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Cambridge Group – Style Guide Clinic – 21st May

Bring along your Style Guide for others to see.

What are they for? What should they contain? What should they not contain? We will tackle these and many more questions about Style Guides.

To get you started read Daniel Heuman’s website, you can meet and talk to Daniel at the Clinic because he is our guest speaker.

Hosted by Samsung Cambridge.

Full details on EventBrite. If you are contributing a style guide (we hope you are) please make sure you get a “I’m bringing mine ticket”.

Cambridge Group – 16th April – Reminder

Show and Tell: See How another company does tech docs. 16th April at 19:00. Free Event.

Please book your place on EventBrite where you’ll find full details.

The presentation will demonstrate the documentation tools used at ThirdLight and the key elements of the documentation design. Perhaps the highlight here is the use of video as an integral part of the tech doc and the marketing collateral. All tech doc and videos are produced in-house by Gerry who believes most Tech / Marcomm writers can and should use this format which still has a long way to go in terms of deployment techniques and scenarios

Southern Area Group event – User Assistance is Product Marketing – Tues May 14th Guildford

The next ISTC Southern Area Group event is User Assistance is Product Marketing, presented by our very own Rachel Potts.

When: Tuesday 14th May, from 7pm, presentation starts at 7.30pm

Where: The Keep, 29 Castle St, Guildford, GU1 3UW

Rachel will present a case study showing how she designed a new developer website for Caplin for their user assistance content (www.caplin.com/developer), and how the redesigned content works as product marketing. The case study focuses on a set of software development tools, but the principle of putting user assistance to work as product marketing has much wider application, and communicators from a wide range of business sectors will be able to use the ideas covered to increase the business value of the content they produce.

Rachel runs the 3di Software Usability division (www.3di-usability.com) and specialises in improving the customer experience that software and technology companies deliver.

3di have kindly agreed to sponsor a finger buffet.

The event is free, but numbers are limited, so if you plan to attend, please reserve your place at: http://uaisproductmarketing.eventbrite.com. Anyone who is interested in technical communication is welcome. You don’t need to be a member of the ISTC, so tell your colleagues!

More information from: southernengland_areagroup@istc.org.uk

ISTC Communicator – Easter Weekend Special Offer

Communicator is half price for the Easter weekend!

From 29 March to 1 April 2013, purchase a PDF version for half price!

Or you can subscribe to the print version.

Members can access the PDF for free. Log on to the ISTC website and navigate to:
Our Publications > Archive of Communicator issues

“Exploring the XML of DITA” – NW Group Report

The group met on 7th March for a presentation by Richard Pineger on ‘Exploring the XML of DITA’.  Richard introduced the basic ideas behind DITA, then went on to demonstrate how they can be used in practice with the oXygen XML editing tool.  We looked at how to create topics of different types, how oXygen helps the author to create valid DITA and how to publish the same content to four different outputs.  Richard also demonstrated some of oXygen’s more powerful features, such as it’s Xpath search function – something I will definitely be making use of in future.  Finally we looked at source control and how to use subversion to manage DITA content.

Richard demonstrated how it is possible for a lone author, using free or very affordable tools, to author successfully in DITA.  The authoring tools (especially oXygen) are getting more user-friendly all the time and it gave me a lot of ideas on how to help my smaller clients, without the budget for a CCMS, begin their DITA journey.

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