how does content flow
    • About use cases and constraints-what is incremental localization and what is the relationship of localization to the product release lifecycle
    • About release management and localization-what role can branching play in localization
    • About localization tools-how do CCMS, TMS, and LSP relate in the localization process
    • About recent developments in automation-how can the localization process be accelerated through automation and what are the wins and pitfalls of automation
    Presented by: Jim Tivy is CTO at Bluestream and a product architect of the XDocs CCMS. Jim has been designing software technology in the area of XML content for twenty years. In 1999, he designed the first commercial XML database called XStreamDb and was a member of the W3C XQuery working group during that time. In 2005, Jim became involved with DITA as Bluestream added support for DITA to the XDocs CCMS. Since then, Jim has taken a lead role on further features of the XDocs CCMS and participates as a member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee.
  • June 3, 2020 In these difficult times, it’s absolutely critical to demonstrate your value to your organization. As a technical communicator, your mission is to make sure you’re getting the right information to the right people. Part of the solution is to find the right tools – but they will only take you so far. Good content is crucial. You must write content in a way that best suits your audience and best matches their search patterns, so they can organically surface the information they need. Join Lawrence Orin, Product Evangelist and Customer Implementation Expert at Zoomin, as he takes an intriguing look at content strategy, and reveals a down-to-earth, practical approach that will ensure your writing is making a visible impact on your company. In it this webinar, you’ll learn:
    • Practical steps to improving your writing skills
    • Best practices for structuring content
    • How to tailor your writing to your audience
    Presented by: Lawrence Orin is Product Evangelist and Customer Implementation Expert at Zoomin, where he leverages his experience as a past customer to help new customers with their implementation and content strategy. He previously led documentation teams at Radvision and Riverbed, as well as other teams in technical support and customer services. He holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science with Cognitive Science from University College London.
  • Recorded: December 14, 2016

    In this session, join Dr. JoAnn Hackos, OASIS DITA Technical Committee and ISO standards developer, and Bill Burns Vasont Systems' Applications Engineer, for an understanding of a new way to develop and publish standards. Learn why the status quo (Word docs and other unstructured file submissions) doesn’t work anymore. Understand how structured content and content management can reduce content-development overhead. Learn what tool vendors have been doing to make structured content development and content management less painful. Discover how content can be output to multiple devices in multiple formats without extra effort.

