Information Management News
February 2014

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

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CIDM News and Events

For a complete Calendar of Events, click on these links:




Other Events


CMS14 The CMS/DITA North America Conference 2014 will be held April 28-30 in Seattle, Washington. For more informationclick here.

BPC14 The Best Practices Conference 2014 will be held September 22-24 in Stevenson, Washington. For more information click here.

Upcoming Workshops

Developing a Content-Management Strategy
February 11-12, 2014
Newberg, Oregon

In this workshop, we’ll examine the issues involved in creating documentation databases. We’ll discuss the impact of single sourcing on department organization, project management, training, writing style, document control, editing, and translation. We’ll review some of the tools available and look at both their strengths and their shortcomings.

User and Task Analysis for Information Design
February 26-27, 2014
Santa Clara, California

This workshop focuses on practical techniques to learn about your users, their goals, and their work, and create a model that will serve as a decision-making tool throughout the life-cycle of your project or product.

DITA Boot Camp
March 10-14, 2014
Santa Jose, California

This workshop covers the concepts needed to move to DITA successfully. The Boot Camp takes you from the DITA Basics to the skills you’ll need to create a specific standard for your industry and your content.

Minimalism: Creating Information People Really Need
March 18-19, 2014
Ottawa, Ontario

Minimalism is the first step to creating user friendly content that is fully structured. It is designed for anyone faced with manuals that users complain are too big and too detailed—or that aren’t used at all.

DITA Boot Camp
March 24-28, 2014
Santa Jose, California

This workshop covers the concepts needed to move to DITA successfully. The Boot Camp takes you from the DITA Basics to the skills you’ll need to create a specific standard for your industry and your content.

Structured Authoring for DITA
April 8-9, 2014
Foster City, California

This workshop is meant for those who need to implement structured documentation, primarily writers, training developers, editors, publications and training managers, anyone who writes for print or web and anyone implementing topic-based, XML authoring in their organizations.

Web and Mobile Strategies for DITA
April 9-10, 2014
Boulder, Colorado

As DITA comes to full maturity, organizations seek publishing solutions that are more robust than PDFs and static HTML. They seek robust solutions that deliver interactive content to the web, mobile devices, and e-readers. In this workshop, Comtech instructors present the principles of Webhelp and Mobile deliverables.

Advanced Publishing for DITA
June 10-12, 2014
Wakefield, Massachusetts

The Advanced Publishing for DITA workshop will provide attendees with a hands-on walk-through of the essential DITA fundamentals, programming skills, and DITA Open Toolkit configurations required to assemble, style, and publish DITA XML source.

Advanced Publishing for DITA
July 15-17, 2014
San Jose, California

The Advanced Publishing for DITA workshop will provide attendees with a hands-on walk-through of the essential DITA fundamentals, programming skills, and DITA Open Toolkit configurations required to assemble, style, and publish DITA XML source.

Upcoming Webinars

The power of Context, Content and Visual Assets

Presented by SDL
February 11, 2014, 1pm EST

Discover how Denver Public Schools optimized their translation process with SDL Trados Studio

Presented by SDL
February 12, 2014, 4pm EST

Terminology Webinar Series: The business case for terminology management in a corporate translation environment

Presented by SDL
February 18, 2014, 5am EST

Improving Cisco Support Website Using Task Performance Indicator

Presented by Cisco
March 5, 2014, 11am EST

Click here for recorded webinars.

Please Participate in a CIDM & DCL Survey
The Center for Information-Development Management and Data Conversion Laboratory are gearing up for our 2014 annual survey on upcoming trends in the digital content industry. The initiative continues the partnership between CIDM and DCL to report on the latest industry developments and get a clear understanding of challenges faced by enterprises.Click here for more information.

Using DITA in the Product-Development Life Cycle
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

Based on inquiries we conducted through LinkedIn, presentations at the Content Management Strategies and Best Practices conferences, and discussions with a few key individuals, we have found a lot of interest but very few examples of organizations that are successfully reusing content throughout the product-development life cycle. Those examples that we did encounter are either just getting started or are focused on a specific type of content that is more easily automated.

Read the article.

