Information Management News
July 2012

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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CIDM News and Events

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




Other Events


The Best Practices Conference 2012 will be held September 10-12 in Monterey, California. For more information click here.

The CMS/DITA Europe Conference 2012 will be held November 12-13 in Frankfurt, Germany. For more information click here.

The CMS/DITA North America Conference 2013 will be held April 15-17 in Providence, Rhode Island. For more information click here.

Upcoming Workshops

Information Modeling for Topic-Based Authoring
July 10-11, 2012
San Jose, CA

This workshop is the very best starting point for your implementation of DITA and XML topic-based authoring.

DITA Getting Started
August 7-8, 2012
St. Paul, MN

In this workshop, you learn that DITA is a standard for authoring topic-based technical information, that using DITA provides significant business advantages, and that you can get started immediately with the DITA Open Toolkit.

DITA Boot Camp
August 13-17, 2012
Cupertino, CA

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.

Developing Quality Documentation in an Agile Environment
September 18-19, 2012
Research Triangle Park, NC

This workshop focuses on the Scrum Agile methodology and how documentation departments can adjust to this high-speed development environment.

Upcoming Webinars

Expand Your Content Reuse Potential through Indirect Addressing: Using @keys-based referencing in DITA 1.2

Presented by Adobe
July 11, 2012, 1pm EDT

Are You Tempted to Use a Template to Expedite Policies & Procedure Development?

Presented by Raymond Urgo, Urgo & Associates
July 12, 2012, 1pm EDT

Are You Struggling to Create Long, Complex Documents with Microsoft Word? There is a Much Easier Way!

Presented by Tom Aldous, Adobe
July 13, 2012, 1pm EDT

Creating an Accessible Layout—Document Structures, Colors, and Using Custom Style Sheets

Presented by Adobe
July 17, 2012, 1pm EDT

Reflecting on a Decade of DITA: What I’d do differently

Presented by Buddy Lee, Jack Henry and Associates
July 19, 2012, 11am EDT

Taxonomy: Why you need to move beyond standard metadata

Presented by Amber Swope, DITA Strategies
July 25, 2012, 12pm EDT

Speak With One Voice Globally—Terminology Management with Acrolinx and SDL MultiTerm

Presented by Michael Klemme, Acrolinx GmbH & Petra Dutz, SDL Language Technologies
July 26, 2012, 7pm EDT

Developing Accessible Content—Tips on Grammar, Paragraph and Sentence Length, Alternate Text, and More

Presented by Adobe
July 31, 2012, 1pm EDT

Click here for recorded webinars.


Varian Medical Systems relies on the IXIASOFT DITA CMS to deliver critical technical documentation

Usability Professionals Association Announces New Organization—UXPA (User Experience Professionals Association)

Survey: Intercultural Collaboration Training Methods Survey

Dynamic Assembly—An Emerging DITA Application

Click here for more announcements.

Now Accepting Rare Bird Applications

The Rare Bird Award recognizes outstanding managers and their teams. The applications should describe thoroughly an innovative practice in which your organization has been engaged. The members of the judging panel look for detailed descriptions of the practice and concrete evidence that the innovation has led to organizational change.

Click here to submit your Best Practice for consideration. The submission deadline is July 14.

Showcase Your Best Practice

As a valued friend of the CIDM, we invite you to participate in the Best Practices Showcase at the Best Practices conference, September 10-12, 2012. The Showcase will give you a wonderful opportunity to learn about more best practices than we could possibly fit into the sessions.

Click here to submit your showcase. The submission deadline isAugust 17.

DITA Europe Call for Speakers

The Center for Information-Development Management and Dr. JoAnn Hackos announce a call for participation in the upcomingDITA Europe conference to take place 12-13 November 2012, in Frankfurt, Germany. If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please complete the form and submit to Lisa Lambert before 1 August 2012.

Experts in the User Experience
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

In 1991, I was among the first members of the Usability Professionals Association (UPA). At that time, many technical communicators believed that user-centered design provided a way not only to make our publications more useful to consumers but also to improve the product interfaces so that they were not so difficult to explain. Many information developers sponsored usability testing in their organizations and become spokespersons for a focus on the users’ views. In 1997, Ginny Redish and I published User and Task Analysis, which quickly became a major influence on the growing field of study of users and their everyday interaction with products and supporting information.

Read the article.

Metadata Strategy 101—A “Search-first” Approach
Paul Wlodarczyk, easyDITA
Reprinted with permission from

Many organizations using DITA are in the early stages of developing taxonomies and metadata strategies for improving findability of their DITA content.

Read the article.

Tips for Reinforcing Structured Authoring Concepts Before the Actual Transition to XML
Suzanne Mescan, Vasont Systems
Reprinted with permission from Vasont Systems

One of the hardest things to do is to get people to move from their comfort zones. When you begin to implement your content management strategy and move to structured authoring, you will likely see some resistance from a few writers who will say, “That’s not the way we’ve always done it!” Ah, change! It can bring out the stubbornness in some people and make their boss’ hair turn gray as he drags them, kicking and screaming, into the new work environment.

Read the article.

Death of the Document: It’s time for a new way of thinking about Document Authoring Software
Paul Trotter, Author-it

When people first started creating software to automate their business processes, it was natural enough to think of it as a kind of simulator to imitate what was already happening on paper. So in accounting, for example, you got these massive spreadsheets that basically just simulated the ledgers accountants were working with at the time. In its way it was marvellous because it meant you could use formulas to add stuff up and automate a lot of the work that accountants previously had to do manually. Even so, it didn’t take long to figure out that working with your data in its final form really restricted the way that you could manipulate and control the data itself.

Read the article.

Welcome New CIDM Member—GSI Electronics

GSI Electronics Inc. develops, manufactures and distributes innovative technological products for the agricultural industry. Our unique expertise allows us to offer accurate, simple and diverse electronic, data processing and mechanical solutions for improving agricultural production. The strength of our competent and motivated team has led us to international success. To maintain this core strength, we offer a healthy work environment where performance, rigor and teamwork are encouraged. The GSI Group treats all our stakeholders, whether they are customers, suppliers or employees, with respect, loyalty and honesty. It is this approach that makes us the leader in technological agricultural solutions and allows us to offer products of the highest quality.

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

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

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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.