A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Rockley, Ann

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Ann Rockley on the Rockley Group Blog and a New CMS Report

Ann Rockley shares information about an upcoming report on component content management systems her group will be releasing this summer. She also says the Rockley Group is launching a blog to provide quicker information to users in a more interactive way. She talks about the growing presence companies have in the blogosphere, and why they chose WordPress as their blogging tool.

Rockley, Ann and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>Content Management>Podcasts


Building a Content Framework

A content framework is a library of content types and metadata along with detailed guidelines for how to use the framework to create specific customer experiences. A content framework provides the underlying concepts, best practices, guidelines and structure to enable you to rapidly design, build, test and deliver an effective customer-centric content experience. This article provides an overview of the components of a content framework.

Rockley, Ann. Rockley Bulletin (2006). Articles>Content Management>Information Design


Collaborative Content Management

However content is often created by authors working in isolation from other authors within the organization. Walls are erected among content areas and even within content areas, which leads to content being created, and recreated, and recreated, often with changes or differences at each iteration. This results in inconsistent information, duplication of effort, and increased costs.

Rockley, Ann and David Coleman. Collaborative Strategies (2003). Articles>Content Management


Component Content Management: Overlooked By Analysts; Required By Technical Publications Departments

Selecting the right content management system (CMS) can be challenging. Too often, CMS shoppers skip critical steps in a mad rush to get their projects started. They jump into the purchasing cycle without having analyzed organizational needs nor having performed a content audit. Often, they mistakenly rely on marketing materials and analyst reports to help them decide which system to purchase. In this quick-read article, Ann Rockley and Steve Manning of The Rockley Group explore why it's important to manage components (i.e., single topics, concepts or assets) of your documentation, rather than just managing whole documents, in order to create greater consistency and accuracy, and reduce creation, delivery, and translation costs.

Rockley, Ann and Steve Manning. DCL (2006). Articles>Content Management>Single Sourcing


Content Management for Single Sourcing   (PDF)

Content management is becoming a critical component of single sourcing. It provides a method for managing our single source materials and ensuring that information can be easily retrieved for reuse. This session explains what a content management system will do for you and how to use it effectively.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Content Management>Single Sourcing


Designing an Effective Intranet/Extranet   (PDF)

The Internet created a revolution in electronic documentation. Now corporations are creating intranets (internal networks) and extranets (secured Internets for customer use) for the distribution and access of corporate documentation, manuals, and training using Internet technology. You’ll learn how to determine what should go on your intranet/extranet, how to ensure information meets users needs, and how to design effective electronic materials.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (1998). Design>Web Design>Intranets


Designing Effective Single Source Materials   (PDF)

People often have to create documents for different audiences and for different media, (e.g. web, Help, training). However, timelines and budgets for developing information are often tight. This means we have to find more efficient ways to develop information. One way is to consider single sourcing information for multiple users and media. While single sourcing does take more up-front planning, it can significantly decrease costs and development times once implemented.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Documentation>Single Sourcing


Determining the Right Training and Documentation Solution   (PDF)

Frequently a product has documentation associated with it. Large products may have training and documentation. However, as corporations are 'rolling out' new technology to their staff they are becoming aware that supporting the user through a unified documentation and training strategy, results in fewer problems and faster integration and usage. This paper addresses the process of determining the right solution and an effective design and development process.

Rockley, Ann and Hifary Shirley. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Documentation


Developing A Unified Content Model

A unified content strategy is: a repeatable method of identifying all content requirements up front; creating consistently structured content for reuse; managing that content in a definitive source; assembling content on demand to meet your needs. A unified content model is the framework that supports your strategy.

Rockley, Ann. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Content Management>Content Strategy>Planning


Don't Start With Technology

I've seen dozens of companies waste hundreds of thousands of dollars because they chose their management tools before they had a clear understanding of their business needs, information life cycle and content.

