Liz Asks: How Good are Political Campaigns at Data Science?

Summary: Direct Mail campaigns by politicians could really benefit from the services of ‪#‎datascience‬ and ‪#‎contentstrategy‬ folks. In 2016, we have evolved from simple, generic, stereotypical messaging with our audience.

How good are Political Campaigns at Data Science? Not Very Good At All.

As the election season gets closer here in California, I’ve become fascinated by the direct mail campaigns of the political candidates.  I don’t have cable, you see, so I rarely see television advertising. And my radio listening is primarily NPR those rare times I’m in the car.  Every day I get one or more pieces of direct mail from the current crop of political hopefuls. Some days I will get up to three from a single candidate in the same day.
Continue reading “Liz Asks: How Good are Political Campaigns at Data Science?”

World IA Day 2016

Last month I went to World IA Day 2016 in Seattle. I’m based in San Francisco, which also hosted World IA Day event, but every now and again it’s good to get out of your little corner of the world and see what is going on elsewhere.

I have a very good friend in Seattle, who is amazingly good at her job and who has been working as an IA for as long as I’ve known her (nearly 5 years now). She’s based in Seattle and I went to up there to participate in World IA Day with her. I’m glad I did.

First up was Mike Doane from the University of Washington’s “iSchool”. It’s interesting to me to see that information-focused programs are popping up around the country and where they see themselves fitting in. Mike did a great job of describing how they view everything fitting together — and how all the different disciplines should work together. Continue reading “World IA Day 2016”

Notes from the DITA Best Practices BOF lunch at CMS DITA NA Conference

Tracy Baker and I had a full table and intense discussion on the topics on the minds of the people in attendance. Real time issues and ideas for possible solutions. Topics ranged from reuse strategies to getting started to review processes to getting it all done while still doing your day job. Before we got started, we asked everyone to give us a little information: who are you, what industry do you come from, and what’s on your mind/what brought you to this BOF table. The participants included:

  • Erin (Telecom) who is in unstructured FrameMaker and wants to know how to planning the move to DITA (“it’s exciting and scary”). She’s also interested in contextualized content
  • Eric (Services) says he’s listening in so he can get a better sense of things
  • Cecile (Healthcare, from France) is moving to DITA from XML and she’s wants to talk about reuse strategies given that she expects that her XML modules will become to multiple DITA topics
  • Abbie (Services) is here to learn
  • Liz M (Services, Abbie’s coworker) is also here to learn
  • Bob (Medical Device) is looking for questions
  • Ed (High Tech) is also moving from XML to DITA but he wants to be sure they’re doing it for the right reasons. He’s also got a legacy data concern and seconds the request to talk about reuse strategies.
  • Renee (High Tech) is tasked with fixing a DITA environment. She wants to talk QA, processes, staffing roles
  • Moderator: Tracy Baker from F5, DITA early adopter
  • Moderator: Me, Liz Fraley from Single-Sourcing Solutions and the moderator of the TC Dojo Mastermind sessions.

Tracy Baker is a regular at the DITA NA conference. She’s from F5 and started her road to DITA in 2009. She’s an Information Architect, a writer, a tools person. She wrote the Information Model that F5 still uses today. In fact, only two elements have been added since she wrote it originally. It’s been a long road and it’s only this year, in 2015, that all the documents published for all the products have been 100% DITA. She’s worn a lot of hats but warns that “you can’t wear all the hats. You can try. You will die.”

Together, Tracy and I moderated the discussion and what follows are notes from the conversation. Tidbits, tips, suggestions, and advice for the folks at the table. One-on-one time for them to get their burning questions answered, their comfort levels…well, leveled. Continue reading “Notes from the DITA Best Practices BOF lunch at CMS DITA NA Conference”