LavaCon Keynote Speaker Preview:
Karen McGrane on Content in a Zombie Apocalypse

A content zombie apocalypse is upon us! An onslaught of new mobile devices, platforms, and screen sizes, hordes of them descending every day. We’re outmatched. There aren’t enough designers and developers to battle every platform. There aren’t enough editors and writers to populate every screen size.

Surviving the content zombie apocalypse is possible. In this talk, LavaCon Keynote Speaker Karen McGrane will explain how. Interview by Ed Marsh.

Attend Karens’s keynote presentation at the 2018 LavaCon Conference.

Make the Business Case to Attend the 2018 LavaCon Conference

How do you convince your boss that attending The 2018 LavaCon Conference is a smart investment? Build a strong business case that connects your organization’s needs with the LavaCon program. Whether you want to improve your customers’ experience, move towards structured authoring and XML, or strengthen relationships with stakeholders, LavaCon offers sessions and case studies that will help you make a difference in your organization.

Continue reading “Make the Business Case to Attend the 2018 LavaCon Conference”

A Review of MadCap Flare 2017 r3 and MadCap Central – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

Guest Author: Hennah Rahman

MadCap Flare’s transition to agile releases allows Flare users to get bug fixes, enhancements, and new features much sooner than the previous release model. The MadCap Flare 2017 r3 release has many new features, but what I think most users can benefit from is the new Style Inspector.

New Style Inspector

The new Style Inspector is especially helpful for those starting out with CSS. Although many of you may be comfortable editing the CSS directly in the Text Editor, this new ability to view the style changes as you make them in the Style Inspector is brilliant. It can be a huge time saver when creating stylesheets for your projects and can decrease overall development time. In addition, the Style Inspector detects the medium and changes the stylesheet accordingly. Local formatting is indicated at the top of the Style Inspector in red which allows you to easily see any local styling that may exist in your topic. Styles that have been overwritten in a topic are marked with a line though the style in the Style Inspector to indicate the local formatting. You can create new styles or edit existing styles directly in the Style Inspector while viewing the style being applied to a topic.

style sheet inspector
Style Sheet Inspector

Continue reading “A Review of MadCap Flare 2017 r3 and MadCap Central – The LavaCon Conference: 2017”

Content Personalization and the Power of Metrics – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

Oded Ilan recently joined Ed Marsh to talk about his upcoming LavaCon presentation, Personalization of Content and the Power of Metrics. Currently the Chief Marketing Officer of Iridize, Oded’s start in content can be traced back to his degree in English literature. When he joined the world of high tech, he quickly learned the experience of writing and telling stories could be used to make a living: marketing and sales is all about telling stories. In the end, it’s content creation.

People working with content know that managers want metrics, but some metrics are easier to capture than others. For example, when there is a change in the user interface, we can measure the impact by the number of clicks. But how do you use metrics to follow a “solution”? How do you measure the effectiveness of support or training materials? When content is used once or twice, there is usually no option to know if an application’s feature was used as a result of the content related to that feature. Continue reading “Content Personalization and the Power of Metrics – The LavaCon Conference: 2017”

Make a Quantum Shift in Structured Authoring – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

In this podcast, Eric Kuhnen and Michael Rosinski of Astoria Software join Ed Marsh to talk about their upcoming presentation at LavaCon, Making a Quantum Shift in Structured Authoring.

According to Eric, one of the key changes in the content industry has become the inability for multiple groups within a department to share content while using a common set of tools. The technical documentation team works with structured content, and the content repository is often not available to those outside the team. Astoria Software now provides integration with Witty Parrot to enable “rich sharing” and ensure that XML-based content is available to non-XML content creators. Continue reading “Make a Quantum Shift in Structured Authoring – The LavaCon Conference: 2017”

People Love to Give You Money! And Recognition! And Headcount! – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

Chellie Campbell joined Ed Marsh to talk about her LavaCon keynote presentation, People Love to Give You Money! And Recognition! And Headcount!

