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DITA InPrint: Creating Well-Designed Technical Documentation

Technical documents are often the ugly sibling of marketing and corporate communications. Written and produced by staff who typically have no training (or budget) for design, these crude-looking publications not only undermine the carefully crafted image created by the marketing team, they make it harder for customers to actually read and understand the valuable information they contain. The content coming out of the technical communication department is, more often than not, comprised of overcrowded pages loaded with eye-glazing graphics, incomprehensible typefaces, useless headings, bad pagination, and tiresome tables.

But, it doesn't have to be this way. Even if you use DITA.

Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and Val Swisher, CEO of Content Rules, for this free, one-hour webinar featuring XML design specialist, Tim Grantham, founder of Tengwar Systems. Tim will discuss the main reasons technical documentation is so ugly and reveal tips and tricks for making improvements that will delight your customers. He will also discuss his first software product, DITA InPrint™, which enables marketing and documentation teams to get great-looking outputs from DITA XML, quickly and easily, without having to learn to code or to hire programmers.
Recorded May 22 2014 59 mins
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Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and Val Swisher of Content Rules with Tim Grantham of Tengwar Systems
Presentation preview: DITA InPrint: Creating Well-Designed Technical Documentation

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  • Automation for Medical Device Content: Cost and Risk Management Mar 9 2017 8:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Marc Miller, Division President, TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions
    Changing regulatory requirements, combined with increasing content volumes and channels, and antiquated processes have sharply increased costs and risks for medical device manufacturers. Estimates put the industry’s total “cost of content” at over $3 Billion world-wide—not including the costs of compliance risk.

    Now, solutions built on structured content and process automation technologies are delivering a 30-40% cost and turnaround reduction (and 50% reduction in risk) for manufacturers such as GE Healthcare and Stryker.

    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, for a discussion with Marc Miller of TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions, about where content costs and risks may be hiding in your medical device content production process. Marc will discuss the technologies that can help you manage the challenges, and he will talk briefly about the strategies you’ll need to employ in order to take advantage of the next wave of content technology innovation.
  • The Importance of Governance in Regulated Content Mar 9 2017 6:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Charles Cooper, VP of The Rockley Group
    Governance is not a ‘four-letter word,’ but in many organizations, it is often regarded as such. It’s viewed as restrictive, and therefore reducing the ability of the content creator be creative. It’s seen as slowing down the creative process and introducing unnecessary roadblocks to producing content. In reality, it provides clarity to everyone in the content creation cycle, improves content quality, and reduces risk.

    Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and Charles Cooper, VP of The Rockley Group, for this free one-hour webinar. In this session, Charles will explain the need for governance when creating content for a regulated industry, explain how governance can streamline the process for content creators, and identify the benefits of introducing the “right amount” of governance.
  • Addressing the Challenges of Harmonization in Medical Device Content Mar 9 2017 4:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Ann Rockley, President of The Rockley Group
    Harmonization of medical device content involves reusing existing content within and across product families. The concept of reuse is fairly straightforward, but not in a regulated environment. Content is approved for a particular device so you can’t just change the content as desired.

    Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and Ann Rockley, President of The Rockley Group, for this free one-hour webinar. In this session, Ann will discuss how to address the challenges of content harmonization including regulatory requirements and approvals, translation, and cultural change.
  • Five Steps to Consistent Language Across Your Organization Mar 8 2017 10:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Richard Sikes, Content Rules
    Many organizations underestimate the importance of linguistic consistency. Ensuring consistency is critical, especially when a company is attempting to communicate to prospects and customers around the globe. Linguistic inconsistencies in corporate and product content can damage reputation, create confusion, trigger compliance problems and more.

    There are five best-practice steps that you can take to mitigate linguistic risk while also lowering costs for support and reducing the need for damage control. These best practices also help lower the cost of translation.

    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and my guest, localization expert, Richard Sikes, for a free, one-hour webinar examining these five steps in detail. You’ll learn why terminology management should be part of every global content strategy. You'll discover how the five steps can help you formulate a terminology management strategy, and you'll understand the role maturity and sophistication play in ensuring you terminology management project is a big success.
  • Global Content Integration Challenges And How To Overcome Them Mar 8 2017 8:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Diana Ballard, STAR USA
    Challenges are mounting to bring everyone into the same conversation—the one with your customers. As digital and real-world experiences collide and compete, it has never been more important to speak with a unified, personal voice in the language of your audience.

