Information Management News
Volume 10, Issue 1
January 2010

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


The CMS/DITA North America Conference 2010 will be held April 19-21 in Santa Clara, CA. For more information click here.

The Best Practices Conference 2010 will be held September 13-15 in Hampton, VA. For more information click here.

News & Events

New Release: Virtual Collaborative Writing in the Workplace: Computer-Mediated Communication Technologies and Processes

This book investigates the use of computer-mediated communication technologies, including everything from instant messaging and e-mail to interaction on Web pages, Webcasts, and graphical user interfaces, to facilitate effective interdependent collaboration in writing projects.

Improving Content Collaboration Using Content Management Webinar

As organizations get larger and work forces become more dispersed or home-based, it becomes harder to get the right people to collaborate on new or revised content. It’s important to get input about the content from the right people at the right time to ensure accurate, usable documents for customers. A content management system can facilitate collaboration between writers, subject matter experts, and editors. This webinar will take place January 6, 2010, 1pm Eastern.

SDL Innovate 2010

You’ll benefit from 15+ sessions delivered by peer corporations, industry analysts and SDL executives, who will share best practices and provide valuable insight into the challenges and strategies for delivering compelling content to global customers. This event will take place February 9-10, 2010.

The Future of Automated Translation in Global Business Survey

Interest in automated (or machine) translation continues to grow. In conjunction with the European Association for Machine Translation (EAMT) and the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (AMTA), SDL is running its 2009 survey to understand how global organizations view automated translation and its uses today and in the future.

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

CIDM is LinkedIn!

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

Content Management Strategies/DITA North America 2010

Valentine’s Day Special

Register by February 14th andsave $200 on your registration! Go to our registration page to sign up today.

New Year’s Resolutions for 2010
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

I have made three New Year’s resolutions for 2010 and hope to extend them into the second decade of the 21st century. Although many reporters and pundits have concluded that the 1st decade of the century was “lost,” I don’t believe that has been true for technical information development. We have just completed a decade of amazing new developments. However, we have just gotten started, and we still have much to learn.

Read the article.

An Investigation Into Standards and Innovation
Part 2 of 6: Standards learn a neat trick: Communication

Laurent Liscia, OASIS

With the rise of the post-war information and communications era, a new kind of standard emerged, one that would ensure the inter-operation of technologies from different countries. Ken Krechmer, Fellow at the International Center for Standards Research University of Colorado at Boulder, calls this a “compatibility standard.” (For Ken’s excellent model describing the evolution of standards, go to:

Read the article.

How to Grow a Topic-Based System
Claudia Landell, Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

In this article, I describe how one writing group at Cadence Design Systems made simple changes to support a more topic-based approach to documentation—without a topic-based authoring system.

Here at Cadence Design Systems, we listen to our customers through direct contact, periodic customer surveys, and our corporate problem reporting system. Based on customer feedback, our group identified three areas that we wanted to improve.

Read the article.

Automatic Procedure Building from Use Case Detection within Informal Technical Documents
Michel Lanque, Alcatel-Lucent
Philippe Larvet, Freelance Consultant

Customer Information Systems (documentation and embedded information) at Alcatel-Lucent develops customer documentation for industrial products, i.e., User’s Guides, Installation and Maintenance manuals, etc. Our objective is to help technical writers (System & Development teams, Documentation writing teams) to build operational procedures from the contents of technical specifications. We call here “procedure” the formal expression of an atomic operational function of the product. A procedure contains steps of operator actions (or end-user tasks) and data to be taken as inputs, all this being under the control of a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Read the article.

January 10th Release: Japanese version of Introduction to DITA: A Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture
Comtech’s user guide for the popular OASIS DITA standard is now available in Japanese. If you and your colleagues in Japan have been using DITA or are just joining the DITA community, our book provides you with the information in Japanese that you need to accomplish your goals. Japanese language edition published by SIBaccess Co. Ltd., Copyright © 2010. After the release date go to for more information.