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.
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: August 23, 2016 Standards are as old as human societies: their forebears are the coins and weights that were used for trade as far back as the historical record goes. In this presentation, JoAnn Hackos explains how information development managers can adopt standards that are relevant for our world. Know how standards demonstrate that we are part of a worldwide community dedicated to ensuring that we define and adopt recognized best practices. Learn how we can work together globally to ensure that we define and implement best practices to develop information and deliver it effectively. Dr. Hackos explains which standards are available and which are under development. She will help you learn how you can benefit from standards in your company or organization. Presented by: JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc. 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.
Date: August 7, 2019 Gathering feedback from subject matter experts and other stakeholders is frequently a source of frustration for both content developers and SMEs alike. Whether you use the old “red pen” technique or circulate PDFs to your SMEs for comment and review, incorporating that feedback into your source content is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and error prone – not to mention difficult to track over time. In this webinar Chad Dybdahl, Adobe Solutions Consultant, will walk you through a highly collaborative workflow experience that allows you to:
- Easily collect feedback from many stakeholders simultaneously, in real-time
- Quickly import changes from reviewers back into your DITA source content
- Accept and reject whose changes
- Preserve trackability of the changes throughout the content lifecycle
Recorded: March 9, 2016 What can we as information developers do to help our users sort through the plethora of information available to them and find that small nugget of truth that will help them complete their task at hand, solve a nagging problem, or make a purchasing decision? How can we create an uncluttered path through the forest that takes them directly to our content, eliminating distractions and unnecessary forks in the road? A corporate taxonomy helps make searching simple and increases the chances for users to find the answers they need on their first try. Unfortunately, the effort to create such systems and the tools required to support them can be prohibitive. In this presentation, Dawn Stevens and Joe Gelb will discuss the importance of a corporate taxonomy, outline the process for defining and testing it, and demonstrate its crucial role within dynamic publishing platforms delivering focused content across all customer touchpoints. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services Inc. and Joe Gelb, Suite Solutions Dawn Stevens is the Vice President of Operations and partner at Comtech Services, Inc. Dawn specializes in information development, instructional design, and management consulting. With 25 years of experience, including 13 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. Joe Gelb has over twenty years of experience helping enterprises implement, maintain and capitalize on structured content. At Zoomin, he has spearheaded the development of advanced technology solutions for 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.
Recorded: July 27, 2016 Over the last decade, corporate technical publications departments have invested heavily in migrating their content away from proprietary authoring and publishing tools (e.g., MSWord, Adobe FrameMaker) and implementing the DITA standard for content markup. These companies have invested millions of dollars into content conversion and implementation of DITA-based authoring and content management systems. In many ways, these DITA implementation projects have proven to be hugely successful, particularly with regards to content reuse and reduced cost of localizing content to multiple languages. However, one promise of DITA has often fallen short: the goal of true “single source publishing.” The majority of technical publications groups are still publishing to print as the primary output format, followed by online help, and in some cases, eBooks. But, one major gap is still present for most technical publishers: automated publishing to mobile devices. Even though smartphones and tablets have dominated the industry for the last several years, virtually no one is publishing content in a way that fully uses the native capabilities of these mobile devices. Instead, they are settling for the inherent limitations of PDF or HTML files. Dan Dube outlines 5 tips to help technical publishers go “the last mile” to fully leverage their DITA investment and deliver content to popular mobile device platforms like Apple iOS and Android. This webinar will also help to answer the burning question: “Why aren’t EPUB or PDF the best choices for delivering DITA content to a mobile device?” Presented by: Dan Dube, Compass Behavior Dan Dube is a seasoned veteran of the XML content management and publishing industry, with over 30 years of experience working with structured content and automated single-source publishing solutions. Dan is best known as the co-founder and former CEO of DocZone, the industry’s first cloud-based solution for XML authoring, content management, localization, and multichannel publishing. (DocZone was acquired by RSI in 2009.) Dan is now CEO and co-owner of Compass Innovative Behavior Strategies, a New England-based provider of behavior therapy services for individuals with autism and other developmental delays. He still maintains a presence in the publishing industry as an independent consultant.
