3 Mistakes for Technical Communicators to Avoid

OopsGreen

 

2013 is well under way now, and it’s shaping up to be an exciting year for technical communicators. Judging by the constant buzz and the sheer volume of banter and bickering on the profession’s favorite discussion forums, this is a great time to be a writer. And the ever-growing amount of content that organizations need to capture and control offers a new Golden Age of opportunity for those with the skills and savvy.

But, as always, the pitfalls are still there. Here are three mistakes you'll want to avoid making during the coming months.

 

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The DITA Topic Types: Square Pegs and Round Holes

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Most of us find out early in life that square pegs don’t fit into round holes. As we get older, we learn that this lesson applies to many situations besides playing with blocks. The latest example I can think of is what happens when writers try to fit different types of information into the DITA topic typing scheme.

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"But how does Information Mapping compare with DITA?"

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Nowadays I can’t participate in a discussion of content standards without somebody asking me, “But what about DITA?” For the few who haven’t heard, Darwin Information Typing Architecture—DITA for short—is an XML-based data model for authoring and publishing. DITA, originally developed by IBM, features an Open Toolkit publishing system that can be applied to single-source publishing. Many organizations, challenged with the move towards content reuse and single-sourcing, are adopting DITA.
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Recent Comments
nathan dwyer
After looking at the couple of the blog articles on your online journal, I genuinely welcome your method for writing an article. I... Read More
Monday, 26 June 2017 12:51
quahh quahh
I am really so much lucky to have the resources on mapping. That everything included with ditaq information for an assignment in a... Read More
Thursday, 09 November 2017 12:38
play game
nice post
Monday, 19 March 2018 08:38
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Three Mistakes That Can Lead To A Content Standard Train Wreck

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The great physicist Niels Bohr said that an expert in any field is “someone who has made all the mistakes which can be made.” I’ve always liked his definition, because understanding what didn’t work can help you avoid making similar mistakes, and save you a lot of time, money and wasted effort. This article features three mistakes that can lead to disaster for the content standard you’re working so hard to develop and implement. 
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Selling Your New Corporate Content Standard

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Lately I’ve written a lot about corporate content standards and how you can use the Information Mapping method to design a standard that meets your requirements. But once you’ve created that perfect standard, tailored to fit your users’ needs as well as the nature of the content itself and the capabilities and limitations of your technologies, you still aren’t finished. Ahead of you is the task of selling the new standard to your organization. And that isn’t always easy—in fact, sometimes it’s the hardest part of the process.

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Taco Salad, the Information Mapping Way

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The Information Mapping method is best known for its success as a business communications methodology, but it can make life easier for you outside the office, too. Right now we’re in the middle of the summer vacation season, so here’s an application for the Method that’s definitely not work-related, and all about summer fun.

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Style Manuals 101

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The world as I see it can be broken up into two kinds of people. People who follow the rules and people who break them. When it comes to corporate rules and policies there are people who love them and live by them and there are those who just plain ignore them. Generally, in life I tend to be more of a rule breaker. But when it comes to corporate standards…well, I am the branding police.

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Catching the Content Standard Wave

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There aren’t many people who discuss content standards while body surfing at the Jersey Shore. But I am one of them. Sad but true, my sister and I spent one beautiful afternoon in the ocean debating the proper punctuation of the bulleted list. I guess that puts me into the category of the grammatical-standards nutcase.

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