All Sessions

We only ever hear about successful content strategies, but sometimes it takes a lot of bumps and heartache to reach the top. Adria will share real content strategy projects that failed and provide tips for not following in the same steps.

Ahava Leibtag
Aha Media Group

Content audits can be mind-numbingly boring and time consuming. They require an incredible amount of patience and curiosity. But, they are an absolute necessity for all businesses, as they manage their digital content assets.

Learn how to:

  • Distinguish between different types of content audits
  • Decide what type of content audit you need
  • Perform a gap analysis
  • Use the information you glean from content audits
  • Get creative when you encounter a wall

We will use three case studies—a major university, a healthcare client and a major publishing company—to illustrate how to make sense of content audits. Focus will be on understanding content requirements, how to present data to the C-suite and how to use all the information you learn from a content audit without losing your mind.

Alan Porter

Being tasked with developing an enterprise-wide content strategy can be both an exhilarating and daunting experience. The same thing could be said about jumping out of a plane! Alan J. Porter, author of The Content Pool, uses the example of his own recent skydiving experience as a model for mapping your progress through the content strategy development process.

The presentation will introduce and discuss seven stages of the content strategy journey and illustrate them with practical examples from his own work as the Content Marketing Manager for Caterpillar.

Alyssa Fox
NetIQ Corporation

Office politics is not always a bad thing. It’s relationship-building to acquire a position of influence and help you achieve your goals.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How to manage up, down, and sideways (dealing with each of those groups requires a different approach)
  • Dealing with different personality types
  • The benefits of office politics
Amber Hunt
Quicken Loans

Ever wonder why your beautifully charted plans often don’t see the light of day? Are you having a hard time convincing stakeholders to get on board with your strategy? Sometimes even the most carefully articulated strategy on the most bright and shiny spreadsheet needs a little help from some friends, and this session will teach you how to gain the support you need to get your strategy off the ground.

After this session, attendees will better be able to:

  • Carefully listen, come to agreement, and reposition strategy in order to meet stakeholders’ true goals.
  • Turn “mistakes” into opportunities.
  • See content strategy work through completion, rather than getting stopped in the approval phase.

After this session, attendees will understand how to overcome common objections to sharing content and using DITA across functions, as well as have an actionable approach to gain cross functional buy-in.



You’ve defined a content strategy, so all you have left to do is implement it, right? Well, maybe. If you’re in an enterprise of any size, your strategy encompasses far more than the content for which you are personally responsible. The most critical precursor to successfully implementing your strategy is to define and develop the right ecosystem of people and processes to ensure the best information experience for your customers while enabling your content creators to flourish and be productive. Understanding the influencers and inhibitors of that ecosystem will enable you to create the best possible environment for implementing your strategy.

Join Alyson and Andrea to learn more about:

  • Defining and applying an end-to-end product lifecycle to ensure efficient business processes and methodologies from the outside in, including
    • Gathering, analyzing, and prioritizing market and user requirements
    • Understanding the business goals affecting your strategy
  • Effectively influencing the human component of the ecosystem, including
    • Collaborating across the enterprise to establish and maintain communication, business controls, governance, and standards
    • Ensuring transparency, community, and the organic growth of content
    • Developing organizational strategies to support your strategy
  • Defining and measuring success using metrics for
    • Internal efficiency
    • External effectiveness

What holds brands back from creating engaging, effective content typically isn’t  talent, but rather a complex cobweb of rules, regulations and business processes
that get in the way.

The best content marketing brands embrace a “culture of content.” They  have a collaborative spirit. Leaders know how to articulate visions. Messaging
foundations are documented. Approvals are swift and nimble. And creative  professionals have the resources they need to execute engaging content in real

You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify your personal communication leadership style and effectively manage your team.
  • Create organizational systems that empower everyone to positively contribute to your content marketing efforts.
  • Respond swiftly to events and take advantage of real-time marketing.
  • Teach your team to speak in one cohesive and unified brand voice.
  • Set up balanced processes that both mitigate risk and improve the flow of content creation.
Anthony Piwarun
Zeon Solutions

This is a case study of ASQ, a global, nonprofit, membership-based organization looking to increase visibility, experience, and conversions.

Recent changes to how search engines like Google and Bing view content has changed the way we work to drive traffic and acquire leads. Instead of focusing on technical issues, IA, on-page factors, and link building, ASQ has switched gears to focus on user experience and content strategy. A year and a half after the pivot, the company has worked with enterprise clients to develop strategies and create content that converts. For some clients, content development, governance, and maintenance could be the difference between profitability and budget cuts.

This presentation will show how content strategy works as a pillar of an organization’s marketing efforts, while illustrating how to go about taking on—and conquering—such a task. It will also cover content strategy activities and illustrate how to achieve “stakeholder buy-in” to promote change.

Ben Rubenstein
Tech Target

More interaction sounds nice, but what’s it really worth to your business?

This case study will show how TechTarget leverages user-generated content to meet business goals and increase traffic, registrations and leads while also providing an improved user experience across 80 sites. In addition to exploring specific strategies, he’ll cover the various obstacles encountered along the way, from wrangling development resources to getting the buy-in of the employees who make it all work.

Bernard Aschwanden
Publishing Smarter

Be lazy. Learn to survive with less. Stop making cuts (and start building revenue). Put in the time and effort to do as little as possible to get the job done. Bernard will share tips and tricks to do less and deliver more. Reduce content. Improve meeting value. Increase quality. Get other people to do the work for you. See how. Examples of each core idea are provided.