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    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and my special guest, global content expert, Diana Ballard, as we examine five challenges that get in the way of global content success.

    You’ll learn why global content integration is a test of your business agility and determines how successful you’ll be on the international stage.

    ABOUT OUR GUEST

    Diana Ballard is B2B globalization consultant and translation/localization expert on a 30-year pursuit to unify the end-to-end information lifecycle—from design to delivery, Diana is armed with a passion for connecting with customers with content in the language of their choosing—their own.
  • To Win the Latino Community, Speak to Their Hearts In Their Own Language Mar 8 2017 6:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Fabiano Cid, Managing Director of Ccaps Translation and Localization
    The U.S. Hispanic population reached 57 million in 2015, accounting for 17 percent of the nation’s total population. From 1990 to 2017, their purchasing power went from 0.21 to 1.7 trillion dollars. And yet, the current administration wants to throw them back over a soon-to-be-built wall.

    Despite their incalculable contributions to the US culture, politics, and economy, these men and women all over the country feel rejected, diminished, and abandoned by the very people who should protect them. Whether you have a humanitarian motivation, are aiming at financial goals, or are driven by a combination of both, Hispanics are ready to talk to you—right now! But can you get to their brains, touch their souls, and speak in a language that will gain their trust?

    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and my friend and peer, translation and localization expert, Fabiano Cid, for a free, one-hour webinar. You’ll discover how understanding the fundamental distinctions between Latinos, Hispanics and Latin Americans—as well as the linguistic differences of variants of the Spanish language—can help you communicate in valuable ways. You’ll find out what things to bear in mind when generating, or translating, content for a Hispanic audience. You’ll see examples from both successful marketing campaigns—and flopped attempts. And, you’ll learn from an expert in all things Latin American how to speak to this community and win their hearts—because this is where all their decisions are made.
  • Driving Continuous Delivery of Global Content Mar 8 2017 4:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Dave Ruane of Xplanation, and Joe Gelb of Zoomin Software
    Continuous delivery has become an umbrella term for any regular and repeatable content and product development process that has an agile approach under the engine. For some organizations, continuous delivery is cycled daily, and content gets checked in, picked up, and published every day. In other cases, the content is only published when appropriate exit criteria are met.

    More often that not, continuous delivery practices are driven by customer experience strategies. In simple terms, organizations want content consumers to have the right content when they need it. Evolving continuous delivery practices means progressively reducing the lag time for content time-to-market.

    To do this well, each content drop point has to be easy to globalize in context, source language, and the transport media. How do organizations do this? What are the current challenges with this process? And why is it important for content professionals?

    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, for this free, one-hour webinar on March 8 at 8 am PT. My guests will be Dave Ruane, Enterprise Business Development Director for EMEA at Xplanation, and Joe Gelb, President of Zoomin Software.

    You’ll learn why some of the world’s biggest brands are leveraging a repeatable, systematic and streamlined approach to content production that helps them drastically reduce costs and time-to-market and deliver global content continuously. You'll discover what steps you'll need to make to get started. And, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists.
  • Blueprint for Success: Selecting Technologies To Manage Global Content Mar 7 2017 10:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Andrew Lawless, President, Team Lawless
    Are you confused about the many options for managing global content between your content management system, marketing automation platform, and translation technology? And most importantly, are you concerned about the impact on the user experience for both the content manager and in-country reviewer?

    Imagine yourself in a work environment where you can focus on everything that matters when managing global content. All the clutter is gone. No cutting and pasting of language content. No emails. No PDF reviews. No quality complaints from your in-country offices. Instead, you give all your attention to developing strategies, new product introductions, and innovating your processes.

    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and my guest, Andrew Lawless, for a free, one-hour webinar designed to help you select the right tools to manage global content efficiently and effectively.

    Attendees will learn a technology selection planning exercise that provides complete clarity on how to automate global content production from end-to-end. You'll discover the key solutions for a fully automated localization process from content authoring to translation, in-context review and publishing. Equally important, you will hold in your hands a technology blueprint for success.

    ABOUT OUR GUEST

    Andrew Lawless is a best-selling author and leading consultant to US businesses that generate $2.4 trillion of revenue each year by selling their services and products abroad. Andrew teaches masters programs on localization project management at University of Maryland and launched Lawless Guides, an online learning platform that provides training to managers of international products, projects and programs.
  • Boxing and Unpacking Content For A Digital Migration Mar 7 2017 8:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    David Hobbs, David Hobbs Consulting
    Website improvement projects are often undertaken because they come with the promise of dramatically increasing business results. The way in which we tackle these projects—and the approaches we choose to use—determine whether our efforts will yield improvements or not.

