Tweet Roundup: CMS/DITA NA 2010

Copy of the Live-Tweet stream during the CMS/DITA NA 2010 conference

I volunteered to work for the social media committee of the CA Chapter of ASAP. While we were talking, I thought about how I’d live-tweeted the CMS DITA NA conference this year. Before the tweets disappear from the ether, I’ve gathered gathered them up and organized them for your ease and reading pleasure. (In reverse order of presentation…)

For tweets related to the following presentations read on…

  • “Creating and fostering high-value customer relationships” Shawn Benham and Janet Ikemiya, IBM
  • “Localization – Product Information without Borders” presented by Pushpinder Toor, PTC
  • “The Path To Efficient DITA Translation” presented by Elliot Nedas
  • “Digital Alchemy: Turning Unstructured Content Into Gold (or at least something useful)” presented by Don Bridges
  • “Reviewing & Approving  DITA Content aka Quality Control at the Lego Factory” presented by S.Frederiksen
  • “Product Demo: Acrolinx”
  • “Product Demo: PTC”
  • “We wanted a CMS. We were given SharePoint: Turning disappointment into opportunity” presented by Joe Gelb, Suite Solutions and John Allwein, Emerson Process Management
  • “How effective use of metadata and the Resource Description Framework (RDF) can be an answer to your DITA nightmares” presented by Frank Shipley
  • “Planning for the Content Management Technology Diffusion Process” presented by Rebekka Andersen
  • “Where Are They Now?” presented by Liz Fraley, Single-Sourcing Solutions
  • “Advanced Feature-Based Profiling” presented by Gershon L Joseph, Cisco
  • “If Only We Had Known: Snares and Pitfalls of Managing in a DITA Environment” presented by Catherine Lyman and Martha Morgan, NetApp
  • “Collaborative Writing: Changing the culture of a documentation group” presented by Nola Hague and Tom Bondur, Actuate
  • “Improving Content Collaboration Using Content Management” presented by Presented by: Charlotte Robidoux, HP, and Suzanne Mescan, Vasont

Creating and fostering high-value customer relationships

Shawn Benham and Janet Ikemiya, IBM

#cmsdita2010 S.Benham: Use projects to better understand the products/solutions customers are using & the key biz goals they have

#cmsdita2010 J.Ikemiya: f2f–user groups, conferences, classes customers attend, all good places to find customer feedback participants

#cmsdita2010 J.Ikemiya: 3 ways to get feedback participants: use contacts who have estab. rel’ships w/ customers; face2face meetings; email

#cmsdita2010 J.Ikemiya: let everyone know you are looking to estab 1+ rel’ships w/ customers–they can keep an eye out for good candidates

#cmsdita2010 J.Ikemiya/S.Benham/IBM: define & formalize your customer feedback program

Localization – Product Information without Borders

Pushpinder Toor, PTC

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: komatsu case study is on target with Aberdeen study. ///DM us! We can share those details, and intro you to komatsu too

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: Ingersoll-Rand/Club Car reduced delivery lifecycle 80% – huge impact for customers. “only wait a week not a quarter”

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: keep content all in one place. Automated, associated.

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: want to reduce localization? Animations for tasks; illustrations replacing content.

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: want to reduce localization costs? A picture is worth 1000 words! Take out 1000 words!

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: reuse eliminates redundant translation and authoring tasks

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: DTP can be up to 40% of localization cost (Aberdeen)

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: monolithic documents also require a DTP formatting pass. (more expense!)

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: monolithic documents require complete translation (expensive!) Wed Apr 21 11:15:29

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: localization = translation of words + adapting to a culture, local look and feel

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: more drivers for localization? Cost of translation (38%); increasing vol of docs (30%); regulatory reqs (24%)

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: #1 pressure leading to localization? Products launched in increasing number of markets or regions (44%)

The Path To Efficient DITA Translation

Elliot Nedas

#cmsdita2010 E.Nedas: to drive down translation vendor cost? Reduce your costs by reducing your vendor’s overhead by automating

#cmsdita2010 E.Nedas: cost breakdown of translation vendors: 50% overhead/costs; 35% translator; 15% vendor profit.

