Information Management News
Volume 5, Issue 7
July 2005

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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News & Events

Best Practices newsletter subscriptions available

Find out how to to the bi-monthly Best Practices newsletter.

2nd annual Rare Bird award

We are now accepting submissions for the 2nd annual Rare Bird award.

Join the Showcase at the Best Practices conference

Find out how you can participate in this year’s Showcase during the Best Practices conference.

Upcoming Workshops

The CIDM sponsors the following workshops:

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
July 7–8
Gatineau, Quebec

XML for Writers
Jen Linton
July 26–27
Atlanta, GA

Developing a Content-Management Strategy
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
August 11–12
San Diego, CA

DITA: Getting Started
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
and Jen Linton
August 23–24
Boulder, CO

Managing Your Documentation Projects
Bill Hackos, PhD,
September 20–21
Cary, NC

User and Task Analysis for Information Design
Bill Hackos, PhD,
October 18–19
Ottawa, Ontario

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

Vendor Announcements

AuthorIT and acrolinx Announce Partnership

Read more about this new technology partnership.

Innodata Isogen Webinar

Read more about this Offshore Outsourcing webinar.

Best Practices 2005
September 26, 27, and 28, 2005
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Register before the July 4th Early Bird Registration and save $170 off the regular registration price!

What Does Hiring Have To Do With It?
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

When we look at immature information-development organizations, we often notice that hiring is in the hands of the product developers. Writers are hired as individual development teams to supplement the activities of the engineers and programmers themselves, often with the comment that “we could write this ourselves, but we’re too busy.” When writers are hired as developers, the hiring criteria are evaluated in roughly this order…

Read the article

More articles
The Importance of Requirements—Jen Linton
Optimal Reuse of Content—Jeroen van Rotterdam
Dear Gabby—Beth Barrow
Maximizing the Value of Your Product Documentation—Deb Boczulak

The Importance of Requirements
Jen Linton
Comtech Services, Inc.

At Comtech, we often come across companies who ask us to submit a proposal to help them improve their publications environment or to select a new Content Management System (CMS) because their current CMS or process is not working as they hoped it would. During our initial conversations, we ask to look at the requirements for their CMS. Often, the response is “We don’t have requirements that we developed for the CMS,” “Our IT department developed the requirements; you are more than welcome to look at those,” or “The CMS vendor helped develop ‘requirements’ describing what their system could do for us.”

Read the article

Component Content Management—Optimal Reuse of Content
Jeroen van Rotterdam
X-Hive Corporation

Many enterprises have a volume of content that affords re-purposing opportunities. The practice of producing multiple media formats—print, online, CD-ROM, HTML—from a single-source is well established, but enterprises face an even greater volume of content across more and more versions, channels, markets, and languages. As the enterprise’s requirements for multi-channel publishing expand, the enterprise must invest in platform architectures that can efficiently automate these processes.

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Dear Gabby
Beth Barrow

In the June 2005 issue of Information Management News, Dear Gabby was asked for advice from a reader in Pennsylvania on personnel issues within her organization. Read the article for Dear Gabby’s response and some helpful action points to help you in your organization.

Read the article

Content Management: Maximizing the Value of Your Product Documentation
Deb Boczulak

As an organization’s author, your primary expertise is in writing and editing. Your specific job may be concisely to describe a product and its features, or accurately to document maintenance procedures (such as how to tune an automobile engine). But have you ever been uncertain about the very latest revisions needed for a product description? Have you ever wondered if you’d incorporated an important change into all 30 manuals where that particular text was used? Have you spent more time managing the layout of a document than producing the content?

Read the article