April is a big month for conferences

At last count there are 8-10 conferences in the month of April. This year, we chose STC Spectrum (Rochester, NY, 4/17-19) and STC Interchange (Lowell, MA, 4/1-2).

If you’re in the general north eastern US area or able to get there, you should come. We’ve got something special planned: If you missed the presentation we did on the Cult of DITA, we’ll be reprising it there live and in person at both of these events.  (And yes, we’ll be inducting new members and giving away the coveted buttons!)

Although both events are on the small side (~100 people), the intimacy of the event gives you a chance to really learn and really connect with the people around you. As with any local conference that partially overlaps a weekend day, the quality of attendees is very high: These are the people who are learning on their own time and are dedicated to improving their skills.

We’re looking forward to it and hope we’ll see you there!

Learning: The never ending path of inspiration

Conferences provide a forum for ideas that have worked in a variety of industries for diverse problems that I would never have gotten the chance to discover.

I love talking to people, finding out what they’ve done, and why they made the choices they did. For me it comes as second nature to always inquire. When I was first starting out in the field of information architecture I attended lots of conferences. I always find them to be great ways to learn enough to pique the interest as well as the perfect opportunity to network with others in the same field.

If there was a case study on the schedule, you could bet money I was in the audience. I learn about technology all the time. It’s a daily habit. At last count, I follow something like 500+ RSS feeds, mailing lists, discussion groups, etc. So, when I come to a conference, I want to hear about you. I want to come away inspired with ideas, suggestions, features, and paths that I wouldn’t have come up with. Why, because I wasn’t in your shoes.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m always coming up with new, off-the-wall, out-of-the-box ideas. Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you the same. But it’s the case studies, the stories of practical application, of trials and tribulations, that’s given me a wealth of ideas to draw upon. That is probably why I am a natural born networker and socializer and how I have always found a great deal of value in attending industry conferences. I discover such assorted ideas that have worked in a variety of industries for diverse problems that I would never have gotten the chance to discover. The information that people share provides inspiration for me every single day. The old adage is true: everything old is new again.

I suppose that is how we all feel at Single-Sourcing Solutions and why we tend to place such a high value on community voices and giving them a platform to speak up and share what they know. With all of the podcasts, websessions, and user meetings, we are always on the lookout for more ways to get information to the global community. I am excited about a new program we will be announcing shortly that will launch in the New Year. I can’t spill the beans yet as we are still finalizing the details so stay tuned!