Information Management News
Volume 7, Issue 6
June 2007

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


 Start making plans to attend Best Practices 2007 to be held September 17–19, in Atlanta, Georgia.

News & Events

JoAnn Hackos’ New BookInformation Development: Managing Your Documentation Projects, Portfolio and People is Released.

Information Development: Managing Your Documentation Projects, Portfolio, and People, the new book from JoAnn Hackos, is now available on Amazon!

XyUser Group Meets to Share BestPractices in XML CMS and Dynamic Publishing

The XyUser Group, an independent customer forum that provides networking and educational services to users of XyEnterprise solutions, hosted their annual Spring User Conference last month in Brighton, England. Read the announcement.

JoAnn Hackos on Moving Legacy Documentation into DITA: An Interview

Dr. JoAnn Hackos, content management and information design expert, gives her best advice on what organizations need to know about moving legacy documentation to DITA in this exclusive interview. Read the interview.

Ginny Redish’s new book,Letting Go of Words – Writing Web Content that Works will be released this month.

Letting Go of Words – Writing Web Content that Works will be released June 11th.

Click here for further details or to pre-order.

DITA Users: An Organization

DITA Users, a new member organization with a strong relationship to the STC has recently formed and is seeking new members.

Visit the website.

From inactive to interactive — bringing your style guide to life!  A Webinar

Hear from The Chicago Manual of Style, Avaya and SDL on the importance of style in global communication and in achieving a globally consistent brand. Also discover how automation can improve the consistency of style and terminology in content, better prepare content for global audiences and bring your style guide to life!

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 4pm GMT, 8am PST, 11am EST Sign up now!

Comtech Services DITA User Guide

We are accepting orders forIntroduction to DITA: A User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture. Order your copy today!

Information-Development Purchasing Guide: CMS Buyers Guide
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

In an eight article series for the e-newsletter, CIDM will be discussing buying tips for typical services and products that you, as an information developer, might be interested in buying.

This is the fifth in our e-newsletter series of purchasing guides for purchasing information-development products and services. In this issue we look at content management systems.

Content Management Systems (CMSs) are databases designed to store and manage content that includes documents of all types, as well as images, audio, and other media. In most cases, various types of CMSs are specifically designed to handle particular types of content better than others. For example, you will find CMSs designed for website content, corporate records, proposal content, training material, archives, and entire comprehensive documents. For this purchasing guide, however, the focus is on CMSs that are specifically designed to assist technical information developers in managing content that supports technical products and services. These CMSs are referred to as “component” content management systems because they are especially designed to handle many small pieces of content effectively. You should be particularly interested in CMSs that are designed to handle structured content that has been developed using XML, SGML, or related content markup systems.

Read the article

More articles

What Your Tech Writers Should Know about Working with Engineers
Ben Kauffman, Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

Engineers hold the key to much of the information that our groups document; yet, few of us tech pubs folks know how to work well with them. Even in the best of circumstances, the relationship between engineers and doc groups can be tricky. Writers are more than their scribes; engineers are more than our “subject matter experts” (SMEs). We depend on them and — much as they might not like to admit it — they depend on our documentation.

So let’s look at a few ways we can all work more productively with engineers — and vice-versa. Surely our customers would appreciate the fruits of our improved communication.

Read the article

Taking the Plunge: Moving Content to a CMS and DITA
Jennifer Krul, Research In Motion Limited

If only content management systems came with “how-to” manuals for content analysis and conversion. When on the brink of a move from an unstructured writing environment to DITA and a CMS, we sure could have used one. So, what’d we do instead? We panicked a little, and then we dove in, learning from our mistakes and working together to develop processes and guidelines.

For our pilot project, we chose to tackle most of our end-user content. How did we survive the content analysis and conversion of this content? Two key things immediately come to mind: we determined early on what we wanted to accomplish during content analysis, and we worked collaboratively to solve problems and discuss possibilities.

Read the article