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From MadWorld to MadSIG (31st October 2013)

Six MadCap fans met at 3di’s offices in Ripley for the first MadSIG meeting to eat cake, drink coffee and talk about MadCap. Tom Brindley told us about his time at MadWorld 2013 which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego in April this year.

We were all  envious of Tom, in those classy surroundings, with such  wonderful sessions about MadCap products (although there was a tools-agnostic stream too) and plenty of opportunities to rub shoulders with the gods at MadCap .  As one of the MadCap staff said during the conference, most tool vendors have users, but MadCap has groupies. You can see Tom’s slides here: http://www.istc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/MadWorld-2013-slides-only.pptx

After Tom’s talk, we ate more cake to console ourselves about not having been there, and got to know each other a bit better. Several of us are sole authors, and it was lovely to hear about how others work with Flare.  In future meetings, we hope to share more of our experiences and tips and tricks with each other.

Tom also reminded us that as a group, we can lobby MadCap for features and bug fixes. In one of the sessions at MadWorld this year, Madcap asked “If you were project manager, what would be your must-have feature?”. Now, where do I start? As much as I love Flare, there are many things I’d like to see added to make it even more useful, and a few things I’d like to see changed, as well as some bugs I’d like to see fixed.

The group mentioned a few topics that we’d like to hear about in future meetings, including

  • Single sourcing for print and online
  • Sole authoring
  • Flare as a lightweight content management system
  • Flare vs DITA
  • Flare and Agile

Anyone who uses the MadCap authoring products or is interested in finding out more about them is welcome at MadSIG meetings.  If there’s a topic you’d particularly like to hear about, or if you have something MadCap-related you could share with us, please get in touch (details below). You don’t need to be a member of the ISTC to join us, so tell your colleagues!

For more information, contact madsig@istc.org.uk or find us on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=5081593&trk=my_groups-b-grp-v


Next Southern Area Meeting, Winchester on Tuesday 11th February

The next ISTC Southern Area meeting will be a pub social in Winchester on Tuesday 11th February from 7pm. The venue is the Royal Oak, entrances on Royal Oak passage (between High Street and St Georges Street) and also on St Georges Street  (postcode SO23 9AU). We have reserved the lower bar (which is supposedly the oldest bar in Winchester).
Come and join us if you would like to spend an evening talking about issues and trends in the technical communication world. You may even pick up some useful tips and tricks from your fellow technical communicators.

The event is free, and is open to ISTC members and non-members. But if you are planning to come, please register on EventBrite here:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/southern-area-meeting-winchester-11th-february-2014-tickets-10246887717 so we can let the venue know how much space to reserve for us. You’ll also find directions and parking information in the EventBrite listing.

West of Scotland area group meeting 25 February 2014

The next ISTC West of Scotland area group meeting in Glasgow will take place on Tuesday 25 February 2014.  The event is free and open to all. See https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/technical-communicators-meeting-in-glasgow-25-february-2014-tickets-10163795185 for details and to sign up.

You can also join our LinkedIn group, “West of Scotland Area Group” (a subgroup of the “Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators” group).

Trends in Technical Communication – North West Regional Group 5th December

The North West Group’s next meeting will be on 5th December. Our guest speaker will be Ellis Pratt, who really needs no introduction as he is so well known in our industry. He will be speaking on “Emerging Trends in Technical Communication”.

More details and the ability to a reserve a seat for what should be a very popular talk can be found on Eventbrite.

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