Beth Thomerson

This case study will review the key insights that determined one company’s approach to meeting a business objective for a Fortune 100 telecom OEM: to satisfy customer demand for more concise, high-quality information with fewer resources to manage the content. This presentation will provide management insight into organizing years of technical documentation into a usable document set within a normal release schedule.

Learn Beth’s approach to reduce and standardize content using standard tools and processes. The session will include:

  • An analysis of how information is accessed and how user needs are gathered by the client.
  • An approach to analyzing existing content, iterative modeling based on high level tasks, minimalist writing guidelines.
  • Lessons learned in implementing the solution.
  • Metrics of the project results.
Bill Swallow
Scriptorium Publishing

Implementing a content strategy often involves overcoming significant technological and cultural challenges, but some of these challenges are so scary, so heinous, that they earn a place among the undead because they Just. Won’t. Die! In this session, Bill Swallow will take a look at these nightmare-inducing monsters—from unrelenting copy-and-paste zombies to life-draining, change-avoiding vampires—and show you what can be done to keep your content strategy implementation from turning into a fright fest.


Traditionally, taxonomy and metadata development have existed in the rarefied realm of logic and theory. But to truly deliver against omni-channel market demands on enterprise content management, Factor has found that solid structure must be informed by an intimate understanding of business and user goals that only UX techniques can provide.

Bram Wessel from Factor is here to show you how to make your elegant information constructs consequential in the real world.

This session will demonstrate how to use activities and deliverables from the UX discipline to develop taxonomies and metadata that deliver valuable results for businesses and users now, and stand up to the challenge of the accelerating shift to an omni-channel content paradigm.

Brenda Huettner
P-N Designs, Inc

You see it all the time: a company offers a Free! product that does exactly what you need. But free often comes with associated costs of one kind or another.

During this session, Brenda Huettner will go over some of the most common types of expenses associated with free (such as time, effort, portability, expertise required, licensing issues, and compatibility). She’ll talk about the types of “free,” and look at open source, ad-supported, and limited-functionality models. She’ll also take a close look at some popular free programs to evaluate first hand what they might really cost you and your company.


Every decision should be examined from the perspective of ROI. ASME’s path has not been an easy one; many of challenges occurred as a result of early decisions that were made based on a limited perspective of the full project and business requirements. Pitfalls of a large undertaking have dramatic implications for the people, processes, technologies and finances of an organization.

This session will highlight particular issues, including:

  • How early decisions influence the course of a project
  • How to respond to the project as it emerges
  • How to borrow from agile principles
  • What to do if you inherit a project midstream

Other topics such as choosing the right partners, understanding scope, identifying anomalies and differences in content, gauging complexities, and when and how to take corrective action while still making progress, will also be covered.


Keynote:  A printer, desktop, and tablet walk into a bar….

Content is developed to transfer knowledge. To successfully transfer knowledge, there has to be an understanding. If we can bring an audience to an understanding, then we can move them from one point to another. Audiences should be moved in a way to benefit the business, and measures of content should track this movement. This presentation will go over advance tracking technologies and show what metrics content creators can use to show their contribution to businesses today.


This session will help define the role content plays in today’s revenue generating strategies. We will identify the three major factors that have caused a shift in the value of content: the informed consumer, Big Data (the informed business), and unprecedented access to advanced technologies. With this understanding, you will begin to build your own strategy that aligns with your business goals. We will then move you into the next phase which is how to have the conversations that will transform the role of content in your business.

This proven methodology will help bring those conversations to the executive level, so you can uncover and address the true obstacles to achieving your goals. Make content the most pivotal asset to a company’s continued success and position yourself as a business leader.

Darin McClure
Ready To Go Information Technologies

Darin McClure’s favorite way of social sharing (as taught by Scott Abel at a recent LavaCon conference) no longer works because Google Reader shut down the RSS feeds.

There is a solution. As a longtime content curator, the shutdown of Google Reader removed a lynchpin to how Darin taught people to share their interests in their niches. This solution, once set up, should keep your timelines full for the foreseeable future.

In this session, attendees will learn how to share posts from Google Plus to their important social networks (like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) with a branded URL and statistics.

Doug Gorman
Simply XML

Do you need your Word authors writing in structured XML? Old dogs can learn new tricks! This session provides a fun but helpful take on a serious topic.

Here are some of Doug Gorman’s big ideas:

  • Assess the situation and know what to look for: Do you have little problems or big problems? You can’t move forward until you know the basic information.
  • Leashes—and the importance of structured content.
  • It’s a dog’s world: Set your authors up for success by using their familiar environment.
  • Dachshunds vs. Great Danes: Know your users. Evaluate the different options and decide which is the best fit for your team.
  • Start with one trick—and get value immediately.
  • Working with a dog whisperer: Learn from the experience of those who have traveled this path before.
  • Give a dog a bone: Keeping your team motivated and other key tips.
Edwina Lui
Kaplan Publishing

Kaplan Publishing has engaged in several efforts to develop an end-to-end digital workflow focused on digital product innovation, to varying degrees of success.

This session will cover:

  • Lessons learned from three separate digital product/workflow development projects
  • The importance of team size and composition to project success
  • Real-world pitfalls of sizing a team too large or too small

Aforementioned projects that will be discussed:

  • Enterprise CMS and content model implementation
  • A four-person digital product development task force
  • Interdepartmental digital workflow implementation

As many industries and organizations are switching from a product- to service-oriented business model, data has a key role to play to sustain their strategy and particularly their support activities. Whether to fuel a self-service portal or to empower helpdesk agents, information is essential.

Actionable information, namely knowledge, has to be built by aggregating data and content stored in various silos of the organization. Though the technologies to build this knowledge graph are today well known, the data sources to include and the way to combine them is still a challenge.

