Interview with Barry Schaeffer, icon in XML circles

Anyone who’s been in the SGML/XML industry for any length of time knows Barry Shaeffer. Barry is a frequent speaker and contributor on subjects related to information and content management. His work with structured information began in 1979 with SGML, and with XML at its initial publication as a standard in 1996.

He was Founder and President of X.Systems.Inc., a system development and consulting firm specializing in the conception and design of text-based information systems, with industrial, legal/judicial and publishing clients among the Fortune 500, non-profit organizations and government agencies, until it’s acquisition by XyEnterprise in 2008. X.Systems was the first Arbortext partner company.

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MadCap’s Creativity Captures Attention

I tip my beanie cap to Madcap and the marketing department on their very clever and very entertaining informational video presentations!

Like most people, I try to keep up to date with what is going on out there in the world of software tools for Technical Communicators. We all have a million things to do in our busy day, and it’s not always easy to do, but we try to make that effort. Usually, I breeze through alerts and skim the surface so I can carefully choose what gets my attention. Time is a precious commodity.

With so many different aspects in the world of Technical Communications, you can imagine the volume of alerts I receive on a regular basis. Good thing I am an avid reader and I enjoy my professional field. I also have a natural curiosity for how others do things. You just never know where your next morsel of wisdom will come from (sometimes it’s not from the obvious places).

During one of my scans, I ran across something that caught my eye and my attention. It literally made me stop and really focus fully on the information being presented to me. Those who know me the best, know this is not an easy thing to do as I am often divided at least in two.

So what was it that had me so engaged? Madcap Flare and their promotional video called “The Writing Game” where the game show host tries to set up Blanche Snipit with her dream authoring tool. (Don’t worry I’ll give you the link in a moment!) In fact, I was so engaged that I watched part one and two and back tracked and watched the other videos featuring Simon. Not only did I watch them, but I sent the links to other associates as well and they watched them.

I’ve always been a fan of Madcap and I had the chance to spend a little bit of time with Mike Hamilton, VP of Product Evangelism, when he came to participate in our first TC Camp in January 2013. He demonstrated authoring and publishing using Flare. They have a pretty slick tool set that is very user friendly and worth a look if you are evaluating tool solutions.

But this time I tip my beanie cap to Madcap and the marketing department on their very clever and very entertaining informational video presentations. You can see them HERE but one more thought before you hit the link.

A few of us were talking about the videos and how entertaining and clever they were. Then we started talking about the role of an Author in Technical Communications. There is an important tip we can learn from MadCap’s Marketing group: How to a little bit of creativity will capture an audience.

Are there ways we can get outside of the box when we author that would entertain our audience so we can capture their full attention?

Gilbane Boston 2010: Content assets permeate every aspect of an organization

Single-Sourcing Solutions at Gilbane Boston 2010 will be talking Content Strategy for Today’s Information Lifecycle

We’re headed to Boston, MA for the Gilbane Conference tomorrow. We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. After more than a decade in the industry, we’re looking forward to sharing stories, lessons learned, and thoughts about content strategy, management, and delivery!

We’ve got two presentations. One’s a product lab where we’re talking about how you can “Transform Your Content Strategy for Today’s Media and Beyond” (Thursday 2 December 8:30-9:30 AM). We’re going to show you how to take your content from creation to multiple media channels, such as social media. Instantly publish it and connect with your customers anywhere they’re looking for you.

The other is a panel. We’re honored to be included in panel T7 XML Implementations & Information Lifecycle (Thursday 2 December 2:00-3:20 PM) organized by Dale Waldt, Senior Consultant for Outsell’s Gilbane Group. XML and content tools need to be thoughtfully configured to create feasible processes that produce the desired business benefits. This session explores the XML information lifecycle and how XML and content tools and systems can be deployed to their best advantage.

As we did for several events this year, we’ll be tweeting throughout the event. We hope you’ll join us virtually, if not in person at the event. You can find us in the exhibit hall!