The Results Are In—Metri-Mark 2003 Documentation Manager’s Survey

Metri-Mark, a marketing research and consulting firm, recently released the results of their 2003 Documentation Manager’s Survey. Here’s a summary: More than half of the respondents say they work in the “high tech” industry (51.8%) and are most concerned about the “quality” (34.2%) and the “accuracy”(35.6%) of the content they create. No big surprises there! They say their bosses don’t include them as early in the development process as they should— sometimes (47.3%) or never (20.2%)—but, that’s okay because they feel appreciated (51.8%) and are fairly compensated (47.7%). A third of the repsondents say they make an annual salary of...

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Producing Quality Documentation: It’s All About Process

By David Bringhurst, Marketing Manager, Gasper Corporation At first glance, writing seems somewhat esoteric. Those who believe they can’t write view the act as beyond their ken. I have chosen the word “act” with care. I think it is because people view writing as an act-something that you just do, something you have to get right the first time-that they believe they cannot do it. However, I think that, with the right guidance, just about anyone can be, at the least, an accurate and clear writer. What’s more, I think it is important that they be one. At Gasper...

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Separating Content From Format

By Bob Boiko For the consumer, format and content are inseparable; Not so for the content manager In addition to being the way that you encode a file, format is more commonly known as the qualities that you use to visually render content. If I use the word format without qualifiers in this work, I mean this sort of format. Typographic qualities such as bold, italic, and underline, as well as layout qualities such as tables, right alignment, and margins, are all part of this definition of format. Although I dwell most on text formats in this work, the...

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Change Management For Content Management Projects

A content management initiative is a lot about change–changing the way people think and work. Ensure that you have a change management plan in place. If you have change management personnel in-house, get them involved in your project as soon as you make the decision to adopt a content management initiative. If you don’t have change management personnel, consider hiring consultants who specialize in change management. Areas of change include: New technology – People find learning new technology daunting. It can bring with it new concepts and certainly new ways of doing things. New processes – People become comfortable...

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Understanding Metadata: Using Dublin Core

By Diane Hillman, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative What is Metadata? Metadata has been with us since the first librarian made a list of the items on a shelf of handwritten scrolls. The term “meta” comes from a Greek word that denotes “alongside, with, after, next.” More recent Latin and English usage would employ “meta” to denote something transcendental, or beyond nature. Metadata, then, can be thought of as data about other data. It is the Internet-age term for information that librarians traditionally have put into catalogs, and it most commonly refers to descriptive information about Web resources. A metadata...

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