Undoubtedly, the technical documentation has a key role to play. It’s certainly the most valuable source since it conveys a large number of semantic metadata that are so important and valuable for structuring the graph and linking the data.

We will explain what it means to create a product knowledge graph, how this can be done, and explain the role and opportunity for technical documentation.

George Bina
Syncro Soft

Not too long ago, XML-born content was not present in a mobile-friendly form. Now, many of the XML frameworks like DocBook, DITA and TEI provide output formats tuned for mobile devices. Many people find XML authoring difficult on computers, let alone mobile devices. However, due to the constantly increasing number of mobile devices, there is clearly a need for direct access to authoring XML content on these devices.

This presentation will explore the options for providing XML authoring on mobile devices and describe George Bina’s current work and the technology choices he made to create an authoring solution for mobile devices. Enabling people to create XML documents on mobile devices is very exciting, mainly because the user interaction is completely different: different screen resolutions, different interaction methods (touch, swipe, pinch), etc. See how Syncro Soft imagined XML authoring on an Android or an iPad!


In this presentation, Dr. Damrau will cover how she uses one business process modeling (BPM) methodology to gather current and future-state content requirements. This data can be analyzed for process improvement or automation of existing paper-based workflow processes.

This session will provide the following:

  • A look into the BPM methodology.
  • An overview of two standards-based modeling methods: BPMN (Business Process Management Notation) and EPC (Event-driven Process Chain).
  • Coverage of common notation used in these two methods.
  • Information about where to learn more about the world of BPM.

Attendees will experience an interactive session where they will have two exercises to practice this modeling technique to learn how they can improve their documentation and content strategy deliverables.


BPM (business process management) and KM (knowledge management) have more in common than you think. This session will provide an overview of BPM and KM and describe the synergies between both concepts and how they are applied to people, process, and technology. Attend this session to understand these converging worlds and strategically use both for project success.

Jennifer Fell
Content Strategist

Technical content creates a bridge between people and technology. Historically, that bridge has been between users and the technology they rely on to do their jobs. Today, technology is integral to business. Technology has moved from IT back rooms to C-level offices, and the decision-makers are more technology-literate than ever before. Technical content is now a bridge between executives and technical solutions that drive their businesses.

What is your strategy for technical content as part of the sales process?

In this session, Jennifer Fell will discuss how technical content can influence decision-makers, demonstrate thought-leadership, accelerate sales, and help turn buyers into evangelists. She’ll look at how your technical content is being used in the sales process already, and how you can begin to design the technical sales content experience. She’ll also look at the relationships among standard content types, including demos, training, and tutorials. This session will offer you new ways to think about connecting customers and your business.

Jim Tivy

Using DITA, like using many technologies, is a journey of managing complexity.

In this talk, you will learn which DITA features are simple, which features are complex, and how features can become overly complicated. You will also learn how to match content project objectives with DITA features. You will see how complexity enters into all phases of content management from authoring through to publishing. A formal framework for evaluating complexity will be discussed; finally, techniques for avoiding complications in concept and practice will be presented.

Joe Gollner
Gnostyx Research Inc.

This workshop will start with a quick overview of the changes that are impacting  the world of technical communication. From there, the workshop will review  some of the key concepts that have been getting more and more attention as organizations look for responses to these changes. These key concepts are  Content Strategy, Content Technology, Content Engineering, and Content  Management. The history of each idea will be briefly covered and practical  working definitions provided. And these ideas will be situated within the context  of both a Content Lifecycle model and a Content Solution implementation  framework. This conceptual roadmap will be used to identify and define the many  tools and techniques are typically associated with each concept and how they all come together in order to genuinely help organizations to communicate more efficiently and more effectively.

Specific topics to be covered include the definition of a compelling content  strategy, the modeling and validation of content and content processes, the  implementation the technical infrastructure needed to support the full content lifecycle, the establishment of a suitable management framework, and the deployment and leveraging of an engagement cycle whereby the input of users and stakeholders is fed back into the content lifecycle.

In summary, this workshop will equip attendees with an essential roadmap for understanding the landscape of new tools and techniques that are available to organizations implementing state-of-the-art content management and publishing environments.

We have had a content management industry for over 20 years now. This means that organizations can quite legitimately ask, “So what really works?” In this keynote, Joe Gollner will take stock of what we have collectively learned over the years and distill all of this down to a top ten list of secrets to content initiative success. Not surprisingly, some of these secrets touch upon strategies for justifying project budgets and others focus on change management and questions of team leadership. And some bear upon how content technologies can be effectively leveraged.

The genesis of this session can be traced back to a series of recent experiences when content initiatives from the distant past were revisited. These experiences were a little shocking because they showcased organizations that were still using the same solution that had been put in place almost 20 years earlier. How could a content solution implemented in the era of Windows 95 still be running? How could a team of content practitioners complete their careers using the same procedures? How could a new generation of practitioners join the team and take up this legacy working environment? How could the solution have been adapted to address changing publishing needs? The answers to these questions tell us a lot about what really works in content initiatives and we should all be attentive to these lessons.

Joe Lopata
Quicken Loans

In this session, attendees will learn how a fully developed content strategy allows for the easy implementation of an inbound/relationship marketing strategy. Make your content a profit center by driving leads and moving your clients through the purchase process; establish relationships with clients not ready to purchase now to keep your organization at the top of their minds until they are ready.

By utilizing the tools of content strategy and a variety of communications channels (blogs, email and social media), you can use already existing content or plan new content to implement a relationship strategy that supports your business goals. In fact, without content strategy, relationship marketing can’t work!

