A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Abel, Scott

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Review: Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

While the potential return on investment may indeed be worth the effort, globalization and personalization come with substantial cost. To ensure you’re heading down the right path (and that you avoid the expensive mistakes of the trailblazers before you), it’s best to have a roadmap.

Abel, Scott. STC Hoosier (2003). Articles>Reviews>Web Design


Content Management and the Need for Change in Technical Communication   (PDF)

Many technical communicators find it difficult to manage all of the corporate content that their organizations create. Learn how CM can work for you by providing value to your organization as well as your customers and shareholders.

Abel, Scott. Intercom (2007). Articles>Content Management>Project Management


The Content Wrangler

The Content Wrangler contains a variety of resources and information for technical communicators interested in single-sourcing, content management, structured authoring, XML and more. Registered users gain access to "members only" content, user profiles, and special offers from vendors, publishers and trade associations.

Abel, Scott. Content Wrangler, The (2004). Resources>Content Management>Single Sourcing>Blogs


Creating Documentation With A Wiki: The DITA Storm Project

DITA is natural. Do XML/DITA conversion research now. Wiki is especially good for iterative writing. Structured wiki authoring in coming.

Abel, Scott. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Documentation>Wikis>DITA


Review: Information Architecture With XML: A Management Strategy

Despite the plethora of books positioning Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the next software programming language for IT gurus to master, the XML specification is not a programming language. Instead, it is a set of strategically important data standards that, when implemented from a tactical point of view, can provide organizations with value unsurpassed by many of the technologies that have come before it.

Abel, Scott. STC Hoosier (2003). Articles>Reviews>Information Design>XML


An Interview with Dr. JoAnn Hackos

Implementing a content-management system may seem a little outside the purview of the technical documentation manager. But, according to JoAnn Hackos, managers and their staff can play a pivotal role in the success of a content-management project. In this interview, guest editor Scott Abel, publisher of TheContentWrangler.com, chats with Hackos about how to prepare for a move to content management and explores who needs to be involved in the process and why.

Abel, Scott. TechCom Manager (2006). Articles>Interviews>Content Management


It's In The Mix: The Next Generation Of Open Source Publishing

The same principles behind music remixing are at the heart of a hugely important open source software documentation experiment, taking place on the web today. It’s called FLOSS Manuals, a content remixing project that provides its website visitors with the ability to read, write and remix documentation.

Abel, Scott. Content Wrangler, The (2008). Articles>Content Management>Documentation>Personalization


Lessons From The Trenches: DocZone.com Is Doing It With DITA

Interviews Chris Hill of DocZone.com and explores the lessons his firm learned while implementing the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA).

Abel, Scott. Rockley Group, The (2006). Articles>Content Management>XML>DITA


Marketing Mistakes In A Socially-Connected World

Regardless of what you think about relational databases versus other types of database solutions, Oracle’s approach is stupid because they don’t know the difference between choosing a good enemy and a bad one.

Abel, Scott. Content Wrangler, The (2010). Articles>Social Networking>Marketing>Case Studies


Move Over Text: Video Documentation Meets DITA

In the US today, there are 82.5 Million Content Creators 13.9% create content in virtual worlds 18.1% create video content 23.9% create blog content 79.7% create content on a social network. All we need is a standard that will support the topic- based nature of “how to” video content XML, and by extension, DITA, seemed to be a perfect fit.

Abel, Scott and Sean Healy. SlideShare (2009). Presentations>Documentation>Multimedia>Video


Planning and Analysis Articles and Surveys

Provides you with several resources you may find valuable during the planning and analysis phases of implementing content management.

Abel, Scott. Rockley Bulletin (2004). Articles>Content Management>Content Strategy


Scott Abel on Web 2.0

Abel's presentation on Web 2.0 was the most popular presentation of the STC 2007 conference (at least this is my impression from these interviews). In his presentation, Abel touches upon RSS feeds, wikis, blogs, geospatial positioning, social networking, tagging, podcasts, and other Web 2.0 technologies. He expands here on geospatial positioning and tagging. Abel also explains why he uses a newsletter in addition to a feed for his popular blog, www.thecontentwrangler.com.

