Monthly Archives: March 2014

NOTES: Intelligent Content Conference Feb. 27th and 28th, 2014

Breaking down barriers was the theme of this year’s conference.

Some of these presentations (and others I did not attend) are available on Search for ICC2014.

These are my notes. All mistakes are mine. Please direct corrections to Mike Ziegenhagen at

Keynote, Joe Pulizzi, Evolution of Content Marketing

His new book, Epic Content Marketing, was created using crowd sourcing.

Problem/statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
90 percent of companies doing content marketing, only 40 percent think it is effective No strategy for content• Good Example: Homemade Simple web site by Proctor and Gamble, mult lang since 2003. Mission Statement: Enabling women to have more quality time with their families• Bad example:Man of the Mission Statement: Helping men become better men

They killed the site after 18 months!

  • Sweet spot is overlap of what you know and what your prospects care about
  • Content Marketers are in charge of the why. Content Strategists in charge of the how. Together they do who, what, and where
  • Five years from now Chief Marketing Officers will spend more on IT than Chief Information Officers
CMO of company did not know why they were on Facebook Must know goalKey is sales, savings, sunshine (SSS) to make happy customers

  • Sunshine Example: The Furrow by John Deere
  • Goal, keep customers, get them to buy more


  • Ask marketers why
  • Sell Intelligent Content based on SSS
  • Understand the new paradigm in marketing. Owned audiences are the key.

Session 1: DITA CMS. From your Experts to your Customers

Jean-Francois Ameye, Solutions Architect

Problem/statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
Old workflow, write, review, revise, publish worked for one output. Need multiple outputs now Docs need to be modular, reusable, delivered in diff outputs, updated often
  • Core is writer, then SME, internal users, customer/partners in concentric rings
  • DITA/CMS solution, Eclipse UI in center, then web author, web reviewer, then interactive help portal

Session 2: The journey from intelligent content to business value

Dave Wieneke at Useful Arts

Problem/statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
  • The journey from intelligent content to business value needs CMS
  • Data is not meaning or causality
  • CMS is made of people like Soylent green
  • CMS is something we do, not something we buy
  • Easier to focus on tools and spend resources than focus on strategy
  • Strategy focuses on growth, which is controlled by customers
  • Poor click throughs on web site
  • Noun based content does not engage user
  • Verb based content has better click through rate
  • Pictures of content authors on web page also help

Session 3: Using Taxonomy for Customer Centric Publishing

Joe Gelb

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
Multiple silos on Support web site not good, ex docs, training, support, KB, communities
  • Each team does it differently, tools and processes
  • One size does not fit all
  • Not all managers are great
  • Must join the silos to find value
  • Easy, single point of entry for accessing content. For consumers, creators, now and in the future, taxonomy is the glue that holds it all together
  • Taxonomy and classification, build knowledge model of domain. Apply it to your content
Metadata, problems, lives in proprietary format.
  • Must have access to system.
  • Limited number of elements
  • Difficult to relate to other contexts or relationships
  • Constant updates needed for elements
  • We may not know how product used now or in future
  • Classification maintained separately from content, so SMEs can classify content, does not require you to own project
    • Ex, library is set of info in various media classified by subject matter. Library with many branches equals silos
    • Ex stack overflow has tags to classify
  • Variety, context filtering, personalized docs, audience participation using tags, modern user experience. Similar to buying camera on Amazon. Results can be sorted into docs, videos, download or read online. Render to any format or device.
  • Taxonomy and classification, build knowledge model of domain. Apply it to your content.
  • One portal with all info using tags to find it. Allow users to tag it also.

Session 4: Personalization, Omnichannel, and Content Stategy, these three are one

Kevin Nichols, Sapient Nitro

Author, Enterprise Content Management book, out later this year.

