Information Management News
A monthly e-newsletter from The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
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Style Guides and Language Quality Systems: Improving Customer Relations
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.
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.
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.
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.