- Understand the key factors that are driving companies to move to structured content
- Understand which technologies companies use to author and deliver content today
- Know which are the “hottest” content delivery channels in the future to provide technical content to customers
April 8, 2020 Technical Communication is in constant change: Requirements and expectations from both authors and consumers of technical content have changed dramatically over the last decade. The rise in digital experience innovation creates new customer expectations and demands. And enterprises around the world are exploring new ways to create new Content Interaction Experiences for their customers. In this presentation, Stefan Gentz will give insights from the Adobe Technical Communication Worldwide Survey 2019/2020. TechComm professionals from 60 countries participated in the survey. He will discuss the driving factors for enterprises around the world when it comes to technical communication. Why do companies choose to work with structured content, and why do they go for a CCMS? How do they deliver their content today – and how will they provide content tomorrow? KEY TAKEAWAYS
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
March 9, 2021 Ironically, the terms utilized to describe a vocabulary of words used to organize and catalog information within a content corpus often are used inconsistently or interchangeably. However, each term represents a point, on an increasing scale of complexity and resulting data richness and applicability. In this two-part webinar, Dawn Stevens of Comtech Services defines key points along this scale, comparing and contrasting the scope and domain to which each term applies, suggesting when each might be used, and recommending the processes for creating it. Dawn is joined by Rik Page of Bluestream, who will demonstrate real-life examples of each in use. Participants will gain clarity about the approach required to make content more accessible for their users. View part 2 of this webinar here. 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 20 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. 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 since 2005 DITA. His practical experience ranges from data capture/content creation through to dynamic multichannel delivery, achieved in a wide range of industries including banking and finance, manufacturing, central government and education. A keen advocate of technology and innovation Rik has taken part in multiple consultancy projects and helped formulate solutions all over the world. Away from the office Rik is a Scout Leader working with young people and helping them to develop new skills whilst having fun.
Recorded: February 25, 2016 A content strategy may fall short in delivering on expectations for many reasons – among them failure to send a consistent message about what you expect content developers to do with the strategy, and failure to guide developers as they implement the strategy in their content. Until recently, our practice was to develop a strategy, present it to the team, and leave it to managers and developers to decide how to implement the strategy in their content. This approach produced inconsistent implementation of the strategy, resulting in a lot of content that seemed to have been developed by different organizations. Ron explains how Siemens PLM implemented the content strategy team, shares lessons learned and successes thus far, and describe next steps. Presented by: Ron Hickman, Siemens PLM Software Ron Hickman is Director of Learning Media Development for Siemens PLM Software. He has been with Siemens PLM Software (and predecessor companies) for more than 36 years, leading several different teams, including the Americas customer support team and the Teamcenter Program Office. He joined Learning Media Development in February 2011 as senior manager for Teamcenter documentation and courseware, and became director of Learning Media Development in June 2013. When he’s not working, Ron enjoys time with his family, including 5 grandchildren, hiking, and serving in the community.
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.
March 4, 2020 Technical documentation is rarely created by lone writers, so there is a constant need for collaboration. Collaboration can be with other writers or with people with other roles, usually referred to as subject matter experts, who may be part of your organization or external experts. In order to be successful, the collaboration needs to be enabled by integrating it as part of the usual processes or workflows each user performs. In this presentation, we will explore a few collaboration scenarios that show how to implement continuous improvement loops for published documentation, how to integrate documentation as part of the product development workflow, and how immediate collaboration can take place. Presented by: George Bina is one of the founders of Syncro Soft SRL, the company that develops oXygen XML suite of XML editing, authoring, development, publishing and collaboration tools. He has more than 20 years of experience in working with XML and related technologies, bringing many innovative ideas to reality and contributing to XML-related open-source projects. He presented at many XML, DITA, and technical communication conferences, giving passionate presentations and challenging the technological status quo, trying to get the audience to think outside the box, and re-imagine the future.
Recorded: April 13, 2017Working with global teams is more than just the mechanics of coordinating different time zones and understanding local holidays. It is about the human aspect of recognizing and understanding a different view point – perspective to help improve your process and communication to complete your work. This presentation will explore how you can understand different cultural viewpoints to improve your communication and improve your work flow. Real life examples, quotes, and examples from experts will be used to aid in the suggestions presented to you.What the Audience will learn:
- Active listening communication
- Communication style with a diverse team
- Sharing and relationship building
Presented by Leticia Guzzetta, Imagination TechnologiesLeticia Guzzetta has been a Technical Publications manager at Imagination for 3 years. She has 17 years management experience and 30 years tech pubs experience. Leticia has working knowledge and experience on improving publishing processes and content strategies with some expertise in XML, DITA, CMS, CCMS, and FrameMaker. At Imagination Technologies, Leticia manages the MIPS documentation writing projects and team. She works closely with her overseas peers to improve and modernize Imagination’s publishing process. Leticia has a BA and MA in English.
Recorded: February 17, 2016 As software has moved to the cloud and evolved into Software as a Service, there’s been an increasing need for software documentation to evolve as well. Documentation processes and project management methodologies that relied on long release cycles don’t work in the more agile world of continuous software updates. While working through this evolution, the Microsoft Dynamics AX Content Publishing team was hit with a massive layoff, reducing a team of 40 people to a team of 10. Suddenly, the idea of reinventing how we worked and how we delivered content in a more agile way took on a much more extreme meaning. Over the past year, we’ve worked through a true reinvention. We developed a model where the role of the writer has changed to the role of Content Strategist, the role of the manager has changed to one of empowering the team rather than trying to solve the team’s problems, the role of creating content has moved to a variety of subject matter experts, and the role of ensuring content quality has been distributed across teams who work most closely with customers. We’ve learned a great deal through this reinvention, and this talk shares the highlights of what we’ve learned. This talk looks at how the Microsoft Dynamics AX Content Publishing team reinvented their roles, authoring tools, and content creation and publishing processes in an environment where staffing levels are so low that writers can no longer write. You’ll learn about this team’s experience in moving away from traditional content publishing practices and instead, collaborating with other subject matter experts in planning content, identifying appropriate authors, incenting subject matter experts to create the content, and leveraging teams outside of Content Publishing to ensure content quality. The talk covers aspects of change management, influencing without authority, collaboration, partnering, creative problem solving, and teamwork. Presented by Ann Beebe, Microsoft Dynamics AX Ann Beebe has been leading content publishing teams at Microsoft for 18 years. She’s managed the documentation teams for Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Business Framework, Visual Studio, Home and Small Business Server, and is currently leading the documentation teams for Microsoft Dynamics’ AX and GP products. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ann managed documentation, training, and corporate communications for Barfield, Cauthen & Associates in Atlanta, and managed documentation and usability teams for Sales Technologies, Inc. in Atlanta.
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.
February 5, 2019 Your technical content is a valuable yet hidden asset: It impacts every stage of your customer journey and forms a significant - and often, the largest - component of your overall web presence. Easy access to personalized content is therefore key to the overall digital and user experience for your customers. In this webinar we explore the role of taxonomy and metadata to deliver on the promise of role-based and personalized experiences, taking into account a variety of content types. Presented by: Joe Gelb has over twenty years of experience helping enterprises implement, maintain and capitalize on structured content. At Zoomin Software, he has spearheaded the development of advanced technology solutions for dynamic content delivery. Prior to founding Zoomin and Suite Solutions, Joe was the CTO at Live Linx, a leading provider of software and system integration services for technical product information, where he designed and implemented solutions for aerospace, defense, manufacturing and hi-tech companies. Joe holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
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.
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