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Subject: Announcing CTDUG 1/25/06: Featuring Dr. JoAnn Hackos

Title: Announcing CTDUG 1/25/06: Featuring Dr. JoAnn Hackos

Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for the CTDUG meeting on January 25, 2006. I am pleased to announce that Dr. JoAnn Hackos will lead a discussion about moving from books to topic-oriented writing! JoAnn will be in Austin that week teaching a structured writing course. More details about the full course are included at the end of this email. My apologies if you receive this announcement more than once.

The Central Texas DITA Users Group (CTDUG) was formed in October to share and advance knowledge and adoption of DITA in the central Texas region. DITA stands for Darwin Information Typing Architecture. DITA is an XML-based, end-to-end architecture for authoring, producing, and delivering technical information. This architecture consists of a set of design principles for creating "information-typed" modules at a topic level and for using that content in delivery modes such as online help and product support portals on the Web.

Moving from Books to Topics-oriented Writing
Dr. JoAnn T. Hackos
Comtech Services Inc.
710 Kipling Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80215
Books, no doubt, will always be with us. As an omnivorous reader of print books, I expect no changes in the medium in my lifetime. However, I would argue that technical information supporting the proper use and maintenance of products appears in book form simply for ease of packaging. Customers rarely read them from beginning to end, instead selecting small sections to address immediate questions.

The move toward topic-oriented writing is not new for technical information. Technical manuals have contained procedural topics for nearly 150 years. However, DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture), accompanied by content management solutions, facilitates topic-oriented writing and presents new opportunities for conveying information to our customers. Topics lend themselves to the flexibility required of multiple media and present opportunities for reuse that increase efficiency and decrease cost.

In this address, Dr. Hackos discusses the benefits of a DITA-based, topic-oriented approach and describes the components of the DITA architecture and how it facilitates the development of technical information.

Meeting Details
What: Central Texas DITA Users (CTDUG) Group meeting
When: Wednesday January 25, 2006 7:00 - 9:00 pm Central
Where: BMC Software - Executive Briefing Center

Who: All are welcome. The meeting is free of charge. No previous knowledge or membership is required.
7:00-7:30 Networking and Food (please plan to chip in for delivery or bring your own dinner)
7:30-8:30 Speaker - Dr. JoAnn Hackos, "Moving from Books to Topic-oriented Writing"
8:30-9:00 Q&A
From MoPac or IH-35 Take 183 North. Take the Braker Lane exit. At the light take a left on to Braker Lane. Continue through the light at Braker and Jollyville Road (Braker Lane turns into Morado Circle). BMC Software is located at the corner of Braker and Jollyville Road. Take the 3rd driveway and park in front of Building V and check in with the Security Guard.

More Information about Dr. JoAnn Hackos
Dr. JoAnn Hackos is President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, which she founded in 1978. She directs the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM), a membership organization focused on content-management and information-development best practices. Dr. Hackos is called upon by corporate executives worldwide to consult on strategies for content management, information design and development, organizational management, customer studies, information architecture, and tools and technology selection.

For more than 25 years, Dr. Hackos has addressed audiences internationally on subjects ranging from content management, project management, structured writing and minimal information products, usability studies, and online and Web-based information to managing the information design and development process. Her seminars are dedicated to enhancing the practices and products that will best promote customer satisfaction and increase productivity.

She has authored Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery (Wiley 2002), Managing Your Documentation Projects (Wiley 1994), Standards for Online Communication (Wiley 1997), and co-authored with Ginny Redish User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (Wiley 1998). JoAnn is a Fellow and Past President of the International Society for Technical Communication (STC). She is a founder with IBM of the OASIS Technical Committee for the DITA standard (Darwin Information Typing Architecture).

Recent clients include The International Monetary Fund, The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, Siemens Medical, Hewlett-Packard, The American Red Cross, Network Appliance, Varian Oncology Systems, Kone Elevators and Escalators, Dell Computer, Cadence Design Systems, SAP, Avaya, Lucent Technologies, Nokia, Motorola, Nortel, Federal Express, Compaq Computer, and more.

More Information about Structured Writing for Single Sourcing Workshop

January 2526, 2006
Austin, TX
Instructor: JoAnn Hackos
How do I write modular content without knowing the context in which modules will be presented? What information types do we need to use for our content? Is it possible to have too many different information types? Will I lose my creativity if I just write modules instead of creating an entire book or help system?

These and more questions occur every time I talk about content-management and single-source strategies to an audience of writers, editors, and managers. Everyone wants to understand what it will be like to write in a content-management environment. People who are willing to embrace a new way of working want to know what to expect. Those anxious to expand their career options want to learn what the new options are all about. They are prepared to take on new roles like information architect and repository manager, once they understand what the new roles are.

Structured writing gets closer to the decisions that writers, editors, and project managers need to make. The emphasis is on your own materialswith much hands-on participation. From information types through content units, you discuss with teammates and other attendees what the best solutions might be. You tackle granularity and semantic markup, as well as the implications of XML.

If you want to understand how your job is changing and how to respond creatively, join me in this two-day workshop.

JoAnn Hackos, PhD

Workshop Details
WHEN: January 2526, 2006, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
HOST: Advanced Solutions International, Inc.
FEE: $925
FEE DISCOUNT: New "2 for 1" discount for CIDM members! For details visit http://www.comtech-serv.com/workshops/register.shtml
BOOK: This workshop now includes a complementary copy of JoAnn Hackos's Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery book.
TO REGISTER: Online at http://www.comtech-serv.com/workshops/register.shtml or by phone at 303-232-7586
REFUNDS/CANCELLATIONS: See our policy at http://www.comtech-serv.com/workshops/register.shtml#policy
There are only 25 seats available to ensure that you receive individualized attention. Don't procrastinate!
After registration, you will receive a confirmation message with travel instructions via email.
Who should attend?
This workshop is meant for those who need to implement structured documentation:

You'll learn how to:

For more information, visit http://www.comtech-serv.com/workshops/singlesource.shtml.
Comtech Services Inc., 710 Kipling Street, Suite 400, Denver, Colorado 80215 USA

© 2005 by Comtech Services Inc., All rights reserved.
Wendy Shepperd
BMC Software
Information Development, Manager
office 512-340-6549

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