Joe Welinske

The second annual ConveyUX Conference took place in Seattle on February 5–7. The event hosted 327 attendees from 30 states and 13 countries. There were 31 speakers and over 40 presentations. The speakers included Don Norman, Susan Weinschenk, Kelly Goto, Sara Wachter-Boettcher, Whitney Quesenbery, Kel Smith, Steven Hoober, and many more.

As ConveyUX Program Manager, Joe Welinske was right in the middle of all the activity. This session will highlight many of the interesting ideas, observations, statements, and claims made by the presenters. This presentation will provide a glimpse at what many of your colleagues see as being key to the UX field today.


How can you best evaluate a solution before making the big investment? Over several years Mekon has worked with many companies, from medical and semi-conductor manufacturers to software and professional publishers, helping them to select a technology solution fit for purpose. Gathering requirements and choosing the right tools is often more difficult than many companies expect. Use cases and non-functional requirements that accurately reflect what you need are crucial to the success of any IT project, yet evidence suggests typical use cases and requirements are too loose and high level to really do the job.

This presentation will:

  • Explain methods that Mekon has developed.
  • Evaluate customer experience in conducting the Conference Room Prototype (CRP).
  • Outline what metrics can be used to evaluate the tools and what surprises you may encounter.
Kane Jamison
Content Harmony

Many companies are making content publishing a larger part of their marketing strategy, but not all of them have a full understanding of the pitfalls that come with the territory.

Kane Jamison will look at how content creators can apply existing risk management industry concepts to the content creation process, including setting goals, managing internal and external contributors, maintaining quality while staying on track and on budget, avoiding promotional failures, and more.

Kathy Wagner and Melissa Breker
Content Strategy Inc.

Your customer’s experience doesn’t begin or end with your content. It’s simply one touch-point of many. By understanding the entire customer journey, you’re better equipped to provide the right content at the right time and in the right place to meet both user and organizational needs.

We’ll show you how you can use customer journeys to identify user-focused content requirements and understand how content supports a larger user experience. We’ll discuss content considerations at each journey stage and identify ways that content can encourage users to progress through their journey.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Six different aspects of content to consider when mapping content to customer journeys
  • Four steps to creating, visualizing, and using content mapping.
  • Three ways to gain quick wins with content
Keith Boyd

Building the muscle to say “no” to engineering, marketing, executive and other stakeholders can be difficult for technical communicators. Despite all the data in the world, it still requires soft skills and persistence to influence others to bring them to your point of view. Learn how technical communicators at Microsoft have been building these skills, in order to focus on the highest value customer scenarios—not every conceivable customer scenario. You will also learn how to build the necessary standing and confidence to tell some very influential stakeholders “no” along the way.


This session will cover how Lexmark’s global content and web teams work together to create, manage and publish content to 40+ countries worldwide.

Highlights include:

  • Content management across 40+ regional websites
  • The role of structured content in automation
  • Translation workflow
  • The challenge of localization and “making sense” to foreign markets
  • Custom asset management tools

This case study will discuss the before and after states of the new systems and tools that have been put in place. This will include process refinements, new technology (both custom and off-the-shelf), and new roles and responsibilities. The presentation will also reveal the measured ROI.

Attendees will walk away with a comprehensive view of how one Fortune 1000 company approached the challenge of creating meaningful, persuasive marketing content for a truly global audience.

Kimberlee Adam and Peyton Bentley
Kaplan Professional Education

Using interactive workshop scenarios, attendees will learn to apply techniques for building effective relationships within a multidimensional team.

You will learn the following:

  • Building trust by:
    • Resolving conflict with respectful interactions
    • Effectively communicating information to empower all stakeholders
    • Clarifying roles and responsibilities
    • Holding informational sessions for stakeholders throughout the process
  • Making decisions and sticking with them by:
    • Leading effective meetings
    • Engaging the appropriate stakeholders at the proper time during the project
    • Assigning responsibilities and providing support for task completion
    • Documenting decisions for posterity
  • Aligning vision by:
    • Clarifying benefits and expectations with executive sponsors
    • Communicating project plan via project charters
    • Communicating project status to adjust expectations
Kit Brown-Hoekstra and Terena Bell
Comgenesis, In Every Language

In the space between technical communication and localization lies global content strategy. The skills required by localization and technical communication complement each other, but it can be a bit confusing to know when to engage which team. After this session, you will have a better understanding of when to engage with localization and what questions to ask as you develop your global content strategy.

Attendees will learn:

  • When and how to engage in localization
  • Key components of an effective strategy
  • Key metrics for measuring success
  • Process must-haves
  • Roles and responsibilities

As content professionals, our jobs require more cross-team collaboration than ever, and that means it’s getting tougher to delineate our disciplines. When was the last time you did “just” design, content, or code? It’s no longer an option to only care about what’s on your plate.

Drawing from her experience as a “content therapist,” Kristina will share insights about how curiosity, empathy, and shared ambition will help us all build a better web.



There has been much debate as to the merits of using Word, or Word-like editors, by occasional content contributors to author DITA.

Some may argue that it doesn’t make for a practical proposition, as there is inevitably a trade-off between ease-of-use and the support of a meaningful DITA tagset. Others might be concerned that Word-like editors cannot be sufficiently constrained for use by the occasional contributor who has no knowledge of DITA or its complexities, while template approaches can often prove to be too inflexible for use at the enterprise level.

Drawing on the results of customer research recently undertaken by Stilo, as well as demonstrating latest product developments including AuthorBridge, this presentation will seek to explain how the gatekeepers of enterprise content management systems can ensure that only high-quality DITA is submitted by SMEs, as they continue to use their everyday authoring tools.

