The LavaCon Content Strategy Blog

Learn about the updates to the premier content strategy conference.

Category: Speakers

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.

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: Dawn Stevens and Content Maturity – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

As the new president of Comtech Services, Dawn Stevens has practical experience in virtually every role within a documentation and training department, including project management, instructional design, writing, editing, and multimedia programming. She presented “Maturing Process Maturity” at The LavaCon Conference in Dublin in May, and she will be joining us in Portland in November.

We’re excited that you are joining us for The LavaCon Conference this year! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am one of the few people who entered the world of technical communication on purpose. I loved my English and journalism classes in high school, as well as my math and sciences classes. My high school counselor told me about technical communication as a way to combine these interests, and I have never looked back in 27 years.

You’re talking about Maturing Process Maturity. Can you give us a sneak preview of your talk (without giving too much away)?

Just like the technologies that we as technical communicators use have changed over the last decades, so have the processes we follow to create that content. The most successful companies in adapting new content strategies and technologies have learned to adapt their processes as well. In this session, we’ll look at how process maturity is defined today. What are the best practices for successful organizations in such areas as information design, quality assurance, user analysis, planning, budgeting, and hiring and training? Too often, we get hung up on the technologies without thinking about how changing technologies also means changing processes. Continue reading

Get to Know: Ray Gallon and Information 4.0 – The LavaCon Conference: 2017

As a co-founder of The Transformation Society, Ray focuses on complexity and technological change. He presented “Our Role and Responsibility in Information 4.0” with Andy McDonald at The LavaCon Conference in Dublin in May and will be joining us in Portland in November.

How did you become interested in Information 4.0?

I think I have always been interested in it‒even before it existed. What I mean is this flows naturally out of my interest and involvement in the future, in the meeting place between culture and technology, out of a sense of play merged with a seriousness of purpose. I’ve been this way ever since I can remember: as a small boy, in high school, and certainly in my professional life, whatever career I was following at the time.

What do content professionals need to know about Information 4.0?

At the risk of overdramatizing, they need to know it is nothing like the kind of content we’ve known until now, whether we’re doing technical communication, marketing, webs, information architecture, content strategy or whatever. Sure, we’ll still write‒though we’ll do a whole lot more curating. Sure, we’ll still have to provide structure, coherence, reliability, and all the rest. But the definition of “valid” might be true, or useful, only for half an hour. Much of the information we now treat will be handled exclusively by machines, in codes that are not readable by humans.

A lot of the work we now do will be taken over by machines, chatbots, AI engines crunching Big Data, etc. Our jobs will be less to provide answers, and more to guide people to the answers they need. People know a lot already, but they also have big gaps in their knowledge. We can’t know in advance what they know or don’t know. We have to be ready to provide an offer of information that they can choose from, so they aren’t bored wading through stuff they know, or put off by an assumption of prior knowledge they don’t have. Continue reading