By Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler I often use music as a way to illustrate how components of content can be re-purposed or recombined in new ways to create useful derivatives of content. In my work as a blogger, presenter, and content strategy consultant, I borrow concepts from remixing music to make such examples easier to understand. My experiences as a night club dj made the move to creating music — and content — mashpups a natural progression for me. A partial library of my mashups and remixes can be found here. DJ Schmolli is one of my...Read More
By Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler Internet TV host, technology writer, blogger and quality assurance tester Max Swisher knows more about technology than most adults I know. It comes naturally to him. And, it makes perfect sense to me. His parents are both involved in the technology industry. His idea of fun is mucking about in some HTML or launching a web project of one type or another. All this is pretty impressive, especially when one considers Swisher is also a seventh grade student. In this exclusive interview, I talked to Max about what he “does for a living”, how he makes money while going to school at the same time, and whether he prefers a Mac to a Windows machine, among many other topics. Leave a comment and let Max know what you think about his work. TCW: Hi, Max! Before we get started, tell us a little about yourself and what you do for a living. MS: I started and write Good Morning Geek and also do occasional writing for AppMinute and MyMac. TCW: I learned about your blog, Good Morning Geek, at a recent conference. How long have you been a blogger and what types of things do you blog about? MS: I have been blogging since October of 2008. I write how-to articles, opinion pieces, and reviews of software and hardware. TCW: What types of...Read More
In this exclusive interview with The Content Wrangler, Scott Abel interviews Lee Lefevre, Founder of Common Craft, creators of three-minute videos designed to help educators and influencers introduce and explain complex subjects. TCW: Tell us a little about yourself and your background. LL: I’m originally from North Carolina, but have lived in Seattle since 1998 after completing a Masters in Health Administration. I moved to Seattle without a job, and ended up at a company called Solucient (now merged out of existence) that created benchmarking software for the healthcare industry. I started the Online Community Program at the...Read More
By Mark Gross, President, Data Conversion Laboratory In an age when we download movies at will, store piles of personal records on our BlackBerry devices, beam software to each other’s Palms, and store truckloads of digital photos on some website “out there”—accessible from anywhere—it’s frustrating that we aren’t yet applying the same technology to medical records to make them easily accessible to those who need them. I know there are obstacles—confidentiality, liability, resistance to change, and of course paying for it—and I’m not an expert in most of these, but it does seem that these issues are already addressed in other, less-technologically-advanced industries. It’s ironic that it’s in medicine, with all its technological advances, and day-to-day impact on life, that adaption of electronic record keeping would be so slow. While I spend most days on mission-critical electronic data for a number of industries, how best to obtain, store and transmit it, none seem as personal as health care. Not long ago, when my father-in-law was quite ill, I spent much time in the intensive care unit of a major hospital. The care was great, the nurses terrific, and the equipment state of the art. Yet, I was struck by the irony of nurses and doctors writing out, in long hand, the readouts from quarter-million dollar automated diagnostic equipment into a bedside notebook. And when someone misplaced “the notebook” the...Read More
Note: In the Spring of 2007 I was invited to Dublin to learn how the government uses technology to create its laws and regulations, and to see, up-close-and-personal, how government ministers were able to move 6,500 civil servants from traditional document creation processes to structured XML authoring, something many of the most advanced technical publications departments have been unable (or unwilling) to do. As organizations increasingly make the move to structured XML authoring, one might expect that tech publications departments—often overwhelmed with the need to produce more content with fewer resources—would lead the way. However, a 2005 survey by the consulting/software firm Information Mapping indicated an amazing 69% of respondent from technical publication departments had no plans to execute an XML strategy for content management. Those who were moving to XML cited regulatory requirements, improved documentation, and enterprise information architectural initiatives as drivers. In short, except for those respondents who were moving for improved documentation, technical publications departments were being pulled into structured XML authoring by regulators or the enterprise. To allow things to take place this way is to lose a tremendous opportunity, not only to improve our technical documentation business processes, and return on investment, but also to take a leadership role in this important enterprise migration towards treating document content as a business asset, worthy of being efficiently managed. What is interesting is that the same...Read More
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