Today was the day before the actual start of the Intelligent Content Conference in Palm Springs. There is a nice turnout of people here. Most from high tech, a few additional verticals are represented. Everyone looks like a tech writer. You know the look. (You can see my photo if you don’t.)

Ann Rockley started off the pre-conference with a bang, or as she called it, an eye-opener. Here is a rundown of some of the things I learned:

  • Intelligent content is structurally rich and semantically categorized. It is also auto-discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable, and adaptable.
  • Tag content with metadata to make it easily discoverable. (“Where the heck did I put that ?” is just not okay.)
  • Your content is as intelligent as you make it, not as intelligent as you are.
  • What is the point of your content? Yes, it needs to have a raison d’etre.
  • Content could be a whole lot better if companies really thought through the various needs of the customer.
  • Don’t be afraid of the word audit. It is important to know if you content is effective – audit it.
  • Stop writing the same darn thing over and over and over.
  • Optimize before you localize.
  • Structure sets you free. It helps to unify your content.
  • Biggest mistake made by DITA experts is believing that they do not need to model their content first.
  • There are many ways to write a recipe. My favorite is pumpkin cheesecake.
  • Automate processes whenever possible.
  • Automatic reuse is exactly that. Content that can be identified and automatically reused.
  • Repurpose content for multiple uses (eg., docs and training). Write it once, translate it once, use it many.
  • Create a taxonomy –> organizing information for structure, search, discovery, usability and reuse.
  • Folksonomy – A new term – Users create content and tag it themselves as they wish. Who knew?

If you’d like to see all of the tweets that were happening during the session (and there were alot of tweets), just click here.

Val Swisher
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