Abel, Scott and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>Web Design>Podcasts


Software-as-a-Service: Changing The Benefit Packages IT Organizations Offer

If you work in the information technology industry, for instance, especially in the software industry, chances are you are accustomed to having the same days off from work as everyone else: bank, religious, and national holidays—and, if you are creative about your planning—vacation days that you take before and after these holidays to create an extended break, usually coinciding with times others in your life are also away from work and school. But, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model will likely change all that. And, the changes don’t bode well for family vacations or extended holidays with your sweetheart.

Abel, Scott. Content Wrangler, The (2008). Careers>TC>Software>Online


Stop Wasting Time: Ten Things You Can Do to Make Yourself More Efficient

Ten bits of advice about how to save time in the workplace, using software-as-a-service websites.

Abel, Scott. SlideShare (2008). Presentations>Advice>Workflow


Twitter: Who Cares What You're Doing Right Now, Anyway?

An introduction to the Twitter micro-blogging web service, with quotes from people who use it for professional/business purposes.

Abel, Scott. SlideShare (2009). Presentations>Collaboration>Social Networking>Blogging


Web 2.0 101: Understanding Web 2.0 and its Impact on Technical Communication

The Semantic Web is coming and it's bringing major changes to the ways that people create, manage, deliver, consume, and share technical information. This session introduces Web 2.0 and its tools and technologies, and examines how they are changing the landscape of technical communication. Discover how Web 2.0 methods make it possible to deliver "content as a service" and to empower customers to personalize technical content in useful and exciting new ways.

Abel, Scott. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>TC>Web Design>Semantic


What is Intelligent Content? And Why Won’t Scott Abel Shut Up About It?

Intelligent content is content which is not limited to one purpose, technology or output. It’s content that is structurally rich and semantically aware, and is therefore discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable and adaptable. It’s content that helps you and your customers get the job done, often automatically.

Abel, Scott. Content Wrangler, The (2009). Articles>Content Management>Information Design>XML


Who Says You Can't Use Microsoft Word To Do XML?

Although MS Word can generate XML, it should not be considered any kind of a robust XML authoring tool. Instead, its XML features are best for use with other Microsoft Office applications. However, because XML authoring is gaining in popularity, new XML authoring software tools and utilities are coming to market. In this article, Scott Abel looks at using MS Word for XML and takes a closer look at one alternative XML solution from a Microsoft partner that uses Word's familiar interface.

Abel, Scott. Writing Assistance (2006). Articles>Word Processing>XML>Microsoft Word


Who Says You Can't Use Microsoft Word To Do XML?

MS Word is not an XML authoring tool, no matter what your IT team believes. While Word may indeed understand and use some XML, it doesn't use XML in the way technical communicators need it to. Instead, it uses XML to transfer information back and forth between MS Office products. Useful? Yes. XML authoring? Not even close.

Abel, Scott. TechCom Manager (2007). Articles>Writing>XML>Microsoft Word


XML Authoring: Coming to a Desktop Near You

XML for use in technical publications is growing in popularity. As the author explains, technical writers are likely to become more and more involved in XML document production in the future. This article looks at the many benefits of XML authoring and the trend that's moving technical publications toward structured content.

Abel, Scott. Writing Assistance (2007). Articles>Content Management>XML>Technical Writing


XML Authoring: Coming to a Desktop Near You

Organizations are moving business documents to structured XML authoring -- a technology that was once reserved for only the bravest of technical publications departments. They are using new tools that make the transition much easier, even for completely non-technical authors, and they are reaping benefits that will drive structured authoring in XML across the entire organization.

Abel, Scott. TechCom Manager (2007). Articles>Writing>XML


XML Content Authoring: Interview with Michael Boses

An interview with Michael Boses about his new role with Quark, the need for user-friendly content-authoring tools, and the role of structured content in the dynamic-publishing paradigm.

Abel, Scott. Dynamic Publisher, The (2008). Articles>Content Management>XML


The Year In Review

This year was an active one for the field of technical communication. New tools and technologies made their mark on our profession, while new pressures and business goals began to impact the way we see ourselves, our role in the organization, and our place in the communication spectrum. In this end-of-the-year report, Scott Abel, president of TheContentWrangler.com, takes a look at some of the year's most important developments in the field of technical communication and makes a few predictions of importance to documentation managers for 2007.

Abel, Scott. TechCom Manager (2006). Articles>TC>History

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