Recorded: July 20, 2017The OASIS DITA Adoption TC is pleased to announce Stan Doherty’s presentation on Integrating Markdown Into Your DITA 1.3 Pipeline. Stan will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to supplement an out-of-the-box DITA 1.3 deployment with the software, templates, and processing logic required to author and integrate Markdown-encoded topics alongside your DITA topics and maps. Stan will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to supplement an out-of-the-box DITA 1.3 deployment with the software, templates, and processing logic required to author and integrate Markdown-encoded topics alongside your DITA topics and maps.
Presented by Stanley Doherty, Ph.D., HPE SimpliVity (Secretary for the OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee)Stan Doherty lives in the Boston area and works as a technical publications manager and Agile Product Owner at HPE SimpliVity. He participates as a voting member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, serves as secretary for the OASIS DITA Adoption Technical Committee, and supports companies in New England considering DITA. Feel free to contact Stan if you are considering DITA, DITA tools, and DITA-aware CCMSs.
Date: July 11, 2019 Content needs to be delivered across multiple channels – printed documents, website, mobile app, chat bots, customer support website, IoT devices, and beyond – but needs to be relevant to end users in context of their search. However, end users struggle to find the right content easily as authors are always short of time to create content best suited for all these needs. Content needs to be served up on demand almost like a service which works no matter the device, channel and context in which it is viewed. It all comes down to structure. Find out how you can make your content ‘future ready’ by following some intelligent techniques. Key takeaways:
- How to make your content intelligent?
- How to make your content channel agnostic?
- How structured content can help achieve these objectives?
Recorded: March 28, 2018 As we look forward to the 2018 Content Management Strategies/DITA North America conference in April, we devote time to identify industry trends. We asked managers, information architects, writers, training developers, and more how they are addressing the challenges of meeting customer information needs. Dawn Stevens, President of Comtech Services and Mark Gross, President, DCL will walk us through the results of the 2018 Trends Survey, a study we have been conducting since 2012. With five years of data, we can trace the changes in how we think about developing and delivering content. Join DCL and Comtech Services as we review the results of the 2018 survey and compare it with past results. Learn how information developers are coping with new customer demands for innovative approaches to development and delivery. Learn what tools teams are using and how they respond to technical innovations. Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services and Mark Gross, Data Conversion Laboratory 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. Mark Gross, President, Data Conversion Laboratory, is a recognized authority on XML implementation and document conversion. Mark also serves as Project Executive, with overall responsibility for resource management and planning. Prior to joining DCL in 1981, Mark was with the consulting practice of Arthur Young & Co. Mark has a BS in Engineering from Columbia University and an MBA from New York University. He has also taught at the New York University Graduate School of Business, the New School, and Pace University. He is a frequent speaker on the topic of automated conversions to XML and SGML.
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: July 1, 2015
We talk a big game: DITA helps you reuse content with ease. Business cases are built on this promise, but many find the goal elusive. It seems to take just as much effort to manage reusable content as it did to simply copy and paste it. Sure, we might have missed some versions of that content in subsequent updates, but now we can destroy someone else’s deliverables by unwittingly changing content they were reusing. The problems are different, but the impact is the same, as we fail to realize the promised benefits and cost savings. At least in the “good old days” we understood what we were doing – Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, and voila! Everyone could do it! Now we struggle with the difference between a keyref and conkeyref, we can’t decide whether to use a conditional attribute or a key, and we have never even made a conref push work, let alone find an application for it. Why isn’t DITA delivering on its reuse promises in so many organizations? In this presentation, Dawn Stevens asserts that the promises can indeed be met, but you must use the right tool for the job. Dawn provides guidance for choosing the appropriate reuse mechanism in the DITA standard as she compares and contrasts each feature, including the forthcoming 1.3 capabilities of scoped keys and branch filtering.
Presented by: Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services, Inc.
Dawn Stevens is a Senior Consultant specializing in information development, instructional design, and management consulting. With 25 years of experience, including 13 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.
May 13, 2020 There is an explosion of content today. But what makes your content stand out is – relevance and searchability. To ensure that customers don’t have to spend hours searching through your content, metadata is key. And to know what metadata to add while authoring, a well-established taxonomy is key. To design a truly best-in-class content search experience metadata and taxonomy need to work in tandem. In this webinar we will showcase:
- How to leverage metadata to make your content searchable
- What is the difference between good and bad taxonomies
- A live example of taxonomy development using Adobe Experience Manager