Chellie started her career as a musical comedy actress and then became a bookkeeper. When she learned that not many people could read their financial statements, she started teaching them, which led her to write books and teach workshops. She has found that most people look at money from the perspective of stock brokers and financial planners, which means they view money with a negative perspective:

These people say, “You’re going to run out of money. You’re not going to have enough money for medical expenses.” It’s a place of fear. It’s ridiculous. You should be enjoying your money. I take the money piece, and I make it fun. Budget means Baby U Deserve Getting Every Thing, and I talk about that in my talk.”

Continue reading “People Love to Give You Money! And Recognition! And Headcount! – The LavaCon Conference: 2017”

How MOOCs, SPOCs, and Next Generation e-Learning are Impacting Content Strategy – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

Keith Boyd recently talked to Ed Marsh about his upcoming keynote,  How MOOCs, SPOCs, and Next Generation e-Learning are Impacting Content Strategy. The growing popularity of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) provides the opportunity for traditional technical communicators to work with other teams and incorporate e-learning into their content strategy, resulting in mastery and deeper commitment from customers. By becoming aware of the options, we are better equipped to have conversations with the other teams, identify opportunities, and deliver engaging solutions.

I’m going to talk about how learning science is impacting our ability to motivate people, to keep them in the game, and to keep them wanting to learn.

Continue reading “How MOOCs, SPOCs, and Next Generation e-Learning are Impacting Content Strategy – The LavaCon Conference: 2017”

Build a Business Case to Attend LavaCon – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

How do you convince your boss that attending The LavaCon Conference is a smart investment? Build a strong business case that connects your organization’s needs with the LavaCon program. Whether you want to improve your customers’ experience, move towards structured authoring and XML, or strengthen relationships with stakeholders, LavaCon offers sessions and case studies that will help you make a difference in your organization. Continue reading “Build a Business Case to Attend LavaCon – The LavaCon Conference: 2017”

On the Road: Enabling Customer Success in Chicago – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

Jack Molisani is on the road! Join Jack in Chicago where he is speaking at the Chicago Content Strategy Meetup on July 19th and the STC Chicago chapter meeting on July 20th. Both meetings feature the topic, “People First Content Strategy: What I Learned From Facebook for Business,” in which Jack shares what he learned from the Content Strategy group at Facebook for Business—a team that enables customer success for billions of customers worldwide.

At this meeting, you will hear about the Facebook case study that fundamentally changed Jack’s own approach to content strategy and his ability to enable customer success. He will also talk about:

  • How Facebook for Business sets the tone for content
  • How they research and identify for whom they are writing
  • How content is just the tip of the Content Strategy Iceberg

Attend the meeting that works best with your schedule and location:

Chicago Content Strategy Meetup

Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Location: Chicago, IL

Details: Chicago Content Strategists Meetup Website

STC Chicago Meeting

Date: Thursday, July 20, 2017

Location: Downers Grove, IL

Details: STC Chicago Website

Can’t attend either meeting? Check out Jack’s presentation at the Philly Content Strategy Meetup in April!

Get to Know: Lukasz Gornicki and Static Site Generators – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

Lukasz Gornicki, a Product Owner at SAP, presented “Static Site Generators are the Game Changers” at The LavaCon Conference in Dublin in May, and we are looking forward to seeing him in Portland! Thank you for joining us, Lukasz!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I started working as a technical writer six years ago. Previously, I was creating content as a Knowledge Manager, but it was not the same as writing documentation for software industry. I quickly grew more interested in content strategy and structure, and that’s when I became a Documentation Architect.

How did you first get interested in static site generators?

About three years ago, we started working on a new software product based on microservices and the cloud. After doing some research, I convinced the organization to start using static site generators. Then I became a product owner of the team that was implementing a documentation solution based on static site generators. Continue reading “Get to Know: Lukasz Gornicki and Static Site Generators – The LavaCon Conference: 2017”