Lisa Pietrangeli Lisa Pietrangeli
ThirtySix Software

Translation is expensive and it takes a long time. On that we can all agree. That’s why it’s so important to realize that decisions you make during content development impact reusability, quality, project deadlines, and consistency of the translated versions of your content.

In this session, you will learn the importance of integrating translation and localization requirements with your company’s overall content development strategy. We will examine common experiences and discuss what tools you need, what should be included in them, how to maintain them, and how to get the most out of working with them.

You will leave understanding the What, Why, and How of these elements:

  • Component content and translation reuse
  • Style Guides
  • Terminology and glossary management
  • Translation Memory
  • Templates
  • Content and Translation review process
  • And more…

With concrete examples and practical takeaways that everyone can use to get started, we’ll discuss how to work with and maintain these tools and others that are so critical to the process. We will also examine translation project hand-off, defining deliverables, what to expect from translation vendors, maintenance of a localization knowledge base, conducting valuable in-country reviews, and multi-lingual DTP.

Don’t miss this session if you are currently translating content and need to simplify the process, reduce the cost, accelerate project timelines, and just make it BETTER!

Liz Fraley
Single-Sourcing Solutions

There’s a software side to dynamic information delivery. We all know this.  Customers who have seen IBM talk have come to Single-Sourcing Solutions and said “Sure, they can get there, but can I?” What if you’re not a software company?

What if your paper product is your deliverable? What about the Medtronics of the world? Or the Harcourt School Publishers? Or the small companies? What’s in
reach? What have they really achieved? Did they see the expected ROI? Single-Sourcing Solutions has been interviewing long-term Arbortext customers
to find out where they are now. The company wanted to know whether customers  were realizing the full potential of their solutions, what data they’d collected, what
lessons they’d learned, and what they’d implemented over time.
This talk highlights stories—successes and failures—from companies who have  been doing dynamic information delivery for a very long time. It will include  qualified, hard data, breadth of projects and future impact.

So many tools to choose from! So many messages from so many vendors.  Everyone saying they are the right one! One size does not fit all and one solution is not right for everyone! How could it?! How do you find the right one for you?

You need to be able to evaluate tools from a balanced, objective point of view. In this session, Liz Fraley will share strategies, benchmarks, and questions that she’s
used (and seen used) over the years, so you will have something in your back pocket to help you choose the tool that’s best for you, your company, and your

People always ask, “Liz, how do I choose?” She’s helped teams choose tools for small companies, big companies, and been on selection committees at giant
global enterprises. There’s no one answer that’s the right answer for everyone. It depends on staff, resources, skills, and even company culture.

Liz Herman

Hear it from the horse’s mouth: how one woman moved halfway across the country to take a new leadership position and quickly found herself receiving assignments instead of giving them.

Learn how Liz Herman had to adjust her sugar-cubes-and-carrots leadership style to reinforce her management position. Canter along with her as she talks about the ups and downs of maneuvering office politics and how implementation and execution of a leadership-focused content strategy led her to success…. Or did it?

Marcia Riefer Johnston
Author, "Word Up!"

In this session, Marcia will introduce you to a technique that you can use to eliminate filler words (and sentences and paragraphs) from any text. This technique takes the guesswork out of concise writing by showing you exactly what to look for.

Once you’ve got this technique down, you’ve got it forever. You’ll know how to:

  • Increase keyword density.
  • Cut translation costs.
  • Bring your writing to a 24-carat, attention-getting luster.

BONUS FOR LAVACON 2014: Marcia will use a dynamic spreadsheet to “do the math” in real time, showing instantly and dramatically how cutting words cuts translation costs.

Margaret Nicoll
MAKA Digital

When brands become useful to their audience, they create value and loyalty. And, as it turns out, they can also make and save a lot of money. In this session, Margaret will dissect utilitarian content that was created based on search insights and drove revenue gains for UGG Australia, Sanuk and Teva. Join this session to learn how to leverage SEO and search trends to create useful, consumer centric content.

Attendees will learn how to identify key content opportunities based on SEO, search trends and other forms of listening data that drive revenue or reduce costs for eCommerce brands. Margaret will also discuss how to work with large organizations and teams in to get that content created, and identify stakeholders that need to be involved in the process.

Marisa Peacock and Mary Beall Adler
The Strategic Peacock, The Georgetown Bagelry

The Georgetown Bagelry, which has been around since the early 1980s, is a staple of the Washington, DC, community. When you’re at Georgetown Bagelry, you’re in good company. Over the last three years, the Georgetown Bagelry and The Strategic Peacock have worked together to improve its revenue simply by making it easier for its customers to spread the love.

In this session, you’ll learn how a small business made a big impact on its customers and in the community by developing processes (online and off) that enhanced the consumer experience, while streamlining costs.

Mark Peterson
Kokler Company

This session will provide a demo of a finished system, plus discuss initial needs, changes, and lessons learned.

Kohler Company’s installation and service data had benefitted from XML/DITA, but presale information was treated as literature rather than content. Customers needed to search on any device for products that had the dimensions and styling they needed to fit their bathroom or kitchen, but many of the critical dimensions were buried and unsearchable.

So Kohler Company created an XML database using web-based X-Forms for input, X-Queries for search, XSL for output, and Windchill roles for data access. Now, changes are made only once by the data owner. Content is accessible by user role. People can search for data without opening PDFs, and outputs can be tailored to the user’s task and preference. The search capabilities are so great that departments are looking to import their data just so they could have the search capabilities!

Marli Mesibov
Content Strategist

In 2007 Rachel Lovinger said, “Content strategy is to copywriting as information architecture is to design.” But today, the fields of both content strategy and IA have grown, and practitioners face a new challenge: discovering where one leaves off and the other begins.