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
Each channel of communication is treated as separate entity but users engage multiple channels for information.Example, a user watching TV and using their iPad is dual channel user Different authors/division create content
  • We live in an always on world
  • Singular channel engagement is dead
  • Who and for whom? User centric
  • What are they doing? User journey, tasks
  • Performance driven. Omni requires evaluation, which drives future decisions, and content priority. Larger screens means longer engagement times
  • Start with roadmap and strategy. Goals and objectives. Need user tasks and bus needs. Tweak over time, measure and change
  • Foundation, Evolution, Enrichment. Look at your users and keep updating
  • Define your channels, build around Customer engagement
  • List of Customer needs and then tasks. Develop content to optimize needs
  • Design extensible systems with adaptable output ex long and short product descriptions
  • Design solution based on screen size. Adaptive approach

Session 5: How Workflow Metrics Change for Intelligent Content

Shawn Prenslow, the reluctant strategist.

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
Intelligent Content, which is structurally rich, semantically structured. Content tagged with meaningful tags takes effort, work. There is a cost to changes
  • Intelligent Content efficiencies do not happen in a vacuum, reuse takes training
  • Costs for planning, authoring, publishing
  • Metrics are critical for planning
  • Workflow Metircs include resource planning, budgets, timeframes, reasonable commitments, Establish goals, ROI, communicate to C level management
  • You don’t have to boil the ocean right now
Hard to measure what is most valuable
  • Critical metrics include track and confirm, remeasure periodicals, planning
  • Make baseline using current tools ex Word
You can’t manage what you can’t measure
  • In any period of change, there is a period of chaos, need new baseline
  • Simplify work flow
  • Design, plan, author and review, localization, production and delivery
  • Planning time much higher, for non-recurring task. Ex, taxonomy development, hierarchy planning, training, tagging process
  • Also see, DITA metrics 101 book by Mark Lewis relative scales of information and how to measure

Session 6: WikiProject Medicine: Breaking down barriers to save lives

Val Swisher, Founder of Content Rules. Partnering with Doctors without Borders for this initiative.

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
Problem, every day tens of thousands of people die for lack of low cost interventions
  • Lack of medical information in the user’s own language
  • Traditional cures at odds with modern medicine. Ex diarrhea in Nigeria in English, Traditional cure is to withhold water!
  • Goal is to translate top 100 medical articles into 100 languages using medical students to improve the quality of the article, tech writers to put it into Simplified Technical English, translators to translate it
Poor access to information
  • 8 of 10 caregivers do not know the symptoms of pneumonia
  • More than 60 percent of people in Africa say they could have saved a family member if they had access to medical knowledge
  • Imagine a world where a person has access to all medical knowledge in their own language
High costs of Internet access in developing countries, even for cell phones.
  • Limited number of providers, high costs relative to income
  • Wikipedia access for free is the goal. See the Wikipedia Zero page
Volunteers/donations needed.
  • Val has 31 writer volunteers so far, she needs more.

Session 7: CS on the Digital Frontier: Why technology and humanity must work together.

Barry Slaughter Olsen, profession of written and spoken languages.

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
Everything driving our economy is digital, so it can be disrupted eventually. Ex, Facebook, was “passing fad” Customers fall into three categories:

  • High Touch: Important or needy customers. Ex. Human translator for politicians
  • Low Touch: Customer figures things out on their own using your resources
  • No Touch. Customer solves problem without using your resources
  • Fail quickly without spending lots of money
  • “We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us.” John M. Culkin
  • Remember the human element of 21st century communication
  • Explore new models and platforms
  • Carve out time in your schedule to experiment and learn
  • Think how tech with good content can float cross language communication in new ways
  • Act on the ideas today. Start small. Share with team that shares your vision

Session 8: Build your digital brand, how to win the battle for attention

Loni Stark, Adobe

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
Three keys things are changing how business thinks. 1. Attention is scarce, focus on capturing sustained attention.2. Average online spending per consumer is increasing.3. Location is not everything. Location of customer and context is everything.
  • Be useful, be the answer to a Customer problem everyday.
  • Be different, reinforce brand and extend it.
  • Be convenient, design for your laziest customer.

