Key Concept Archive

For more information about how our library science background (and our love of all things metadata) guides the way we catalog information, see the Techcomm and Arbortext Resources page.

How to Identify DITA Topic Types (like a ninja)

When you’re new to DITA everything seems hard. Even choosing a topic type. New writers lean away from the specialized toward the generic. Teams get inconsistent structures for similar information across deliverables. In this session, Liz Fraley will show you one strategy for identifying topics—in legacy content and for new…

Add Super Power to Your Communication with Super Structures

Super structures can increase performance and boost your productivity. They take advantage of economies of scale in your routine communication without causing you to succumb to numbing uniformity. Say what?! Super structures are logic flows that help you evaluate and create communications better and faster. Carry these structures with you…

The future is decided by your actions today

How do you know what the future holds? How do you know what to do to make sure you’re ready for it? Do you invest in skills? Do you buy a tool? Take a class? What? How do you prepare for the future when you don’t know what’s there? Some…

Always be learning: Lessons for writing instructions

You can learn interesting things that apply directly to you…from a totally different discipline. Recently, I was reading a story about Board Game Designers. I may be a board game geek, but that’s not why the story was interesting. The story was more about UI/UX and things that technical writers…

Techniques for keeping up in your profession

Every year there are hundreds of “trends” articles. Trends don’t matter. What matters is whether something is appropriate to your customer and your company’s mission. More important, then, is not knowing what trend is coming but knowing how to keep your eyes open so that when a new need arises,…

Get Trained on Arbortext Styler — from someone who cares about you

We’re launching a series of online training sessions designed to facilitate better Stylesheet design using Arbortext Styler. Why? Well, if you saw my outburst on Facebook, you can probably guess the reason. Sadly, this kind of thing happens to us all the time. And the customers just keep coming and coming….

From Open Source Volunteer to Full-Time Tech Writer

In this talk, Gale describes a little bit about what open source software is and how she used her volunteer experience as an Apache Taverna committer to become a technical writer at Facebook. She describes the tangible and intangible skills she gained, as well as how she got noticed when…

Same mess, different tools – Liz Fraley on the Content Content Podcast

b Post Summary In her interview, Liz Fraley talks in detail about the history of structured authoring and how her opinions have changed over 17 years in the technical writing industry. Last month I had the opportunity to talk with Ed Marsh of the Content Content podcast. I’ve known Ed…