Information Management News
Volume 6, Issue 12
December 2006

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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CIDM Calendar of Events


Registration is now open for Content Management Strategies/DITA North America 2007 to be held March 26–28, in Boston, MA.

News & Events

DITA Webinar Series–Sponsored by Comtech Services, XMetaL, and XyEnterprise

Part 3: Specialization featuring JoAnn Hackos and Jennifer Linton, XyEnterprise, and XMetaL
January 18, 2007
10am PST | 1pm EST | 6pm GMT

More Information

How important is documentation to your product development lifecycle?

What can companies do to improve their product documentation processes? Aberdeen Group wants to find out—to provide best practices to the market. Please share your company’s experience by taking the Product Documentation Survey. Each respondent who answers the survey will receive a free copy of the research report, based on the survey results. Individual responses will be kept strictly confidential. Take the survey here.

Comtech Services Releases DITA User Guide

We are accepting orders forIntroduction to DITA: A User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture. Order your copy today!


Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos
December 12–13, 2006
Germantown, MD

DITA: Getting Started
Jen Linton
January 10–11, 2007
Phoenix, AZ

Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Can Use
JoAnn Hackos
March 22–23, 2007
Princeton, NJ

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

Style Guides and Language Quality Systems: Improving Customer Relations
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

Style Guides have long been the focus of quality control for information developers. Most publications professionals rely upon Style Guides to foster best practices in terminology, grammar, punctuation, and writing style. Writers and editors spend considerable time and effort to develop and update their Style Guides. Organizations even adopt Style Guides produced by industry leaders such as Microsoft, Sun, and the former Digital Equipment Corporation. Our February issue of the Best Practicesnewsletter is dedicated to the process of developing Style Guides and introducing them effectively to our increasingly global organizations.

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More articles

Information-Development Purchasing Guide: Language Quality Systems
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

In an eight article series for the e-newsletter, CIDM will be discussing buying tips for typical services and products that you, as an information developer, might be interested in buying.

This is the third in our e-newsletter series of purchasing guides for purchasing information-development products and services. In this issue we look at a controlled language system.

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Insourcing—Extending the Capabilities of Your Technical Communication Department
Bill Gearhart, Independent Consultant

Perhaps the most daunting challenge facing technical communication is increasing efficiency. The slogans regarding efficiency are so pervasive as to be cliché; cut costs, do more with less, add more value. If only the reality were as easy as the words sound and as senior executives would have you believe. Technical communication departments around the world and in different industries have been taking proven, albeit challenging approaches to increasing efficiency. These include single-sourcing efforts to re-use and repurpose content, offshoring and outsourcing staff. I propose that there is another, less well-known alternative, one that can be done on its own or combined with those efforts mentioned previously—insourcing.

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DITA Europe 2006 Conference Recap
Jen Linton, Comtech Services, Inc.

DITA Europe 2006 proved to be a huge success for the second year in a row. Held in Frankfurt, Germany on November 2-3, individuals from 13 countries contributed, learned, and networked about using DITA as their standard for creating technical documentation.

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