My STC Summit Presentation and Panel -- "The Art of the Podcast" and Marketing Yourself in a Web 2.0 World

If you're going to the STC Summit in Philadelphia, check out my presentation on podcasting. The Art of the Podcast Room: 111AB Format: Demonstration Skill Level: All Time: Tuesday, 4:30 -5:30 pm Learn how to capture audio from presentations, in-person interviews, phone conversations, and tutorials and deliver them as professional productions that can build relationships with listeners and strengthen their knowledge. I have a PowerPoint fo...

Podcast: How to Create User-Centered Documentation, Interview with Joe Sokohl

User-centered documentation 1.0 → Podcast: How to Create User-Centered Documentation, Interview with Joe Sokohl 1.1 Writing User-Centered Documentation, or, My Best Days as a Technical Writer 1.2 New series: User-centered documentation 1...

Exploring Web 2.0 Possibilities in a SharePoint-Endorsed Environment

I sometimes feel that my life online varies drastically from my life at work. Online, I blog and publish podcasts and write about wikis and Web 2.0. But at work, I used Flare, InDesign, Word, and other tools to create standard help deliverables, such as the User Guide, the Quick Reference Guide, and the Video Tutorial. For a long time, I've wanted to take my documentation into web 2.0 territory and enable user interaction and feedback, bu...

Integrating All Library Content into One

I was digging into some SharePoint books on Safari online tonight, and I noticed something incredibly cool. While I'm reading a page of a book, there's a section at the bottom called "Additional Reading." Based on keyword/topic matches, it pulls similar content from other chapters of other books in the Safari library. It's not just showing me related books for my topic, but is showing me related chapters from other books. I ended up not j...

Thinking About a More Personal Style of Podcasting

Listen here: You can either listen to this post as a mini-podcast or just read it. They're mostly the same, but not entirely. I listened to a couple of podcasts back to back tonight that, taken alone, might not have had as strong an impact on me as they did together. The first was Mark in Canada's "Musings of a Tech Writer -- Episode 21," in which he lists the top 10 most annoying things podcasters do. Then I listened t...

Podcast: Workspaces, Collaboration, and Information Sharing -- Interview with Emma Hamer

Listen here: IT project teams often need to increase collaboration and communication, but they're hampered by the cubicle walls and other physical silos they set up in the workplace. These physical obstacles force teams to have frequent meetings -- which can be long and inefficient -- just to keep each other updated. In this podcast, Emma Hamer talks about both physical and virtual workspaces that project teams need to ...

Podcast: Why Content Management Projects Fail, Interview with Rahel Bailie

Listen here: Many content management projects fail because organizations are either too focused on tools before properly researching their needs and processes, or because they underestimate the difficulty of migrating and restructuring their content to fit the new content management system. In this podcast, Rahel Bailie explains these pitfalls and what companies can do to avoid them, as well as how companies can climb ...

Podcast: How XML Enables Information Sharing and Reuse -- Interview with Joe Gollner

Listen here: XML, a way of tagging and structuring your content, can help solve a number of problems, including storing, mining, reusing, and sharing content. XML helps enable the interoperability of information between systems, allowing you to export and import your content from one application to another. XML is behind much of the collaboration and information sharing Web 2.0 technologies, such as RSS (really simple ...

Feedback on the Podcast From a German Listener

I received an email the other day from a podcast listener in Germany. K. writes, Today, I've been listening to some of your podcasts which I had saved up, and I wanted to say thank you: You won't believe how invaluable they are to me - and I hope to many others as well. As the lone tech writer at my company in Frankfurt, Germany, I'm missing out on community effects, for better or worse. And since I write documentation for software only ...

Poewar Giving Away $250 to the Guest Blogger Who Brings in the Most Traffic

John Hewitt at Poewar is giving away $250 to the guest post that brings in the most traffic to his site. He plans to vacation in June and wants the guest posts to keep his site going while he's away. I'll admit, the money is alluring. I've already written my guest post and am planning to submit it tomorrow. The due date is May 28, 2008. John says the posts should be between 400 to 800 words and can be about any of the following: Fiction...

Scott Nesbitt Interview with Stewart Mader on Wikis

At Doc Train, Stewart Mader was such a popular guy that both Scott Nesbitt and I interviewed him separately. I just listened to Scott's interview while shooting hoops tonight, and I thoroughly enjoyed their exchange.  Scott touched on many angles I didn't cover and went more in depth. Here are several things that struck me: Stewart's Wikipatterns site shows wiki practices and techniques that work well in organizations. It's a wiki that a...

Musings of a Tech Writer Podcast -- Mark in Canada Reflects on The Content Wrangler Versus the STC

"Mark in Canada" has a podcast called Musings of a Tech Writer. In one of his recent episodes (episode 19), he reflects on the STC and makes some interesting comments. He wonders whether the Content Wrangler community and Doc Train conferences can replace the STC. He says the STC spends too much time trying to help tech writers justify themselves to their companies, too much time focusing on the latest tools, too much effort trying to get...

Podcast: XSL, Flash, and Live Blogging -- Interview with Sarah O'Keefe

Listen here: In this podcast, Sarah O'Keefe talks about XSL, Flash, and live blogging. XSL (extensible stylesheet language) is a programming language that transforms XML content into a specific format, such as HTML. She explains what you can do with XSL, why it's unique, and how the output is created. Sarah also presented on Flash. Flash comes easier for people who are visual thinkers, she says. She recommends people ...

Podcast: Document Engineering, Interview with Robert Glushko

Listen here: Duration: 15 min. Listen here: In this podcast, Dr. Robert Glushko, a professor at UC Berkeley's School of Information, explains the concept of Document Engineering -- the process of developing document models to make information sharing, reuse, or syndication more efficient. Glushko gives several examples of document engineering, such as creating a calendar event model that allows an ev...

SharePoint Wikis: Both Liberating and Frustrating

Lately I've been converting my documentation over to a SharePoint wiki and have had days where I felt totally liberated and others where I wanted to go into my Control Panel and remove every Microsoft product I have installed on my computer. Liberating Here's what I find liberating. Most wikis can easily degenerate into a chaotic disaster, with links nested on pages pointing to other links on other pages, with no clear sense of where you ...