    Migrating web content from one system to another can be challenging. To be successful—and to get the results we seek—it’s best to start with a plan.

    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and my guest, David Hobbs, for a free, one-hour webinar designed to help you plan for a website content migration. Attend this session to discover why web content migration planning should start from the perspective of quality. Learn why boxing—and unpacking—content can help us achieve desired results. And, find out why, unlike a house move, we often need to unpack the content during a content migration project.

    ABOUT OUR GUEST

    David Hobbs helps organizations that want higher-impact digital presences, especially those ready to take on silos and otherwise disconnected site visitor experiences. These types of complex, high-impact changes require early visioning and buy-in (a “build it and they will come” approach won’t work). David works with organizations on early strategy as well as how to achieve the content needed on the new site (including migration and rollout planning).

    David has a Master’s in Computer Science and started his career as a C programmer. Before the web took off, David lived in a mud hut in Chad working with trash-collection and water-distribution system community groups.
  • Creating Character: Taking the Sociopath Out of Artificial Intelligence Mar 7 2017 6:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Mark Walsh, Motional Entertainment
    Thinking about automating interactions with customers using an intelligent agent or artificial lifeform? Artificial intelligence is making its way into customer service and support, training, marketing, and e-commerce. It's in use today in industries like entertainment, hospitality, travel, insurance, banking, and nearly every manufacturing and service sector imaginable. While there's a lot of promise behind these emerging technologies, there's some danger, too.

    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and my guest, award-winning animator, Mark Walsh, for a free, one-hour webinar designed to help you avoid employing a sociopathic, artificial lifeform represent your brand. Mark will share lessons learned from years of experience creating amazingly believable characters for Pixar Animation Studios.

    You’ll discover how relationships, trust, and caring can help you leverage artificial intelligence technologies in ways that enhance customer experience. And, you’ll learn how to avoid making the big mistakes made by those who came before you.
  • Unified Content Strategy: How To Make Product Content Work For You Mar 7 2017 4:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Regina Lynn Preciado, Content Strategy Consultant
    If you want your product content to work for you (rather than the other way around), you need a content strategy. In fact, you probably need a Unified Content Strategy -- a three-pronged approach that empowers you to do just about anything with your product content.

    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, for a free, one-hour webinar with content strategy maven, Regina Lynn Preciado. Regina will discuss the need for a flexible, forward-looking content strategy. You'll learn what a Unified Content Strategy is, why it’s important, and five things you can do to start working toward a more strategic approach to product content.

    ABOUT OUR GUEST

    Regina Lynn Preciado is a content strategy consultant who helps companies transform how they organize, manage, and leverage content. From the dot-com boom of the ‘90s to today’s demand for intelligent, global, mobile-friendly content, Regina has helped dozens of organizations make content work for people (instead of the other way around).

    “I’ve worked with projects of all sizes, from sole proprietors to large international enterprises, and have found that a unified content strategy is scalable for any size organization -- the principles and the purpose remain the same,” – Regina Lynn Preciado

    Regina is a senior consultant with Content Rules, Inc., the only licensed provider of The Rockley Method™ unified content strategy.
  • Product Content: The Hidden Gem in the Content Marketer’s Tool Kit Mar 1 2017 6:00 pm UTC 60 mins
    Mary Laplante, Digital Clarity Group
    Content marketing and customer experience management are business practices that go hand-in-hand. You can’t deliver a great experience that engages customers without content that engages them. And you can’t win long-term loyalty and advocacy if you only engage them at the start of your relationship. That's why the most effective content marketing programs engage customers across their entire relationship with your brand—from marketing through sales through service.

    Join me, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and my special guest, Mary Laplante, Vice President of Client Services at Digital Clarity Group, for a lively session about product content and its role in connecting prospects and customers to revenue.

    Attendees will learn how content marketers can reach deeper into their tool kit and put existing product content to effective use. Data sheets, product specifications, documentation, support information, training materials—this content about your brand’s products and services—can be invaluable when prospects are making the decision to become customers. Don’t leave these hidden gems at the bottom of your content marketing toolbox.

