Tag: <span>Noz Urbina</span>

A guest post by Noz Urbina, Mekon Senior Consultant and Congility 2011* Conference Chairperson

* Keep reading for discounted and even free entry opportunity.

The Hole in Holistic
There’s an industry buzz about Content Strategy. But, in it, there’s a tendency to define Content Strategy as near synonymous with internet marketing strategy, or worse, clever web copy writing.

There’s regularly an assumption that we’re talking about B2C mass-market writing where we’re trying to drive web conversions, ‘excite’ customers, and drive click-throughs.

Although web marketing projects need content strategy, I don’t think that adequately defines the discipline. All dentists are doctors, but not all doctors are dentists.

Content Strategy is in its adolescence, and the discipline is asking: Who are we? Why are we?

Work

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Are you bored of all this talk of social media? Still not quite sure what it’s all about or why you should bother with it? What IS an Information Platform anyway?

Maybe an eSeminar or two would help?

As I mentioned last month, Adobe sponsored a supplement for the ISTC Communicator magazine, in which four very handsome* and wonderfully talented** gentlemen put forth their ideas and thoughts on social media in various guises.

Caveat: I may be one of said gentlemen.

Since then, Adobe has setup two eSeminars to allow each of us to expand on our articles and hopefully get some more excitement and buzz about social media into the Technical Communications industry.

The first eSeminar took place on Tuesday this past week, and there will be a recording available soon (I’ll post the link here). David Farbey and Noz Urbina talk up a storm and offer some good advice on how and why social media offers a great opportunity for technical communicators, it’s well worth a listen.

The second eSeminar, featuring yours truly and the velvet tones of RJ Jacquez, is happening on Tuesday next week. I’ll be covering why you should consider blogging as a route to starting a conversation with your customers, and RJ will outline some thoughts on the possibilities that social media brings to our profession.

Exciting times, and I’ll add one more link to keep you all going. Yes I’ve mentioned it before but if you have queries on whether this social media thing is worth all this noise then this book will answer your questions, and stimulate your mind (and the author, Anne Gentle, is keynote speaker at this years UA Conference.

* may not be true

** is mostly true

Work

Conference season is underway, with DocTrain and AODC recently finishing. As such there is a lot of great and interesting blog posts out there, some are catchup style so if, like me, you didn’t attend you can still get some nuggets of information from them. But the type I prefer are the ones which collate the various ideas and pull them together.

So, with that in mind, if you only read one of the posts linked below, make it the first one.

DocTrain Conference thoughts
Tom chats to Noz Urbina from Mekon and starts to pull together some of the varied threads I’ve covered here into a vision of the future which, in my opinion, makes sense. It’s great to see this kind of thing being discussed and it’s the step beyond where I’d gotten with my thinking. Well worth a read.

Some thoughts on writing better error messages
Real-world tales of woe shed some light.

This lack of coordination between error reporting and error origin often leads to incorrect human reasoning about root causes. One simple help to sysadmins (and other users) would be to report errors in context.


Separating content, structure, format and behaviour

One from a session of AODC which helps properly define how and why we should be separating out the various components of information production.

What we’re aiming for:
* Maintainability — you can change one of the above four components without breaking the others.
* Re-usability — you can re-use the same bit of JavaScript, for example, in other documents.
* Separation of skill sets — different people can work on the component they know best and enjoy most.
* Simplified updating of content — content is likely to be the component you update most often.

Designing for the Social Web: The Usage Lifecycle
Pertinent to anyone working with an application that has any form of social web (web 2.0, community interaction, pick a term) features, or for those of us trying to build an online community around their product

The lifecycle is particularly relevant to web-based software because the product is inextricable from the service. The product is the service. If a person has a question about what your software does, for example, you can literally build that answer into the software itself.

Wiki on a Stick
And finally, a downloadable, zero install, personal Wiki. May be useful if you want an example of how Wikis work. Extra handy for maintaining your own To Do lists or as a way to centralise your notes (or both).

That’s all for now.

Blogging

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