jeudi 7 avril 2016

Speaking at Spectrum 2016

Lavacon was so rich in information and I learned a lot from speaking. The latter, pointed to a new topic, mind mapping for writer’s block! When STC Rochester revealed their theme, “the power of story”, I offered this topic and they accepted.

Do you know your product story? Do you have a good grasp of personas, can you go back to basics every time a new product comes out? How do you manage a tech comm project in 2016? Is it time for a refresher and you live near Rochester? Check out the program. If you are well aware of what’s out there, how to plan a content strategy these days, you will get the most interesting projects to lead. Maybe you are interested in content marketing.

This conference has a lot for beginners, which is a very good idea these days, if you hang out in technical writer forums you will see a lot of people are living a career change towards tech comm lately.

For my part, I have a progression talk with Todd DeLuca and Chuck Campbell. I will show you a bit about mind mapping and you will take home a few examples of them. I will then demonstrate how easy it is to build a manual quickly using snippets from SmartDocs once your mind map is done!

The research for this presentation is very interesting. I collaborated with Nolwenn Kerzerho for the technical communication mindmap. She granted me some precious feedback to consider minimalsm in the content, as well as feedback for DITA users. We might go further with this subject after Spectrum. 

To see a sneak preview on slideshare check this link.

See you in Rochester?

mercredi 4 novembre 2015

Editing conditional tags

I was asked to separate a model to make my master document generate 4 models instead of 3. I thought this would a long, boring, tedious job going through the 67 pages of this book.

Found this cool trick that is worth sharing. If you have several tags applied to a text, changing them is really cool... In the task pane, diplay the Conditional text, and select or just click in the conditioned text in question. The bottom part of the conditional text task pane displays all the tags. Under CONDITIONAL CONTENT, click Tags, and simply modify applied tags.

Here is what it looks like in my case, I need to remove the green tag and apply the red and brownish one as follows (click to see it at 100%):

jeudi 29 octobre 2015

LavaCon 2015 Prezi slides!

Everyone is asking for slides on slideshare. Unfortunately, being a rebel speaker, I used Prezi which is not compatible. There are 6 parts, the first one about why and how a coming out, then the 5 other parts were voted by attendes by order of interest... This is my way of being interactive, as LavaCon asked of us.

jeudi 24 septembre 2015


One of the big buzzwords in our world lately is omni-channeling. I found a perfect example for LavaCon attendees!

This is my first attempt. I will redid a couple of scenes... Please keep in mind it is my first production !

lundi 21 septembre 2015

Speaking at Lavacon!

Welcome to this blog, if you are curious Lavacon attendees! I will be feeding more translated articles in the coming weeks, as speaker description points to this page.

Every time I explain how the AGILE method is approached in my workplace, eyebrows raise. I was recently invited to write an article for Intercom, the STC magazine. I also gave 4 free webinars, because I really need to share this cool stuff.

Lavacon is helping content manager boost their productivity and I will go to speak about just how I did the same. Saty tuned!

mercredi 27 mai 2015

Baby steps to AGILE

Translated from Baby Steps vers AGILE march 2013

Welcome to my professional blog.

I've had several blogs, but never for work. These blogs helped me quench my thirst for writing about anything. So now, after 15 years into my technical writing carrer, I'm getting ready for a big change. I need to share the experience because going towards a non-beaten path. This diary will be for those who dare take this path too.


What I get from this AGILE thing for us piano players, is to cut in the fat and add what's relevant for users, only. And keep up with sprints! Heeeehaw...

Note for my laymen friends: Agile is a work method. It is similar to the Toyota method.


For the last 15 years things have been working very well with current methods. But here I am now in a company with a lot of products, not enough doc, and  free reins in an agile team. It is inspiring but I am not up to date in the recent approaches.

So after a year in this company, they send me to the STC Summit in Atlanta. I spend 3 days with about 200 other technical writers, what a feeling. Very inspiring, except that they use FrameMaker and I use Word, speakers talk about DITA and the tools look far from obvious for the average joe. We are told that it's time to learn XML, but I don't agree, I would have in 1997. I don't mean disrespect to my fellows who chose Frame and XML, I am just surprised that everyone ends up there. I am skeptical and flabbergasted  to see this mass movement toward a solution that is so cumbersome, expensive and difficult. After a very resourful summit it's back to work bringing in precious new encounters and good leads to pursue.

The only sure thing is that a content audit is paramount. Whichever way is picked, the way to AGILE starts with the audit. So while looking for a way to write in xml without deeding a college diploma, I will concentrate on this baby step and and look at other writers around.