    Presented by: JoAnn Hackos Comtech Services and Bill Burns, Vasont Systems

  • Recorded: October 13, 2016 Change is difficult and often avoided, and everyone knows insurance companies are risk averse. However, that didn’t stop a small team of technical writers from upending the way they created content for California Casualty. By embracing modular structured content, unproven in their industry at the time, they were able to dramatically increase content findability which had a ripple effect on their entire business. Now California Casualty is an example to other insurance companies on how change can sometimes be a good thing. Join our webinar with Susan Lalor, Senior Information Designer at California Casualty, to find out how her team was able to accomplish this transformation. See how internal stakeholders and content users are just as important as customers. And most importantly, learn best practices for sowing your own seeds of transformation. Susan Lalor wrote her first computer user manual in 1982 when she wondered how the big blank screen sitting on her desk actually worked. She knew then that technical writing was her passion. For the last 13 years, she’s worked as a Senior Information Designer for California Casualty where she is a champion for single sourcing and user experience. She’s also been lucky enough to dabble in web and graphic design, project management, and business analysis over the past 30 years. Susan has a B.S. degree with a concentration in professional writing and has been a STC member since 1998. Chip Gettinger is VP, Solutions, SDL. He manages a team working with SDL customers to maximize their own customer experience by deploying SDL Knowledge Delivery applications. Chip has over 20 years’ experience in global publishing, content strategies, customer experience management, business management, and content management solutions, working closely with industry organizations, partners, and customers in technology solutions and deployment.
  • August 28, 2019 Looking for a single piece of content on a web site is often compared to digging in a giant bucket of LEGOs for a single unique piece – an often frustrating and futile endeavor. If those LEGOs are sorted by certain distinguishing attributes, such as color and size, the odds of finding a particular piece increase dramatically. As a result, companies often take a “LEGO-block” approach to their information taxonomies. However, the sorting of LEGO blocks is child’s play, compared to the intricacies of sorting technical content – the distinctions are not always as visible as color or size, and attributes that are that obvious may not be very useful in a search. Nevertheless, there are lessons we can learn from the “LEGO-block” approach. In this session, Dawn draws parallels between sorting LEGOs and sorting technical content, and provides suggestions for going deeper when the Lego model falls short. Presented by: Dawn Stevens is the President, and owner of Comtech Services and the Director of the Center for Information-Development Management. 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: November 30, 2016 DITA short descriptions have gotten a bad rap over the years, and what was designed to be an essential tool to help technical writers craft better topics and aid readers to narrow down their search for the right content, is perceived by many to be a chore or an afterthought. IXIASOFT DITA Specialist, Keith Schengili-Roberts and JANA Inc.'s Senior Structured Data Analyst, Joe Storbeck got together and wrote an OASIS white paper how and why crafting effective short descriptions are among the most important things a DITA-based technical writer can do. Keith and Joe will examine how to write effective short description for concepts, references and troubleshooting topic types as well as for maps and APIs. This presentation will cover why short descriptions are a good idea (really!), how they make finding content easier for readers, can increase the SEO for your online documents, and much more. If you are looking to understand why short descriptions are important and how to craft them properly, don’t miss this presentation! Presented by: Keith Schengili-Roberts, IXIASOFT and Joe Storbeck, JANA Keith Schengili-Roberts is a DITA Specialist at IXIASOFT, DITA evangelist and technical writing nerd. Keith is also an award-winning lecturer on Information Architecture at the University of Toronto’s iSchool, and Durham College. He is also an active member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, and can often be found presenting at conferences, working with customers, and researching how DITA is being used and sharing those results with the DITA community. Keith's popular industry blog DITAWriter.com has become a focal point on DITA resources and best practices. Connect with Keith on Twitter @KeithIXIASOFT. Joe Storbeck has been a technical communication professional for over 30 years, and has an extensive background in the development of structured data and data application methodologies. He has led technical documentation teams for some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, including IBM, Citibank and AIG, and now leads the DITA consultation and development team for San Antonio, Texas based JANA, Inc. Joe is also a member of the following OASIS committees that are charged with the development, maintenance, and promotion of DITA: DITA Technical Committee, DITA Technical Communications Subcommittee, DITA Adoption Technical Committee, and Lightweight DITA Subcommittee.
  • Say Yes

    $0.00
    Recorded: January 30, 2018 Borrowing the title of Fisher and Ury’s popular work, this session suggests strategies and invites conversation around the challenge of negotiating with your business partners—no matter who they are in your organization. In today’s environment, our technical content organizations are continually asked to support additional services with fewer team members. But doing more with less simply isn’t always possible. Informing a business partner that you cannot support a request can spark a fraught conversation, but adding more to your plate might risk sending your team into overload. Even asking for trust in your decisions as the authority in your area can be tough. Yet these conversations don’t have to become uncomfortable, and can instead provide an opportunity for dialog leading to mutual gains. You can get what your team needs, draw boundaries, and inspire confidence at the same time. Within the context of technical content’s organizational position and business value, this session will cover core negotiation strategies that achieve win-win outcomes and how to avoid zero-sum exchanges. Since relationships are key, we’ll discuss how to identify allies and when to call on them. Finally, we’ll address the inevitable question of data—seemingly irrefutable information that can turn opinion into hard fact. Presented by: Jill Orofino, DellEMC California born and raised, Jill attended UCLA where she received her B.A. in English, and then pursued graduate studies at Boston University. Jill went on to teach at BU for seven years before moving into high tech. Technical content development, research and writing made up the most of Jill’s teaching experience. Jill loves to learn new things and help others reach their goals. Five years into her career in technical content, Jill assumed leadership of a technical writing team at a Boston start-up called Acme Packet. Management was another natural extension of teaching, championing staff members and motivating them. Jill started at EMC (now Dell EMC) about five years ago, bringing with her a focus on customer experience and a drive for simplicity. Jill led the global technical content teams that support core storage for four years before taking a role in Product Marketing. Jill is now exploring a new part of the content ecosystem and its relationship to the unified customer experience.
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