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Marcia Riefer Johnston: A FrameMaker Success Story
Marcia Riefer Johnston shares a real life case study in which she cut 6 weeks and $16,000 by using FrameMaker to single-source, vs. conventional methods. Benefits of the streamlined workflow included improved language translation. Johnston is a well known thought leader on technical writing and also author of "Word Up!"
Juergen Muthing: Teaching Technical Communication
In this STC/Adobe booth interview, Juergen Muthig talks about how "writing has never been enough" in terms of training for technical communication. Today more emphasis is required on content strategy and project management from the get go.
Mark Lews: Content as a Database
In this Adobe/STC interview, renowned thought leader, Mark Lewis, shares keen insights into other benefits of structure. "We need to move to a point where we think of content as a database." People are searching for things on the web and may or may not be finding what they are looking for. Think of entering a recipe, with steps, ingredients and attributes like diabetic or sugar free. When semantic information is entered during structured authoring, both the reader and writer benefit.
Mark Baker: Plug-and-Play Content
In this Adobe/STC booth interview, Mark Baker (Principal Consultant, Analecta Communications) shares new reasons why re-use with structured is so critical. "Re-use is a really important aspect of technical writing today." Structured writing is about adding a structure to your text to make it a "query-able" set of content. We must realize that people no longer read our content in a linear order. Because content is modular and must be capable of being reordered on short notice, we need "plug-and-play" content, where all links will work when components are moved.
Kai Weber: Don't Ask for a Mandate
In this STC/Adobe booth interview, Kai Weber shares the importance of "just doing it." Don't wait for management to be convinced that you can move forward on a project: create a convincing prototype you can share which makes your improvements obviously essential. "People don't want to go to help in one system, and the online training in another system." Find out how Kai convinced his stakeholders to go with integrated training.
Bernard Aschwanden: Benefits of Structured Authoring
Documentation exists to support the application, not just to be read. Traditionally, we have written long procedures with a great deal of overlap, and often more information than the user is seeking. Topic-based authoring with topic, concept and task allows you to write very targeted information with a high degree of reuse. Updating projects is much easier to do with DITA. Topic-based authoring is much more focused, and easier to stay on target.
Charles Cooper: For Whom Are You Writing?
In this STC Summit interview with Adobe, Charles Cooper of the Rockley Group discusses how many tech writers are "missing the boat" by focusing on legacy content issues rather than finding out whom they are writing for. As Charles states, we need to think of whom will be reading this content 5 years from now. Charles shares a shocking statistic on the percentage of writers whom have never had direct contact with their audience; he offers creative solutions to fill this void.
Jack Molisani: Seek Out Problems and Solve Them
In this booth interview, Thought Leader Jack Molisani emphasizes that we should seek out problems and helping find solutions. Instead of branding yourself as a tech writer, describe yourself as a business problem solver.