As content strategists we need to understand our role, but we also need to listen to IAs so that we can move from frustrations to mutual respect and communication.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • Helpful, concrete questions to ask of other team members in collaborative settings.
  • A stronger understanding of what IA is, and suggestions of how a basic understanding of the field can benefit content strategists.
  • Conversation and brainstorming starters that can be utilized to kick off design/content projects.
Marta Rauch
Senior Principal Information Developer, Oracle

Learn how your team can delight customers by leveraging your content across multiple channels. Hear how an information development team added value to a release and received positive feedback from customers. Find out best practices for:

  • Developing mobile content for mobile app stores, an in-app tour, mobile-friendly docs, and a responsive-design library
  • Running a social media campaign on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook
  • Creating a mobile video and posting it on a mobile YouTube channel
  • Validating results through analytics and customer feedback
  • Communicating wins to demonstrate the department’s value to the organization
Martin Jones
Cox Communications

Now more than ever before, business leaders are expected to demonstrate a bottom-line ROI on content, social media and related tactics. However, while more and more content is being churned out, many organizations are not seeing the results they expected.

The challenge isn’t simply to deliver leads to the organization—the challenge is to deliver long-term relationships, and to do so your content must be able to attract, nurture and convert casual visitors into engaged consumers and customers.

Many organizations are missing only one or two key ingredients that will take their current strategy from average to amazing. This session provides the solution in three simple steps.

Takeaways of this session include:

  • A frontline discovery strategy that reveals what consumers really want from you
  • A three-step content plan that will make the sales department fall in love with marketing
  • Five amazing tools and apps that will transform your current strategy
Maxwell Hoffmann
Adobe Systems

This session will teach you how to adjust your attitude and viewpoint towards your evolving role and the changing list of tools you must use. Many of us have become attached to certain brands, tools, standards, etc. Our overriding goal must be to deliver the most effective content to the most people in the shortest period of time possible. That may mean working with software or tools you are not “fond” of. Who cares? Your customers certainly don’t!

We are in a decade of massive change in regards to who owns and who creates content. Nobody knows what devices, authoring tools or content management solutions we will be using years from now.

Attend this session and find out how to strap on your career “life vest” and stay afloat in a vast sea of change. Don’t hesitate to jump in, the water is fine!

Michael Maxey
Director of Content Solutions, AirWatch

The explosion of mobile applications has introduced a dramatic need for data security—security that needs to be part of a company’s content strategy from Day One.

VITAS Innovative Hospice Care had a plan to build a mobile infrastructure, but not how to create a secure content authoring and management solution within that Mobile infrastructure.

In this session, AirWatch by VMware will show how VITAS created a detailed strategy for authoring, securing and distributing mobile content in remote home care environments.

Mike Hamilton
Madcap Software

For most authors the concepts of content reuse are nothing new. Whether you work under the labels of “single-source publishing,” “content management,” or “multi-channel publishing” it all boils down to writing content once, maximizing reuse, and (hopefully) never resorting to content duplication to achieve your publishing goals. This all works beautifully with text, but various media elements have always been the Achilles heel of content reuse. In this session Mike will explore concepts and techniques to bring graphic and multimedia elements into the content management workflow.

More and more companies are adding video and/or interactivity to their corporate communications and publishing processes. How does one even get started?

In this presentation Mr. Hamilton will identify the equipment necessary to produce a professional broadcast experience or recording. Hardware options will be covered from a “budget is no problem” scenario down to what is the minimum you can get by with to get started on a tiny budget.

Once the hardware requirements have been covered, the benefits, drawbacks, and differences between live screen-casting / web conferencing vs. recorded electronic training, tutorials, or demos will be explored. Examples of software packages for both types of content delivery will be covered.

Mike will then finish with a collection of “lessons learned” and best practices to help the new online producer avoid the typical beginner mistakes and look like a screen-casting or recording professional right from the start.

Mike Maass
Citrix Systems

In this session, Mike Maass will discuss his team’s approach to revamping Citrix’s intranet and its performance management system, along with other projects. This transformation has provided a radically better employee experience at Citrix, and has saved the company money in the process.

This presentation will showcase his team’s three-part strategy for this key UX initiative:

  • Secure executive support up front by defining a compelling UX vision for each project, while also showing time and money lost to dealing with subpar internal services
  • Put projects in the hands of UX professionals—product designers, editors, and engineers—not IT, HR and other internal service teams
  • Use experience-first prototypes to secure stakeholder and employee support
Misty Weaver
University of Washington

One of the challenges of content strategy discovery and research is implementing plans that truly fit an organization’s resources and systems. Asking people to change how they work requires diplomacy and an understanding of the unique challenges and motivations of the people who create, manage and publish content. In partnering with nonprofits as clients for the content strategy course Misty Weaver teaches, she has found that collaborative activities work best in building empathy for internal staff and delivering contextually appropriate recommendations.

This session will use gamification and collaborative activities to build empathy as we build workflows for internal stakeholders.

Neil Perlin
Hyper/Word Services

Responsive design has been an emerging topic for a few years but, until 2014, you had to work in code to create the media queries, define the breakpoints, and perform the other steps needed to implement responsive design in practice. Now, major HAT (help authoring tool) vendors are releasing new versions of their products that integrate responsive design into the interface. You still need to understand certain background concepts but the mechanics are now point-and-click.

In this highly focused and practical session, attendees will get:

  • A quick review of the technical concepts of responsive design.
  • A demonstration of responsive design features in two leading HATs, Adobe RoboHelp and MadCap Flare.
  • A description of how to prepare legacy material for responsive design output.

