Track: Search and Social

Ben Rubenstein
Social Media and Online Community Manager, Tech Target

As images gain more importance in the social media landscape, it can be tough for publishers (aka everyone) to keep up. In this session, we’ll take a look at ways non-visual professionals can approach this new challenge, and in the process help to break down silos and change the way we think about content creation from the start.


This case study follows the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) from just two people tweeting in 2008 to a robust social media presence which now includes 12 Twitter accounts, three Facebook profiles, LinkedIn, Flickr, and YouTube, along with a highly respected science blog. The @NIOSH Twitter account was recently ranked #7 of all Washington DC tweeters.


Before the social media revolution, technical writers struggled to coordinate multiple stakeholder groups in the enterprise to produce effective customer documentation. At Jive, where we both create and use social business community software, a rich set of social tools has provided unprecedented access to technical, business, and marketing content, increased buy-in from stakeholders across the company as well as from customers, improved overall quality, and decreased the time required to research, write, review, and publish help topics.

In this session, you will learn how to use:

  • Shared content spaces to leverage a wide range of experts as content creators and socialize technical content review
  • A team-branded online space to encourage content creation and discussion and improve professional visibility
  • A customer community forum to get direct feedback from customers about their documentation experience
  • Status updates in activity streams to let the company and/or specific departments and people know what we’re working on and how we’re contributing to business objectives
  • @ mentioning to pull in individual SMEs or teams of people to review content before publishing it, vet bug fixes, and generate ideas for documentation content
  • Likes, shares, and gamification to encourage social relationships and reward community participation
  • While our product provides all these capabilities from one collaboration platform, it’s possible to get similar results using some of the social tools available at your company, including freeware.
PG Bartlett

In order for content to be useful, people first have to be able to find it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is just a fancy term for improving the ‘findability’ of your content.
If you’re a technical documentation manager, optimizing your content for search lets you demonstrate how to add value to the organization beyond creating great content. For example, some organizations have seen significant drops in online support costs simply by investing modestly in findability.

In this presentation, you’ll get practical advice about how to figure out which keywords you should include and how you should include them. You will learn how to optimize other aspects of your content to improve your search rankings, such as metadata content and URL structure. And you will understand how to improve your click-through rate by creating search snippets that will attract attention and spur action.

Sabine Bennett

In this session, attendees will learn how the technical documentation team at uses Chatter, a proprietary internal real-time enterprise social networking to communicate and collaborate on documentation projects and with other teams in the organization. We are one of the most active social network users within the company. We gather information from various engineering groups, marketing, localization, and support teams to generate documentation in a variety of formats for internal users as well as customers.

Even though each writer is responsible for documenting a certain product area, we frequently have to make updates across the entire documentation set. Maintaining a high level of communication, cooperation, and information sharing among the teams is crucial to make sure that nothing is lost. For us, enterprise social networking has made it a lot easier to connect with people in other departments. It turned the company into a community, where people feel connected despite geographic and functional divides.