Digital Alchemy: Turning Unstructured Content Into Gold (or at least something useful)

Don Bridges

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: fix these before conversion: multiple procedures in a single task topic, multiple levels of steps…

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: fix these before conversion: notes in tables; procedure in a table; page references…

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: <1k pages ? Convert by copy/paste. >2.5k ? Are you kidding?

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: book-sourced conversion is good when 80% of output topics don’t need reauthoring (or not right away)

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: topic-sourced conversion is best, but comes at a cost–look at all the incarnations up front– it maximizes reuse

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: it is cheaper to convert than to reauthor

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: few writers have the clairvoyance to author content thinking it will be converted in the future

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: reuse – people are reluctant to do it; they think it’s hard

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: reuse is what affects the quality; consistency is saying the same thing the same way every time=>Reuse!

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: main DITA ROI drivers: multiple output reqs; similar product lines; translation reqs

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: DITA reuse is “single source authoring”

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: Cost in this economy? Pfft. Cost is always an issue.

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: DITA really does improve quality b/c of consistency.

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: your yeild (legacy data conversion) depends on consistency of input data; how big a paradigm shift; yr flexibility

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: there is no one right level if reusable size

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: #1 requested conversion ? Quark to XML

#cmsdita2010 D.Bridges: your customer will tell you which legacy documents to covert. Always the ones most used; longest life; & most value

Reviewing & Approving  DITA Content aka Quality Control at the Lego Factory


#cmsdita2010 S.Frederiksen: qa maps for missing  pieces, too many pieces, and structure

#cmsdita2010 S.Frederiksen: qa topics as the stand  alone items they are, even if you view them in context.

#cmsdita2010 S.Frederiksen: if you copy/paste content  from legacy: you are going to XML, not DITA.

#cmsdita2010 S.Frederiksen: never write, create, or  edit topics inside a large document: it will ruin  reusability

#cmsdita2010 Technical track was frequently vendor  showcase. Always disappointing when a learning opp turns out to be a dog-and-pony show.

#cmsdita2010 I am always amazed when demos show  features of XML publishing as if it’s a product/tool  feature: Look content update automatic!

Product Demo: Acrolinx

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: stats from Acrolinx customers: editing time down 3-4x; word count down 4-15%; translation costs down 30%.

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: includes reporting on whole repository & readiness-shape of content

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: add intelligence to avoid long,complex copy edits down stream. Editors start with analyzed files.

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: linguistic matching engine to catch phrases that would otherwise trigger translation cycles

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: can catch ambiguity– do you mean “to the left” or “on the left” (tightening screws)

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: can tell difference between “check” verb and “check” noun

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: get color coded report–domain-specific spell check; style issues (future tense issues–100 rules OOB

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: plug-in to word, frame, Arbortext, xmetal

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: natural language processor that acts like a copy editor. Drive down litigation risk

#cmsdita2010 R.Eason: Acrolinx is an info quality tool that adds a quality control layer at the time of content creation

Product Demo: PTC

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: working on way to publish to SCORM as just another output format from Arbortext.

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: questions are objects that are pulled into maps. Question/response structure.

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: all PTC University courses are done in DITA (specialization b/c dita spec module was in development)

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: audio file, student materials, graphics in thumb/big (one copy, LMS manages)

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: publish course as WBT from single source. PTC courses done this way today

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: check-in/check-out OOB in Arbortext Editor

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: can check out top level only or also all dependent files. Easy to move around while still following rules

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: structure tab gives view into modules “in use”; can drill down, w/o duplicate copies in repository

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: can publish very small guide of exercises and still publish PDF of full student guide w/o printing 300pgs

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: same single source can produce the slide set (not pptx, PDF!) get benefit of slides always in sync w/student materials

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: published renditions can go to desktop or directly to CMS so available to everyone

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: composition launcher builds all output formats in one-click

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: can build taxonomy as a course developer and that’s all pulled in

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: PTC LMS includes multimedia in their delivered training content

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: Arbortext Editor DITA resource mgr allows browse right into content repository and manage multi-map content

