Information Management News
Volume 10, Issue 3
March 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

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




Other 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.

Upcoming Workshops

DITA Boot Camp
March 15-19, 2010
Wakefield, Massachusetts

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.

Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Can Use
March 23-24, 2010
Dublin, California

Minimalism is the first step to creating user friendly content that is fully structured. It is designed for anyone faced with manuals that users complain are too big and too detailed—or that aren’’t used at all.

DITA Boot Camp
May 10-14, 2010
San Jose, California

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
May 19-20, 2010
San Diego, California

This workshop focuses on the Scrum Agile methodology and how documentation departments can adjust to this high-speed development environment. Managers and individual contributors attending this workshop will come away with a firm understanding of the Scrum process and how documentation can effectively engage in the process for both engineering and documentation-centric projects.

Upcoming Webinars

XML Webinar Series Session 4—Publishing XML to PDF and the Web using the same Style sheet

Presented by Frank Miller & Hal Trent, Comtech Services, Inc.
March 31, 2010, 11am Eastern

Click here for recorded webinars.


  • STC Efforts Realized as U.S. Government Acknowledges Technical Writers as Distinct Profession

  • eComPress White Paper: A New Approach to Secure Publishing

  • Astoria Software and Announce Translation-Enabled Content Management™ Initiative

  • Really Strategies’ DocZone Ranked as Best in Class for Supporting Multilingual Content and Multiregional Process

  • PTC Announces the 2010 Pro/ENGINEER Technology Day Workshop Series

  • Really Strategies’ DocZone Introduces New “Pay Per Page” Pricing Model for SaaS Content Management and Publishing

  • IXIASOFT DITA CMS solution v2.8 now available

Click here for more announcements.

Content Management Strategies/DITA
North America 2010

Register by March 7th and save $100 on your registration! Go to our registration page to sign up today.

Trademark Practices in Technical Information
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

In March 2009, the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM) conducted a small survey of practices associated with the presentation of product trademark information in technical documentation. The study was initiated by a request from a CIDM member. Because the member was embarking on a transition from book-oriented product documentation to topic-oriented documentation, they questioned whether their existing practice was still viable.

Read the article.

An Investigation Into Standards and Innovation
Part 4 of 6: Standards evolve a Webbed presence

Laurent Liscia, OASIS

I should preface this section of our standards adventure with a disclosure. In my opinion, information and communication technology (ICT) standards are radically different from manufactured goods and hardware standards. And as such they deserve their own treatment. What follows will explain why.

Read the article.

Conversion Myths Debunked
How Much Would It Really Cost to Convert Your Documents?

DCLNews Editorial January 2010
Republished with permission from Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc.

XML and SGML standards are growing in popularity as a way to manage large sets of documentation. But calculating just how much it will cost to convert your documents to XML or SGML can be confusing; a multitude of factors interact to determine the per-page price of any conversion project.

Read the article.

Changes in Technical Documentation
Terry Barraclough, Symitar, a Jack Henry Company

Last month, Comtech published an article in the Best Practices newsletter about their 30th Anniversary as a corporation and listed many industry changes that have happened in the past 30 years. In response to the article, Terry Barraclough of Symitar highlights the changes he has seen in technical documentation.

Read the article.

For our French Readers, we offer our 30 year history article …
Comtech célèbre son 30e anniversaire—Que de changements!
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.
Thank you to Marie-Louise Flacke for translating this article.

Février 2010: Comtech Services, fêtera ses 30 ans. A vrai dire, nous avions lancé nos activités deux ans plus tôt; 1980, toutefois, est l’année de la constitution officielle en tant qu’entreprise.

Récemment, j’ai beaucoup réfléchi aux changements dont nous avons été témoins, durant plus de 30 ans, en matière de techniques de communication. Les modifications technologiques ont probablement été les plus édifiants.

Read the article.

Information Development: Managing Your Documentation Projects, Portfolio and People
With Information Development: Managing Your Documentation Projects, Portfolio and People, JoAnn Hackos looks beyond the structured project of the 1980s and 1990s. Instead, she focuses on the rapidly changing projects of the 21st century and addresses how to introduce agile information development without neglecting the central focus of planning information design and development around the needs of information users. Buy this book today!

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

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