Tag: <span>Scottish Bloggers</span>

The tool is not important. The tool is not important. The tool is not important.

I have been repeating this mantra in my head for the past week or so, over and over, like a broken record. I’m in the middle of pulling together the requirements and scope for a new technical community website for our users, which will become the key focus of our technical information. The more traditional product documentation set will be maintained as we move forward, so there is some thought to be given towards how we manage the information as well as how it is published, or rather where.

I must stop considering the how. The tool is not important.

At present I have a list of requirements, all of which I’m thinking through from the point of view of how the process will work as far as creating and maintaining the information. Who will be access the source, who will be viewing the published information, who can edit what, how will the information be used by the audience? All the while there is a part of my brain dragging me towards HOW this will work. What tool will be able to handle our requirements?

The tool is not important.

I enjoy a challenge, and this is most certainly a new venture for me, but the basic foundations of this idea are rooted in things I know well, single sourcing content, developing online communities (I run a website for Scottish Bloggers (currently dead after our hosting service disappeared)). As such I’m confident I can get this off the ground, but even so I’m being careful to properly gather requirements, and fully understand the impact of changing our publishing model. Note I said “model”.

The tool is not important.

So with a list of requirements, and a full understanding of the processes that will be involved both to maintain the main documentation set and the development of other supporting information (culled from internal Wikis, mailing lists and anywhere else we stumble across something useful) one change is the way in which we plan, design and write product documentation.

As I’ve said, this is all about the processes that support the way we work. I’m being quite deliberate in how I pull together the requirements, focussing discussions on the audience, the expectations, the information and processes, with no mention of the technology which will need to support the new website.

The tool is not important.

Last year’s X-Pubs conference drilled this message home, and it’s good to be able to draw on the information and knowledge gained there. Get your requirements sorted out and agreed, understand the impact of changing the way people access information, and the impact of changing how people work, figure out how best to handle the reaction to change and agree the expectations and limitations of your system. Decide which models you will follow, how the processes will hang together and outline the various roles that will be required, and make sure they understand what is required of them.

Then and only then should you consider what tools you require and make sure they are serving you.

Tech Work

Kicking and screaming it’s way into the big bright world is littleblip.co.uk. Scottish Bloggers, take note and have a gander!

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Can you believe that there are some Scottish Bloggers out there that haven’t joined the webring?

Joshua Called Me is one, and the author lives all of 10 miles from me, ridiculous! (the fact that he lives so close, not his website. His website is very nice actually…)

This post was brought to you by the Scottish Blogs management.

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Gulp, take a deep breath
OK, I’ve gone and done it. After months, nay, years of procrastinating I’ve finally done ‘something’ for this little thing we call blog. Now I’ll be honest I’m not sure how this will go, I’ll drive it as hard as I can (so a few of you out there can expect an email from me soon) but it’s really down to you lot. Well you lot that qualify anyway.

[Drum roll]

Ladeezzz and Gennlemenn!! I hearby announce the grand opening of the Scottish Blogs Webring!

To qualify you either have to be of Scottish descent, or currently reside in Scotland. Simple eh… Now I know some of you don’t like Webrings so I’ll understand if you don’t join but for the rest of you Scottish Bloggers: Join the Scottish Blogs WebRing.

[Sits back and waits in anticipation for someone, anyone, to sign up… ]

If you have any problems gimme a shout and I’ll sort it out for you.

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Or at the very least head to Edinburgh on Saturday. Richard is dying to meet you, as is everyone else (all 5 of us?)
More Info: ScotBlog Meet | August 17th 2002

Unfortunately I’m not able to attend (currently trying to wangle out of attending a wedding), but I would encourage you to pop along, if nothing else the Festival is on so there will be plenty to see and do!

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