Don’t panic and carry a towel. Winners are grabbing your attention with less content: short form video, textified images, listlicles, audio soundbites and infographics.

Discover tools and techniques to master short-form media in all the different digital formats. Words, videos and audio all have their long forms, but short and snappy wins today. Learn how to start short to earn longer bursts of attention.

Masterfully design content that’s repurpose-ready for omni-channel transformation. Speak to different types of learners. Learn tools to tell your story in snack-size bites for the full spectrum of media. Embrace your content graph and snacker thinking. Nothing is impossible, just highly improbable.

Noz Urbina
Urbina Consulting

The thesis: semantic, structured content is more suited to our brains natural functioning and mechanisms than traditional, unstructured content. It’s counter-intuitive, but is it true?

Our basic understanding of communicating content has changed. Under the pressures of multi-channel and multi-device content challenges, the old rules we learned about good content and processes are breaking down. How do we optimize for all this diversity?

Contemporary research in cognitive science and neurobiology can offer us new ways of thinking about communication at a basic, human level. This session could be considered a study in empathy, looking at how we can break out of our current mindsets, deconstruct old habits, and see justification for new ones around user needs. It offers cognitive science
and neurolobiology lessons relevant to today’s content landscape, and a common language to help you bridge the communication issues with your clients, colleagues, managers, and end users.

This session will cover models and methodologies to better structure content, optimize editorial processes, and build effective, influential strategies couched in the most human of terms.

Our audiences are ever more adept at ignoring us on an ever growing number of channels. We are still reeling from the surge of mobile devices in all their many forms, but we can see wearable technologies and augmented reality bearing down on us like a freight train.

To respond we must rethink how we work with content at a fundamental level.

The world is four-dimensional place (length, width, depth and time), but we were raised and trained to think of content as flat, 2D deliverables. How can actually create and deliver content for everyone and no one at once? How can we create words and images like Lego that can be dynamically built into relevant and valuable content for the right person and the right context?

How can we do all this coherently, without the train hitting us and smashing our messages into a fragmented mess?

By changing our mindsets, and adopting a content strategy that can support today’s content marketing initiatives. Join this session and take the first step in the right direction.

Are there still online and offline worlds? If so, for how much longer?

In this session we take a look at the medium and long-term implications of wearable devices and the internet of things. Screens are shrinking and working in tandem; connectivity is marching on towards ubiquity. Eventually there comes a point where the online world or ‘digital space’ and our real-life day-to-day will integrate so seamlessly that differentiating them will seem antiquated.

What does that mean to communication and content? What happens when Moore’s Law applies to our lives? What is the impact on information, technology and eventually culture? How should the individual communicator cope with a life of constantly accelerating change?

Noz will address these questions and more.
Pamela Noreault
ACI Worldwide

You will walk away from this session armed with the tools to successfully engage customers in a way that impacts the content you create. This session will cover:

  • Creating a customer engagement strategy
  • Learning customer engagement approaches and opportunities
  • Understanding when and how to engage potential customers
  • Determining your content strategy based on your ongoing customer engagement results
  • Measuring success to save time and increase revenue
Patrick Neeman

Being an effective UX Professional isn’t just about being a unicorn that can write code, create visual mockups and build wireframes: great UX Professionals creating effective products using the hard and soft skills honed after years of experience. The skills needed that varies from organization and organization, and even from project to project. UX Designers need to tailor their skillset based on the context of the situation.

The session will cover both the skills needed to be an effective UX Designer in almost any organization. Discussed will be the hard skill spectrum may differ by the type of organization of project, what a T skill set is and why it’s important to hiring managers, and strategies how to market their own skills more effectively.

Also covered is what’s never stated: soft skills that are essential to being UX Designers job in almost any organization, These skills are never listed in a job description as a requirement or taught during a college course, but are needed to push an effective design through any organization.

Ray Gallon

This session will cover:

  • A method for implementing embedded UA with DITA, which involves not just tech comm skills, but also content strategy, information architecture, and UI/UX skills
  • How this can be achieved at a very low cost
  • Why Ray Gallon chose DITA—despite the client being a small 30-person startup with a small volume of information to manage, but huge opportunities for reuse
  • How years of development can be avoided by making the switch
  • Building for the future, and opportunities for automated customization of the UA thanks to DITA
Rhyne Armstrong
RouteMatch Software

You can learn a lot from the failure of others.

In this session, Rhyne Armstrong will present failed projects—some donated from others, some his own less-than-stellar achievements. He will talk about what failed, what could have saved the project, and how the person, team, or company recovered and adjusted in the aftermath.

Robert Kennedy
CA Technologies

Gone are the days of static, bulky, expert-written, and “authorized” content. Information consumers are global and more connected. More frequently, they rely on communities instead of static help, manuals, and knowledge bases.

Wikis are used by internal teams to collaborate on content, but are rarely used to collaborate with users and community members. CA Technologies’ community-based wiki platform blends authorized content, knowledge bases, and community interaction into a single entity. The platform efficiently provides authoring, review, translation, and delivery. Ratings, comments and blogs are combined with forum threads and gamification.

Attendees will learn:

  • How CA Technologies is re-engineering their content to be more accessible on a wiki
  • The architecture and processes that drove this innovation
  • What you need to know to begin a project like this
  • Data related to acceptance and how it’s driving the next level of innovation
Ryan Lounsbury
Customer Success Specialist, MindTouch

Today’s customers expect brands to support them throughout the entire ownership lifecycle and will jump ship (and churn) if it takes too much effort to become a product expert. Building a Customer Success strategy requires a collaboration across many departments in your organization and a new way of thinking about how you deliver content to your customers.