    ABOUT OUR GUEST

    Mary Laplante is Vice President for Client Services at Digital Clarity Group, a research and advisory firm focused on the content, technologies, and practices that global companies use to deliver great customer experience. Mary has spent her entire career in and around content management in its broadest sense. Her experience includes management and executive positions at several industry-leading specialty research and advisory firms.

    Most recently, she was vice president and practice leader for custom research and consulting at Outsell, Inc., a company focused on the markets for monetized content.

    Brought to you by: Acrolinx—the only software that can “read” your content, score it, and guide you to make it better — and better content means better business results. www.acrolinx.com
  • Measuring Content Value and Determining ROI Recorded: Feb 23 2017 59 mins
    James Goldman, Sr. Manager of Content Strategy at Equinix
    Return on investment (ROI) is a mathematical equation. Determining the value of investments in content can be a tricky proposition. If you can't place a value on your content, you can't do the math.

    Determining ROI not only requires we understand the value of our content—and what it costs to create, manage, and deliver—but it also requires consistency. To make the calculation meaningful, you'll need to ensure you're comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

    Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and his special guest, James Goldman, Content Strategy Program Lead at Equinix, for this free one-hour webinar. James will examine the need for normalizing measurements, making sense of key performance indicators, and communicating the value of digital content production improvements in ways that are meaningful to management.
  • Holy Trifecta of Global Content Success: Terminology, Structure, and Translation Recorded: Feb 14 2017 56 mins
    Val Swisher, Founder and CEO of Content Rules, Inc.
    The Holy Trifecta of Content is the intersection of managed terminology, structured authoring, and translation memory. If you have these three components of content under control, your content will be easier to read in every language, easier to translation, easier to locate, and easier to create.

    Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and Val Swisher, Global Content Strategist, and CEO of Content Rules, for this free one-hour webinar. Val will provide information on the Holy Trifecta, how the components work together, and talk about why these are critical factors for successful global content. Val will also cover the options for including services that address each aspect of the trifecta into your service offerings. This webinar is intended for LSPs, content developers, and customers who use their services.

    You’ll leave with an understanding of how terminology, structure, and TM work and how paying attention to all three factors will help your customers provide better content in any language.
  • Using Corporate Terminology to Achieve Content Bliss Recorded: Feb 2 2017 60 mins
    Val Swisher, CEO of Content Rules, and Klaus Fleischmann, Managing Director at Kaleidoscope GmbH
    Are you using your corporate terminology effectively?

    Terminology enables clear, unambiguous communication. It prevents misunderstandings, both within your organization as well as with clients, partners, and suppliers. Terminology helps companies save time and money in providing all types of content. As the quality and precision of communication increases, so does brand image and customer satisfaction.

    Join Val Swisher, CEO of Content Rules, and Klaus Fleischmann, Managing Director at Kaleidoscope GmbH for a free webinar that will teach you how to:

    • Roll out terminology across an enterprise efficiently and tailored to the various target audiences
    • Reduce the complexity of terminology for the benefit of all users
    • Guarantee consistent quality and agreement on the terminology in all languages using a comprehensive process for requesting, defining, approving and maintaining terminology
    • Make sure all content creators in your company are adhering to the terminology by enabling automatic terminology checking
    • Place a regular spotlight on terminology by offering "edutainment"-like elements such as term quizzes and term of the week
    • Allow occasional termbase users to find what they are looking for by searching and also by navigating the termbase through browse trees and concept maps
  • Why Scorecards Are an Important Part of Your Content Quality Strategy Recorded: Dec 8 2016 60 mins
    Val Swisher, Founder and CEO of Content Rules, Inc.
    Ever since we were kids, we’ve gotten scorecards. Every year teachers give us an “A,” “B” or—heaven forbid—a “C” on the quality of our work. When we move on to college prep, we take tests such as the SAT or ACT. Again, the end result is a scorecard. In the content arena, scorecards provide a way for us to assess how our content stacks up against certain criteria. For example, how closely aligned is our content to the style guide? How well does content follow the rules of governance? And how precise are our translations?

    Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and his special guest Val Swisher, CEO of Content Rules, as they talk about why content scorecards are necessary. Val will demonstrate how to use these scores to make crucial business decisions.
  • Monologue to Dialogue: Engaging and Collaborating with Your Audience Recorded: Nov 16 2016 61 mins
    Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, Val Swisher, Content Rules, and Matt Abrahams of Bold Echo
    Mustering the courage to present confidently in front of others is hard enough. But when it comes to engaging an audience and managing their participation, presenters often freak out.