#cmsdita2010 P.Toor: case study Arbortext DITA + windchill to deliver PTC University training

We wanted a CMS. We were given SharePoint: Turning disappointment into opportunity

Joe Gelb, Suite Solutions and John Allwein, Emerson Process Management

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: to do review and discover validation problems the easiest way to do this in our system is to publish (ouch)

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: there are still a lit of features we want…But that’s for future (including building custom integration for TM vendor)

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: cost of sw doesn’t change as we grow, (but cost of maintaining custom code isn’t cheap)

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: we are looking toward integrating with PLM systems and CRM in the future

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: to associate TechPubs Docs to other Docs in enterprise, we built app&ui to do this (a manual process) got triggers!

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: pub ui will require development to change going forward. Good for corp branding guidelines, but …

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: built custom publishing queue and UI to get DITA publishing in sharepoint

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: wanted to be able to create translation pkgs on demand–needed to build it on top of Sharepoint too

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: built reporting dashboard on top of sharepoint to be able to have bird’s eye view of where everything is (big list)

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: sharepoint can’t manage translation component management or workflow. We had to build all of that capability too.

#cmsdita2010 Best paper on “when to branch and when not to” is by Perforce.

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: also had to build branching capability into sharepoint to get capability to have configurable maps (minor revisions)

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: built hooks to initiate publishing tasks

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: sharepoint thinks of files as URLs; had to build whole mechanism around that capability just to get link information

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: we are also scraping info out of the files to put metadata into sharepoint.

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: custom software dev for expansions to basic check-in/check-out to what we needed

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: custom code begets custom error msgs that require audience help to resolve 😉

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: oob except for developing component management info layer & adding custom touch points to all tools, so play together

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: had to build in capability to get “where used” & this was a BIG challenge to getting SharePoint to work as CCMS

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: to get uncompromised, high-end DITA authoring & publishing, had to build the CCM infrastructure

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: sharepoint is not good at: supporting XML Docs, managing components & relationships to each other, aggregating into pub

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: sharepoint good at collab, basic ver. control on document level, metadata, Dev platform for customization

#cmsdita2010 J.Gelb: to use Sharepoint we had to build a CCMS layer to get the whole thing working

#cmsdita2010 J.Allwein: SharePoint sitting on top of MarkLogic server is front end to answering user questions.

How effective use of metadata and the Resource Description Framework (RDF) can be an answer to your DITA nightmares

Frank Shipley

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: use RDF to model links in resources so you can track & manage relationships between them

#cmsdita2010 Next up– lunch then “We wanted a CMS. We were given Sharepoint. Turning disappointment into opportunity”

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: stats about content–what’s used/reused where, impact, &c is all in that RDF link graph

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: profiling links using RDF triples in DITA: extract link metadata & build RDF link graph–can’t break documents

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: using XML catalogs to resolve resources and do term management

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: if you want to reuse topics, ID must be unique across organization. Best practice: ID generated/match file name

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: became long product demo, and a cool one, but not what I expected

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: faceted search (ecommerce) — filtered search + navigation: “my size”,”color”–provides guide to what exists

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: why classify? So you can find them!

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: why identify resources? So you can reference them for use & reuse

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: how to name (identify) & how to organize (classify) all those resources

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: before DITA, hundreds of files; after DITA, thousands with lots of dependencies

#cmsdita2010 F.Shipley: RDF can be an answer to your DITA nightmares

Planning for the Content Management Technology Diffusion Process

Rebekka Andersen

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: model of engagement and a focus on shared artifact that are developed collaboratively

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: understand that technology is but 1 component of this complex organizational change & communication that is CMS

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: focus on tools should be <10% of project impl. 50% is change management 40% is process management

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: Lead people not projects.

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: think about your larger organization before you start going through this process.

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: need metrics–business plan, test plans, weekly project management plans, document the unwritten rules

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: don’t just play with a system–have daily goals, defined things to evaluate & a plan to get the info you need.

