CIDM e-newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 1
January 2002

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

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News & Events

Content Management—The Magic Behind the Web
JoAnn Hackos discusses content-management systems in a recent article at

Upcoming Workshops
The CIDM sponsors the following workshops between February and May 2002. Sign up now:

Developing a Strategy for Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Will Use
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
February 20-21, 2002, Boynton Beach, FL
This seminar will show you how to put the principles of minimalism into practice so that you can create concise documents that attract and support the aims of learners.

Managing Your Documentation Projects
Bill Hackos, PhD
February 19-20, 2002, Alameda, CA
If you can keep your projects under control in the midst of chaos, everyone will think you’re a miracle worker. If you can bring a semblance of order into the chaos, you’ll at least be a hero. This seminar gives you the tools to succeed.

User-Centered Interface Design
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
March 5-6, 2002, Mountain View, CA
Learn how to design a product or an information interface that people will be able to use efficiently and effectively. That interface might be part of your software product, it might be delivered on the Web, or it might even be part of your online information network.

Structuring Information for Online Success
Henry Korman, RA
March 6-7, 2002, Norcross, GA
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
April 2-3, 2002, Champaign, IL
In this seminar, you will examine how to use the analysis and design of structure to make sense of the online experience, from the World Wide Web to online help and documents of all types.

User and Task Analysis for Information Design
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
March 13-14, 2002, Columbus, OH
May 14-15, 2002, Portsmouth, NH
You will learn how to apply inexpensive usability methods that yield critical design guidelines, create a user model you can use during the life of the project, choose the right technique for your time and budget, and stay focused on users’ issues.

Just Say No
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

In the recent “Coping with the Slowdown” CIDM survey, I noticed that although organizations had been hit with reductions in force, the same amount of work had to be done. The content of the job had not changed, even though there were fewer people to do the work. That left me wondering: how can we manage to do the same work with fewer people? Or, are we in fact doing the same work? What suffers when the size of the organization is reduced? Can we learn… to just say no?

Read the full article

The CIDM provides information on publications that may be interesting to our members and associates. CM Focus is a new publication in the content-management area with a focus on intranet content management. We hope that you will review this publication and find it useful.

CM Focus

Content Management Focus
The essential publication for the content-management professional

Content Management Focus is the monthly magazine bringing you the latest insights and analysis into content management for interactive channels. Nobody can afford to practice slack content management in the digital arena, which is why CM Focus is designed to ensure you make informed decisions about your current and future strategies. Examining the most innovative and practical case studies from the world’s leading e-enabled companies and experts in the field, CM Focus brings together the hands-on content-management experiences from professionals who are in touch with the latest developments, technology, and strategies that make their initiatives a success.

For further information, simply visit or email the editor, Sandra Higgison.

Gartner’s 2002 Predictions

Gartner recently published their predictions for 2002, and some of those predictions are already coming true (at least as far as the technical publications industry is concerned).

Read the full article

Join Our Single-Sourcing/Content-Management Benchmark
Single sourcing means using the same content assets for multiple purposes—publishing to multiple media (Web, intranet, paper, and more), customizing for customer needs, and personalizing for individual work functions. Join our Single-Sourcing/Content-Management Benchmark as a sponsor. Find out what everyone else is doing with single sourcing. Build upon what we have already learned about industry trends and best practices. As a benchmark sponsor, you help direct the study, receive a special comprehensive report of the study, and obtain individual consulting from the Comtech principals.

Find out more about becoming a sponsor

Lightspeed Purchases Chrystal Software’s Astoria

As of January 1st of this year, Lightspeed Interactive announced that it has purchased the Chrystal software products from Xerox, which includes the Astoria Content Management System and Eclipse. Thomas Little, Vice President of Business Operations at Xerox Technology Enterprises, feels “The acquisition of the Chrystal Software assets, including Astoria and Eclipse, not only positions Lightspeed as a major player in enterprise software but also ensures Chrystal customers further technology development and continuing product maintenance.”

Xerox announced last year that they would no longer be maintaining the Astoria Content Management System, making many technical-publications users nervous. Because Lightspeed Interactive had long been the biggest reseller and integrator of Astoria, they are in a unique position to ensure the continued viability of the Chrystal Software products, to the relief of many technical-publications departments.

Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery

Hackos’s New Book Available in February
Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery
JoAnn T. Hackos
John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 0-471-08586-3

Buy it at

The Scope of Information Architecture
Robert N. Phillips
CEO, Lasotell Pty Ltd.

An Information Architect is a high-level designer who uses information as building material. Every time someone says “I could not find/use the information I wanted,” it points to an information design flaw. It is just the same as “No Step Here” is an engineering design flaw. How can you avoid information design flaws?

Read the full article

Documentation: A Product or a Part of a Product, and So What?
Vesa Purho
Research Analyst, Information Design, Nokia

Documentation can be viewed as a product or a part of a product. If it is viewed as a product and you can measure the revenue that documentation brings to your company, you should develop it as a product. If it is viewed as a part of a product supporting its use, you cannot use all the same reasons for initiating development activities. If the documentation is not a separate product but you develop it like it is, you are heading for trouble.

Read the full article

The Center For Information-Development Management
The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM) is an organization of information-development, training, and support managers across the United States and internationally. The CIDM is directed by Dr. JoAnn Hackos, international leader in the management of the design, development, and dissemination of information to customers and employees. Under her leadership, the CIDM conducts benchmark studies among member organizations and elsewhere, sponsors research into information development and its management, gathers and disseminates results and resources through newsletters, the Web, seminars, an annual conference, and research white papers. The CIDM facilitates the sharing of information among the most skilled managers in the information industry.

If you are interested in reading more in-depth articles, you should consider subscribing to the Best Practices newsletter.