Session 9: Dynamic publishing of Sports Results for Olymic and ParaOlympic Games

Claudia Wunder

Watch YouTube video about London 2012

ODF documentation. See

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
How does Olympic Data Feed work? “Central” is technology operations center
  • XML is defacto standard for messaging. It’s fast, easy to change data, separates data from format, which supports multiple outputs
How is evolving over time? Seven feeds in China and Vancouver games down to one single feed in Soshi
  • What made change possible?
    • Business Rules
    • Coding System
    • Olympic Data Feed documentation, which is new
    • Header values
    • Screen descriptors for commentator system and intranet.

Session 10: Content Strategy for Augmented Reality and Google Glass

Marta Rauch, Oracle

Slide share

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
Augmented reality presents new challenges for tech writers
  • AR replacing manuals ex Audi app instead of owner’s manual
  • Simplified visual UI and limited screen real estate
  • Natural speech recognition for common tasks. Ex Say “Shop”with Amazon app
  • Voice recognition with the Internet of things, ex Talk to your car or set your home thermostat
  • Visual overlays of info on top of real time view helps car mechanics, surgeons, printer set up guides, games, real time translations, travel info, even enterprise software
Tips for content for wearable tech. Be:

  • Useful ex Tesla
  • Timely, ex weather app for bad weather
  • Unobtrusive, can read later
  • Relevant ex meeting reminder
  • Concise
  • Strait forward, tone is friendly, relaxed.
  • Visual
  • Adaptable to other wearables ex reminder on watch instead
  • Accessible, ex blind people, 3D map of world will help them navigate

Session 11: Balance and Compromise, weaving localization into content strategy

Lise Bissonette Janody

Problem statement Factors in CS strategy Key Points/Takeaways
Localization is often an afterthought in Content Strategy
  • Market forces
    • Growing or not
    • Legal
    • Brand recognition
    • Competition
  • Cultural forces
    • Language pref
    • Formal or not
    • Look and feel
  • Internal forces
    • Marketing presence
    • Central decision making or not
  • Objectives
    • Inform
    • Educate
    • Transact
    • Convert
  • GILT acronym
    • Globalization, company ready
    • Internationalization, tools ready
    • Localization, adapting content for another context
    • Translation
  • Country and language are not the same thing. Ex Locale: three in Switzerland
  • Choose architectural model for web site. Ex, localized web site can be stand alone or contained in main site
  • Other factors
    • Your CMS
    • Governance
    • Findability (keywords)
    • Quality (machine translation)
  • Do:
    • Chunk
    • Rules to enforce standards. Ex short titles needed for Google. Need guardrails
    • Use tools to lower costs
    • Limit the number of players and steps involved.

Session 12: Introduction to oManual

Kyle Wiens, CEO, iFixit

He started company about how to fix things:

The odata standard is located at: is the home page for the Open Manual Format.

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
Content not enough, has to be easy to use. And right tools at right time. Savvy customers want lasting products. 91 percent fixed things they wouldn’t have done before. 95 percent would buy again from same manufacturers. Average user fixed seven items.
  • Community of people are writing content to fix everything.
Need open source format for crowd sourced content oManual is a simple, open XML-based standard for semantic, multimedia-rich procedural manuals.
  • All manuals are open source
  • oData is data spec and server API spec
  • oManual is now complete, IEEE complient
  • DITA or oManual scripts in a few months. Tool vendors should support it in a year or so.

Session 13: All Knowledge, Annotated

Dan Whaley, CEO is the main website. is link to alpha version. Note that there is no link from the parent site to here, you just have to know it. Now you do.

Problem statement Reason for problem Key Points/Takeaways
We are missing half the web, the annotation layer that was in the original design of the web and the original Netscape browser
  • Proprietary solutions are company owned, in silos, not permanent
  • Conversation level is a mess or missing. Example,, can see bills but can’t discuss them. Must use Reddit to discuss bills
  • Annotation is like an arrow with a payload. Has target and message. Is searchable
  • Imagine, any site, any time, in any format, that we could annotate and be visible to all
  • His non-profit company is building open source solution