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: watch for one-way communication channels. Need collaboration and cooperation organizationally for success

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson pres tells me we’re on right track. We are highly collaborative and integrated as a company->also how we work w/cust

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: address culture of org separately from how technology addresses or supports the org

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: technology can’t solve the problem or save the day. You still need to do the work and understand yr org/culture/&c

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: be clear with self & vendor so you’re operating on the same assumptions. Articulate your plans and document them

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: it all comes down to perceptions of value of the technology

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: how innovation is communicated (channels,over time) among members of social system (Evertt Rogers)

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: used “Diffusion of Innovation Theory” (map stages of process) & “Activity Theory” (map context of activity)

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: calling knowledge transfer the “diffusion process”

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: I wonder how she didn’t find us? We transfer knowledge to customers (anyone who will listen) constantly.

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: prevailing tool-focused approach to implementation. Don’t let tool define you: should be the other way around

#cmsdita2010 R.Anderson: a lot more info now than 5 yrs ago, but implementations are plagued with problems

Where Are They Now?

Liz Fraley, Single-Sourcing Solutions

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: Ingersoll-Rand Club Car “Translation savings expected to be 92K 1st year and 500K in the first 3” Cycle-time down 80%

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: Canadian Telecom, ‘companies see what we’ve done [started in 1999] and they’re very, very envious’

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: Canadian Telecom, “This is all doable b/c we went to XML and Arbortext and Documentum in 2004”

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: sometimes the business changes, and you don’t have the opportunity to get where you really want to go

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: The most successful businesses for the next century will…have been based on a combination of competence & passion

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: Understand what specific product or service you offer, and then do it as well and expertly as possible.

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: Will your content stand up like Robinson Crusoe has? 18th century novel w/100s of new formats,versions,tech since

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: Canadian Telecom hasn’t really touched stylesheets in 5 years. 1 staff supporting 250 writers. “Runs like a Cadillac”

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: LifeSciences company says XML publishing is “bottled gold” remains unnamed b/c HUGE advantage over their competition

#cmsdita2010 L.Fraley: Medtronic brought their translation down 10X because they went to XML publishing. Join the conversation! Getting ready for 2nd day of

Advanced Feature-Based Profiling

Gershon L Joseph, Cisco

#cmsdita2010 G.Joseph: rule of thumb–if 50% of a topic is conditional, it’s time to break it out and focus on the differences.

#cmsdita2010 G.Joseph: profiling on release leaves history in content no one cares about; also, requires you to re-analyze w/every release

#cmsdita2010 G.Joseph: customer-specific docs become a different slicing & dicing of features.

#cmsdita2010 G.Joseph: treating inclusion/exclusion of features and bugs like a bill of materials for doc production.

#cmsdita2010 G.Joseph: user community was confused by assumption to include all unless specifically excluded. Went to reverse model.

#cmsdita2010 G.Joseph: profile each sentence, the smallest segment generally used by translation memories.

#cmsdita2010 G.Joseph: profiling using DITA kwd tag + feature-id attribute; can then use suppress-feature-id to drop content. Many examples

#cmsdita2010 Gershon Joseph “Advanced Feature-Based Publishing”: cms can help work around including/excluding content

If Only We Had Known: Snares and Pitfalls of Managing in a DITA Environment

Catherine Lyman and Martha Morgan, NetApp

#cmsdita2010 M.Morgan: our HW writers made the shift best. They were all organized together and could work together.

#cmsdita2010 M.Morgan: identify where you would have content redundancies if you didn’t have a single source.

#cmsdita2010 M.Morgan: people are hesitant to go to others and ask for changes to “someone else’s” content.

#cmsdita2010 C.Lyman: DITA as Lingua Franca–you write in DITA and we’ll take care of it; we’ll write in DITA and you take care of it.

#cmsdita2010 M.Morgan/C.Lyman: starting now you have an advantage — mature tools, people to lean on. Call any of them, they’ll talk to you

#cmsdita2010 C.Lyman: benchmark now. Reward team members who help expose those #s. Look at pressure points. Typical assignment reqs, #words

#cmsdita2010 C.Lyman: don’t over-estimate time to DITA productivity – to writers, to business leaders. Ultimately pubs is a cost center.