Scott Carothers
Kinetic: The Technology Agency

Managing your enterprise content is hard enough. Managing your enterprise translation content is even harder. This involves managing your staff, remote in-country reviewers, and the vendors with whom your work is outsourced. Plus, dollars spent on translations are almost never a line item within procurement. So who really knows what the real translation costs are within the overall enterprise when it involves technical writing, legal, consumer communications, e-commerce, websites, apps, regulatory, HR and marketing? Is anyone keeping the enterprise business intelligence to validate quality or optimize translation content reuse? Or do you typically hear, “We’re on a schedule, just get it done”?

Join Scott Carothers in this session to learn more about the project management aspects of translations, and where dollars can be saved immediately by taking control of your enterprise’s TM and optimizing the translation process. A Fortune 10 case study will be presented on successful results.

Scott Youngblom
Co-founder, Oberon Technologies

Managing the delivery of content to customers is a different discipline than managing the content during the creation, review and approval process. The content delivery process has its own actors, its own challenges, and thus requires its own tools. Today’s information consumers expect more than a PDF on a web server. They want to be able to quickly and easily access exactly the information they require, from anywhere, using any device (mobile devices, laptops, etc.). Also, modern technical communication must be a two-way street; in many cases, your customers know as much or more on the topic than the documentation authors, and the failure to capture that knowledge is a hidden cost in traditional, static, one-way documentation production processes. This presentation will discuss some of the content delivery possibilities enabled by DITA-based content, including topic-level delivery, on-demand generation of customized publications, and feedback loops from the end user to the author.

In this session you will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the possibilities available in the distribution of DITA-based documentation
  • Learn about a number of approaches for managing the content delivery process
  • Learn about best practices for managing content delivery



Success on the web is a measure of how helpful a site is to the people who visit. After The Good launched a refreshed, mobile revenues increased over 600% and overall sales increased 70% through the following year.

By walking through The Good’s redesign and ongoing calibration of, you’ll learn:

  • How to design content and features around visitor goals
  • A framework for understanding the metrics that lead to improved site content and UX after the initial launch
  • Methods to test assumptions on analytics, site content, and UX so your team can focus on getting better results
  • Formulas for making site performance growth projections
Suzanne Mescan
Vasont Systems

“He said… she said…”

Play a game that demonstrates how sketchy communication methods can disrupt your business processes and prevent your technical documentation from getting done timely and accurately. Learn what you can do to avoid these disruptions and create smoother communications and processes in your tech comm team.

Tanner Volz

Software vendors increasingly provide their products as hosted services, accessible via online APIs and clients. The timeframe for marketing new features and functionality is often short; tight-knit agile teams write, test, and deploy updates within single short sprints.

Documentation must keep up. Enter hosted content providers.

Content management and hosting services can fully eliminate the need for onsite writing and publishing tools and infrastructure, allowing writers to focus their energy on developing content. Rich, interactive content is easier than ever to achieve, without requiring writers to leave the comfort of their browsers.

In this talk, Tanner Volz will describe the exciting process of transforming file-based, linear documentation at iovation (a SaaS vendor), to an agile authoring and delivery process using MindTouch, a feature-rich hosted help and support platform.

Terena Bell
In Every Language

Any beer drinker will tell you there’s a big difference between a Coors Light and a locally microbrewed bourbon barrel stout. With the growth of the microbrewing industry in the US, the variety of beer out there is amazing, and no two tastes are alike. So which is your content most like? And how does that change how it should be translated? In this session, Terena Bell of In Every Language walks you through the parallels between your content and everyone’s favorite happy hour release—with samples!


We’re facing fundamental change in tech comm: not just how we do what we do, but also why we do what we do.

Tech comm is not just about customer support anymore; it’s also driving revenue. Buyers look for technical content before they buy. And they don’t want to just passively consume it, they also want to interact with it—and with us.

There’s something even larger at work here: we’ve entered a new era where companies build relationships with buyers through content—both marketing and technical content. On the marketing side, this new era has led to the explosive rise of content marketing. But technical content can play a role in content marketing too—perhaps even a more important role than marketing content.

This role won’t just be handed to you; you’ll have to fight for it. This session will discuss how to win that fight.


This session will explore how one organization used gamification to ease culture change and improve engagement and buy-in, speed pre-DITA-conversion content clean-up, and reduce the volume of required post-conversion adjustments.

Troy Parke
Big Fish Games

Everyone working on a project has an impact on the end customer and intends to focus on the user experience. Delivering an engaging and usable product or service to customers however, is a journey. As a UX professional, you need to partner effectively with product owners, engineers, executives and other key stakeholders before your work will ever reach the end users you are designing for.
This session will cover how to identify who the key stakeholders in a project are, understanding their perspective and covering tactics for successfully partnering in a UX strategy. How do I help decision makers “get” UX? What is the number one problem stakeholders have in evaluating design? How do I get stakeholders to value research?

Themes and techniques include: working backward from the customer, focusing on the problem instead of the solution, applying your UX research skills to stakeholders and shifting the perception of UX from service to strategy.

Troy Parke and Patrick Neeman
Big Fish Games,

How does being a Content Strategist or Technical Writer lend itself to helping with User Experience (UX) Design? Can a UX skillset help get me involved more holistically in the product development process?  How can I help solve issues earlier in the project lifecycle instead of documenting them?

Patrick Neeman and Troy Parke will answer these questions and more. During this workshop, they will show you how to add to your Content Strategist or Technical Writing role with a UX skillset in this informative and interactive workshop. You will learn how take the skills you have now and apply them toward the UX design process including user stories, how content development applies to information architecture and the core competency fundamentals of UX Research and Design.

Vikram Verma
Product Manager, Adobe Systems