Top Task Analysis: Evidence Over Opinion
Gerry McGovern, Customer Carewords

Sometimes the thing you think absolutely won’t work does work. You need to be able to accept evidence that goes against your opinion.

Read the article.

Documentation in 15 Minutes
Christopher Ward, WebWorks

Making your documentation into “revenue documentation” might seem like a long journey through unfamiliar territory, but it doesn’t have to be. Included in this article is a simple, step-by-step process that will help you generate revenue through your documentation and reveal how to prove this revenue generation to your organization.

Read the article.

Are Users Always in a Learning Mode as Minimalism Tells Us
Jonatan Lundin, Excosoft AB

Minimalism is a design approach within the technical communication field that has been around for more than 30 years. Minimalism has provided important knowledge to the technical communication community. I am among many truly grateful to all the effort that people supporting minimalism in the community have put in during the last 30 years. Minimalism has constantly been discussed and disseminated by technical communicators. To move the technical communication field forward, the minimalist design approach needs to be questioned, disseminated, and looked at from different angles. In this article, I argue that the characterization of the user, which the minimalist design approach is based on, must be extended to take the information-seeking behavior of users into account. This extension is important, since users of today have so many more options for finding information than what was available when minimalism was invented.

Read the article.

February 2014 Best Practices Newsletter
Table of Contents



Enterprise Gamification, For the Win

Marta Rauch, Oracle Corporation

Augmented Reading—Taking Manuals Beyond PDF

JoAnn Hackos, CIDM

What the Heck is a Hackathon?

Adam Dales, Siemens PLM

Developing a Playbook Strategy for Efficient Collaboration

Charlotte Robidoux & Matt Abe, Hewlett-Packard Company & Thomas Dill, EMC Corporation

A Case Study in Curbing a Reliance on Inline Links

Mysti Berry,

How We Use Minimalism and a New Form of Task-Oriented Help, WalkHub, to Overcome Cognitive Load in Web Applications

Kristof van Tomme & Diana Lakatos, Pronovix

If you are not a CIDM member, you can subscribe to the Best Practices newsletter online. An electronic version of the Best Practices newsletter is $99 USD. An electronic and print version is $129 USD.

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

Now For Sale: e-version of Introduction to DITA: A Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture—Second Edition
This 2013 electronic edition of the bestselling Introduction to DITA includes DITA 1.2 mechanisms, including keyref, conkeyref, constraint mechanism, and more information to bring DITA users up to date. The tutorial lessons guide you step-by-step through the learning process from developing information topics and maps through content reuse mechanisms and modifying the DITA environment to better meet your needs. Buy the e-version today and download immediately!

Welcome New CIDM Member—Imagination Technologies

Imagination Technologies—a global leader in multimedia and communication technologies—creates and licenses market-leading processor solutions for graphics, video, and display, embedded processing, multi-standard communications and connectivity, and cross-platform V.VoIP & VoLTE.

Learn more about CIDM (Center for Information-Development Management) here.

Join CIDM’s LinkedIn Group Today!

CIDM’s LinkedIn Group is growing exponentially! Join over 2,000 members today to take part in informative discussions about our industry.

bestpractices The Center for Information-Development Management unites the info dev community to share information on industry trends, best practices, and developments. Click here to follow CIDM on Twitter.Click here to follow JoAnn Hackos on Twitter.

bestpractices CIDM is calling for contributions to the bimonthly publication, Best Practices. Please contact our Editor, Lisa Larson, for more information.

CIDM is now on Facebook! Click here to join our group.


Introducing XDocs CCMS 4.0-A Better Way to Manage DITA Content

DeltaXML and IXIASOFT Join Forces to Streamline Change in DITA Docs

Acrolinx 4.0 Offers New Ways to Fight Dull, Pompous Content

RSI Content Solutions Named to Philadelphia Future 50

Adobe Launches Technical Communication Suite 5

Christian Gericke Joins Acrolinx to Lead EMEA Sales

Data Conversion Laboratory Helps The MIT Press Convert Technical Textbooks into More Readable, Reflowable eBooks

Design Science’s MathFlow Adds Adobe FrameMaker Support

Click here for more announcements.