#cmsdita2010 M.Morgan: big corp libraries get harder & expensive to maintain. Don’t overvalue consistency & simplicity over ROI.

#cmsdita2010 C.Lyman: are writers of questionable skill or subversive inclination talking? Fix that 1st Mon Apr 19 13:51:38

#cmsdita2010 C.Lyman: go to business and engineering groups early (1-2 yrs) and be clear on corp drivers. Put customer-facing improv 1st!

#cmsdita2010 C.Lyman: sell to whole org. Answer the question for them: “I see how this can benefit us generally, but what’s in it for me?”

#cmsdita2010 C.Lyman: need to sell value prop to other BUs, whole organization, not just your management.

#cmsdita2010 M.Morgan: the biggest challenge isn’t DITA tagging (conspicuous!=biggest). Invest in classes in Structured Writing (any sort)

#cmsdita2010 M.Morgan: good DITA is more than valid DITA. It’s smart, standards-compliant DITA tagging

#cmsdita2010 C.Lyman: 16k topics 1.4k publications at NetApp. Huge content reuse, flexibility, consistency. DITA is totally worth it

#cmsdita2010 C.Lyman: what we did wrong “if only we had known: the snares and pitfalls of managing in a DITA environment”

Collaborative Writing: Changing the culture of a documentation group

Nola Hague and Tom Bondur, Actuate

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: working in an agile/scrum situation takes all the professional and inter-personal skills you can muster

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: many writers feel insecure abt having their work exposed, dissected, & rewritten by a team in an open setting

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: scrum sessions informed by his exp. teaching freshman composition.

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: Docs req constant restructuring/rewriting to keep content relevant/focused /flowing. It’s hard! Need to spt writers

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: you really need to understand it &scrub your Docs. Consultants can’t solve those issues. You have to do it eventually

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: we collaborate all the time so nothing is a surprise.

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: demeanor and tact v.important here. Need to do this in a sensitive way and pay attn to group

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: editing scrum — conference room + remote folks. Mgr moderating and revise the content right there, driving/guiding

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: our content is changing. No more books–we are delivering content to match how it’s being consumed.

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: needed to move to a robust,enterprise dynamic publishing system with a DITA-aware editor built to do it from the ground up

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: we overused Frame’s tools to the point it wouldn’t compile correctly & we’d get spurious content.

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: traditional release cycles are a thing of the past..publishing is rapid iterations now

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: we are doing this with teams around the world (his copresenter is presenting from Brazil!)

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: we have to keep our Docs ready to go–shipment ready every day. Automated/public process to ensure it.

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: our scrum editing sessions are particularly good to work with legacy content.

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: vigorous editing sessions — it’s a scrum session including anyone required to get it done (Eng, Pubs, anyone)

#cmsdita2010 T.Bondur: the definition of a writing group is currently shifting dramatically and we need to be aware of that to avoid a mess

Improving Content Collaboration Using Content Management

Presented by: Charlotte Robidoux, HP, and Suzanne Mescan, Vasont

#cmsdita2010 C.Robidoux: collaborative review saves time for reviewers too.

#cmsdita2010 C.Robidoux: Reuse + successful CMS is not linear

#cmsdita2010 C.Robidoux: Define reuse. Reuse is a cultural issue: build trust, structure, measure,& track

#cmsdita2010 C.Robidoux: cultural shift to watch for: Can’t get to reused content if you don’t put your content in the system (cms)

#cmsdita2010 C.Robidoux: Understand your own processes, your own work habits, so you know what you want you CMS to support.

#cmsdita2010 C.Robidoux: mentioned she was just discussing review phase tools with our own Liz Fraley

#cmsdita2010 C.Robidoux: collaboration in the review phase, where you need it most: automated synthesis of review feedback is key

#cmsdita2010 C.Robidoux: Use the right collaborative technology for the right purpose. Sometimes the phone is better than chat

Misc Tweets

#cmsdita2010 Conference wrapping up; tutorials this afternoon. Like summer camp, see you all next year!

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Author: Liz Fraley

Liz Fraley