The LavaCon Content Strategy Blog

Learn about the updates to the premier content strategy conference.

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Focus Your Impact – Do More By Doing Less

Peter Conrad
Lead Technical Writer, Salesforce

Webinar Date: October 17th, 2018, 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST [closed]

Watch the webinar recording.

You’ll learn a simple model you can present to your team: mapping the customer lifecycle onto documentation structure to reveal the high-value areas of focus. Task-oriented documentation is most important, but only when it directly supports the customer’s goals (even in API docs).

Case Study: What the Bot!?

Gavin Austin
Principal Technical Writer, Salesforce

Webinar Date: October 10th, 2018, 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST [closed]

Recording coming soon.

Learn how Salesforce planned and created content for a chatbot feature for millions of customers. See which tools, metrics, and research led to a content strategy to support a variety of globally dispersed industries into using new chatbot technology.

Video Provides the Edge

Mark Kleinsmith
Technical Communications Manager, MiTek, U.S.A

Webinar Date: September 26th, 2018, 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST [closed]

Recording coming soon.

Like it or not, we live in a YouTube world. The typical problem solving process in 2018, whether you’re fixing a clothes dryer, replacing a headlight or looking for an answer to a software question, typically includes Google and a YouTube video. And, as more millennials become a part of the workforce, this trend is likely to grow. So, how can your technical documentation group meet the needs of this growing demographic? The answer is to provide up-to-date video tutorials that can be easily found online. Video is a personal form of technical communication that creates a bond with customers. At MiTek, the Technical Documentation Team is now referred to as “The Voice of MiTek.” After producing over 1,500 help and training videos, we are MiTek! This case study explores our journey to replace legacy help systems with the “YouTube of MiTek.” What worked? What didn’t?

From Agile Development to Cognitive Delivery: Using Taxonomies for Fun and Profit

Michael Priestley Enterprise Content Technology Strategist, IBM

Webinar Date: September 19th, 2018, 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST [closed]

Watch the webinar recording.

Michael Priestley will talk about IBM’s plans in marketing to use taxonomies and ontologies to drive both development and delivery of content to match and anticipate user needs.

Make Powerful Infographics… Fast!

Mike Parkinson Owner, Billion Dollar Graphics

Webinar Date: September 14th, 2018, 10 a.m. PST / 1 p.m. EST [closed]

Watch the webinar recording.

Harness the power of infographics to improve understanding, recollection and adoption. Learn how to turn words, data and ideas into clear, compelling graphics. NO design skill or previous experience needed. Participants get a free copy of Mike’s popular “Graphic Cheat Sheet,” learn amazing tips and tricks, and discover low-cost and free tools. Attend this high energy, interactive session and increase your success rate. After this session participants will be able to…

  • Turn words and ideas into clear, compelling graphics.
  • Visualize anything and improve writing and development speeds up to 50%.
  • Spend less money and time making graphics using free and low-cost tools.

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.

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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

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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

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

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