    On Wednesday, November 16, join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, co-host Val Swisher, CEO of Content Rules, and Matt Abrahams, Principal of Bold Echo, for this free, one-hour webinar. Matt will talk about how to confidently and assertively manage interaction in your presentations—be it a Q&A session or a meeting—while still delivering and reinforcing your message in a compelling way. You will learn practical and easily implementable—and immediately applicable—facilitation techniques that are informed by scholarly research and are perfect for priming your audience for participation.

    These methods include 1) managing anxiety before speaking so that you are calm and confident when engaging your audience; 2) preparing your audience for interactive participation, and 3) facilitating the participation while it’s happening, such as calling for questions and queuing them up.
  • Optimizing Technical Product Content: SEO, XML, and Findability Recorded: Nov 2 2016 60 mins
    Val Swisher, Keith Schengili-Roberts and Joe Gelb
    There’s a joke going around that asks: "Where’s the best place to hide a dead body?" The answer: "On the second page of a Google search." It underscores the fact that if your technical content is difficult to find, it might as well not exist.

    Customers want to find answers, not search for them. As professional communicators, it's our job to utilize effective search engine optimization (SEO) techniques designed to help ensure prospects and customers can find the right answers quickly. Optimizing content for findability is a necessity regardless of whether your content is publicly available and indexed by Google, or protected behind a customers-only documentation portal.

    Join Val Swisher, Founder, and CEO of Content Rules and co-host for the Scott and Val Show, for this free, one-hour web discussion with DITA Specialist Keith Schengili-Roberts of IXIASOFT, and dynamic content delivery guru Joe Gelb, President of Zoomin Software. The presenters will discuss content optimization and share practical strategies for enriching technical product content and improving findability, while enhancing the customer experience.

    Special Focus on DITA

    While there are several mechanisms built into the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) that are designed to make it easy to find content for reuse, a successful SEO strategy for technical content requires more. Creating a taxonomy and inserting descriptive metadata into your DITA maps and topics is a good start, but this is only the beginning of effective SEO for DITA-based technical content. Attendees can expect to discover techniques that can be used to make DITA-based content easy for your users to find.
  • Answers and Engagement: Digital Experience Management from Curation to Delivery Recorded: Oct 19 2016 61 mins
    Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, co-host Val Swisher, Joe Gelb, and Eric Kuhnen
    Your customers want answers on their terms. This requires you to deliver findable product content—the evolutionary step beyond single-source publishing and web content management that engages your customers with dynamic digital experiences. Enriching the content you curate with semantic tagging allows your customers to find their answers across all touchpoints you have with them—website, community, knowledge base, interactive mobile experiences and more.

    Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and his co-host, Val Swisher of Content Rules, with dynamic delivery guru Joe Gelb, President of Zoomin Software, and component content visionary Eric Kuhnen, Director of Global Operations at Astoria Software for this free one-hour webinar. The presenters will discuss how effective component content management combined with cross-touchpoint delivery drives better digital and customer experience, which drives the kind of customer engagement and resulting revenue that business executives can't afford to ignore.
  • Global Content Strategy: Delivery is Critical to Success Recorded: Sep 21 2016 60 mins
    Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, Tim Steele, and Joe Gelb
    To engage customers on a global scale, you must create great content that speaks to them in the language they understand best—their own. But, success in foreign markets involves more than just choosing the right words. You have to deliver them to the right person, at the right time, in the right format and language, on the device of the customers’ choosing.

    Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler on Wednesday, September 21, for a free, one-hour webinar featuring Tim Steele, President of Content Rules, and intelligent content guru, Joe Gelb, President of Zoomin Software. The presenters will discuss the importance of expectations, buying preferences, content consumption habits, culture, religion, and tradition when creating content for global audiences. And, they'll tackle the role of delivery technology and its place in global content strategy projects.
The Global Content Channel
Monthly live webinars and periodic videos covering topics including cotnent strategy, global content strategy, content creation, writing, illustration, and how to make sure your content is optimized for all audiences.

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  • Title: DITA InPrint: Creating Well-Designed Technical Documentation
  • Live at: May 22 2014 5:00 pm
  • Presented by: Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and Val Swisher of Content Rules with Tim Grantham of Tengwar Systems
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