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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

“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.

Cambridge Group: See how another company does tech doc, in detail

Show and Tell – 16th April at 19:00.

Are you interested in making video for technical documentation and marketing, come and see how someone does it.

Join us on Tuesday 16th April at a new venue for an insight by Gerry Cavander on how his company does technical documentation.

Gerry  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.

For more information about the Intelligent Media Server made by ThirdLight please see their web site.

For more details on the new venue and how to get there and to book your free ticket go to EventBrite.

North West Regional Group – Exploring the XML of DITA

Our next meeting will be on the 7th March
Title: Exploring the XML of DITA
Speaker: Richard Pineger
Location: MadLab, 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HN
Abstract: The web abounds with reasons to use DITA and information about the benefits of reuse and single-sourcing but, what do you actually DO? This talk dives into the detail to start to fill out the experience part of your exposure to DITA XML.
  • The XML editor, map manager, and the topic editor
  • xpath search and regular expressions
  • Collaborative version control with subversion
  • Simple XSL for making repeated changes

Booking: Reserve your place here http://xmldita.eventbrite.co.uk/#

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