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

The DITA Europe Conference 2010 will be held in November. Located yet to be decided. For more information click here.

Upcoming Workshops

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.

Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Can Use
July 13-14, 2010
Boulder, Colorado

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.

Upcoming Webinars

3D Without the Glasses: Adding Dynamic 3D Images to your Technical Publications

Presented by Robert Merlo, Right Hemisphere and JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services
May 18, 2010, 12pm Eastern

Structured Content and Personalization Webinar

Presented by JustSystems and SDL
May 25, 2010, 1pm Eastern

Click here for recorded webinars.


Click here for more announcements.

Rare Bird Applications Now Open

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 20.

2010 Content Management Strategies/DITA North America: An Update
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

The 2010 CMS/DITA NA conference celebrated its successful 12th year in Santa Clara, CA. Clearly the high-tech industry is in recovery. We saw a 129% increase in enrollments over 2009 and an even bigger increase in the number of companies represented and the level of interest in moving away from desktop publishing and toward effectively managed content.

Read the article.

More articles

An Investigation Into Standards and Innovation
Part 6 of 6: XML: Shift Happens

Laurent Liscia, OASIS

Inspired by the Open Source revolution, Jon Bosak from Sun Microsystems and others invented XML, a subset of SGML meant solely for this amazing World-Wide-Web. The browser was neat and spectacular, but what if databases could be accessed from the browser in a standardized way? XML could do just that. It could serve as a universal data translator. If one database refers to a car as a passenger automobile, and another as a sedan, XML could describe a general “car” category that either database might understand. Thanks to XML any kind of data could now be queried, and pass from one proprietary system to another.

Read the article.

Got Trademarks?
Amber Swope, Earley & Associates

Many technical documents contain references to trademarked phrases. According to Wikipedia, “A trademark or trade mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.” This means that it is imperative that information developers specify the exact phrase and properly identify the type of trademark.

Read the article.

Seven Steps to Structured Content
Tom Magliery, JustSystems, Inc.
Reprinted with permission from JustSystems, Inc.

Companies that adopt structured content have consistently seen it accelerate the creation, simplify the maintenance, and improve the quality of their content. They’ve seen structured content drive higher quality information, reduced publishing costs, and faster times to market for their technical manuals, policy documents, financial information, and other content and content-based products and services.

Read the article.

Paperless Office Crash Course
Chris Riley, Independent

Is there a stack of papers somewhere in your office? When was the last time you touched or searched the stack? Is there information in those documents that requires your attention? We assimilate paper daily and struggle with managing it. The frustration, time cost, and risk of loss that paper poses for everyone is one of the most critical reasons to become paperless.

Read the article.

Strategies for Creating Localized Screen Captures
Shane Polizzano, SimulTrans, LLC

Screen shots are often used to help illustrate software functionality, but are very difficult to manage within documentation. Recreating screen captures for localized versions of documents poses particularly challenging. Factors such as software not being fully localized or difficulty in finding the proper screens often hinder the screen capture process.

Read the article.

Introduction to DITA: A Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture
Comtech Services has produced a user guide for the popular OASIS DITA standard. If you have been using DITA or are just joining the DITA community, this book provides you with the information you need to accomplish your goals.
Buy your copy 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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