Information Management News
Volume 5, Issue 12
December, 2005

A monthly e-newsletter from The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD, CIDM Director

If you would like to receive the CIDM e-newsletter in plain-text format, visit and choose the plain-text format.

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News & Events

Save the date for the 8th annual Content Management Strategies 2006 conference. Register today and save over $200 off the regular registration rate!

International Master of Language Administration Program

The application deadline for the International MLA program, through the Copenhagen Business School, has been extended to December 15, 2005. For more information on this distance learning program and for an application, please visit their web site.

Looking for a good book?

Find some great deals on books from previous conferences.

What is CIDM?

Find out more about The Center for Information-Development Management.

Best Practices newsletter subscriptions available

Find out how to subscribe to the bi-monthly Best Practices newsletter.

Upcoming Workshops

The CIDM sponsors the following workshops:

DITA: Getting Started
Jen Linton
December 6–7
Columbus, OH

Managing Your Documentation Projects
Bill Hackos, PhD,
December 6–7
Princeton, NJ

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
January 25–26, 2006
Austin, TX

DITA: Getting Started
Jen Linton
January 31–February 1, 2006
Mountain View, CA

For more information on these and other workshops, visit the JoAnn Hackos Workshop Series web site.

Vendor Announcements

Vasont Systems releases Vasont 10

Read more about Vasont’s latest release.

Is DITA Going to Tip?
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

It might be too early to ask the key question: Is DITA going to tip? After all, DITA became an OASIS standard early in 2005. Before that, it was a glimmer inside IBM. Some four years ago, DITA began to be evangelized by Dave Schell, myself, and a few others. But when I invited Dave to speak at the 2001 Best Practices conference and included his brief vignette about DITA in my 2002 Content Management book, the most common response was “DITA who?”

Read the article

More articles
The Effect of DITA on Information-Development Roles—Jen Linton
Political Map of Stakeholders—Vesa Purho
When Life Depends on Clear Instructions—Irene Etzkorn

December 2005 Best Practices Newsletter
Table of Contents



A Business Case for Authoring Content in the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)

Visnja Beg, IBM Canada Ltd.,
Amber Swope, IBM Corporation

Director’s Column

JoAnn Hackos, CIDM

Editing Strategies for Content Authored in DITA

Ronnie Seagren, IBM Canada Ltd., David Steinmetz, IBM Corporation, and Donna Sutarno, IBM Canada Ltd.

Managing the Move to Authoring in DITA

Hadar Hawk and Amber Swope, IBM Corporation

The Role of an Information Architect in the Technical Information-Development World

JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

Making Project Management a Valiant Voyage

Mike Eleder, Lucent Technologies

Why DITA Alone Just Won’t Do

Jon Parsons, XyEnterprise Solutions, Inc.

Building a Strong CMS Business Case: Selling the Sizzle and the Steak

Charlotte Robidoux and Patrick Waychoff, Hewlett-Packard Company

You can purchase the Best Practices newsletter online even if you aren’t a CIDM member. A subscription is $99 per year. For subscribers outside the US, the cost is $109.

**Please note that the printed newsletter and the enewsletter do not contain the same content.**

The Effect of DITA on Information-Development Roles
Jen Linton
Comtech Services, Inc.

In your information-development organization, you and your staff members may wear many hats. They can include manager, writer, editor, graphics specialist, production specialist, project manager, usability specialist, and many more. When you decide to change to a topic-based writing architecture such as Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), some of these roles may require different definitions and responsibilities. I have identified five of the main roles and how they might be affected.

Read the article

Political Map of Stakeholders
Vesa Purho

Those who participated in the CIDM Best Practices conference in September 2005 know all about using organization politics to help drive important initiatives through their organization. Creating the political map can seem a daunting task when there are many players involved. Stakeholder mapping can be used as a tool to limit the number of players before creating your actual political map.

Read the article

Irene EtzkornWhen Life Depends on Clear Instructions
Siegel & Gale, LLC

You are in a 25th floor hotel room and the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night. You study the “you are here” diagram on the back of the door to find out where the nearest exit is. If it is like most of these diagrams, it looks more like a maze than an escape map. Just as your panic rises, the all-clear signal rings and disaster is averted, but no thanks to the information card. Still anxious on your trip home, you examine the escape procedures card in the seatback of the airplane and realize that it, too, is useless.

Read the article