Rockley, Ann. Transform (2004). Articles>Content Management>Content Strategy


Dynamic Content Management   (PDF)

Introduces dynamic content, a method of single sourcing that 'meets individual users' needs by assembling a series of information objects in response to the userís requests or requirements.' She walks readers through a mock project involving the creation and delivery of dynamic content.

Rockley, Ann. Intercom (2001). Articles>Content Management>Single Sourcing


Dynamic Content Management   (PDF)

Until recently, technical communicators created static content--content that is created in a specific way for a specific purpose (e.g., user guides and help) and that remains the same until the technical communicator deliberately changes it. As single sourcing has made it possible to write information once and use it many times, technical communicators have begun to create static customized content, which is designed to meet the specific needs of the user, the materials to be developed (such as user guides, reference guides, and training), and the delivery media (paper or online). The content is customized for a particular requirement at a particular time but cannot be changed without being regenerated by the author. Now, the ability to create dynamic content will change the way technical communicators envision, create, and distribute information.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (2002). Design>Content Management>Single Sourcing>Web Design


E-Learning, Single Sourcing and SCORM   (PDF)

E-learning is a highly effective way of providing training to widely dispersed audiences. Single sourcing (information reuse) provides the facility to create and store reusable content from a single source, and delivers that content to multi-channel information products for learners. SCORM is the Sharable Content Object Reference Model; it’s an initiative of the ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning Network). This session provides an understanding of how you can create effective e-learning materials using single sourcing or SCORM.

Rockley, Ann and Steve Manning. STC Proceedings (2002). Articles>Education>Single Sourcing>Online


Fundamental Concepts of Reuse   (PDF)

Content reuse is fundamental to a successful unified content strategy.This chapter defines content reuse and the benefits ofits use.It explores how other industries have employed reuse for decades to improve their processes and the quality oftheir products. Content can be reused in many ways. The choice ofthe different methods and options for reuse are dependent upon your organization’s needs and technology.This chapter details the pros and cons ofusing each method and the associated options,and it provides the concepts that underlie the remainder ofthe book.

Rockley, Ann. AIfIA (2003). Articles>Content Management>Single Sourcing>Content Strategy


Going Online: Making the Right Decisions   (PDF)

Putting documents online takes planning and special expertise. Making the right decisions up front can save you months of frustration later on— and help you avoid many pitfalls. This workshop provides everything you need to know about planning and managing an online project. It deals with the decision-making process, not the design process. It is intended for managers, technical communicators, and consultants responsible for putting documents online.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>Publishing>Online


Going Online: Selecting the Right Tool   (PDF)

There are numerous tools that you can use to create online documentation. However, each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, and each is more appropriate for some types of information than others. This workshop explores many issues of online documentation tools: Why go beyond Windows Help? Which is better: HTML or Adobe Acrobat? What tools support cross-platform presentation? When should you use Workgroup tools such as Lotus Notes or Folio? When does SGML make sense? How to utilize a!ocument databases? When to use Management tools? Real examples developed using these tools will be given throughout the session. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (1997). Articles>Documentation>Software>Help


Harnessing the Power of the Internet   (PDF)

The 'information highway' and 'World Wide Web' are hot topics today. Companies are feeling that they must have a Web presence. Companies are also using Internet technology (HTML) to put technical documentation on the Net or on internal networks. Technical communicators are being asked to create Web pages and Internet documents. In this one-day seminar, you will discover what Internet publishing is all about. You’ll learn how to design effective Web pages and Internet documents.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (1996). Articles>Publishing>Online


Identifying the Components of Your ROI

Identifying Return on Investment (ROI) for your content management business case begins with a thorough analysis. This article reviews the information you need to gather to identify ROI for an effective business case for content management.

Rockley, Ann. Rockley Bulletin (2004). Articles>Content Management>Assessment>Business Case


Impact of Multimedia on Online Documentation   (PDF)

Multimedia is commonplace in entertainment and the Internet is proliferating the use of multimedia in electronic materials. Online documentation has traditionally been composed of text and some graphics. The proliferation of Intranets and online documentation is pushing the acceptance of multimedia in reference and procedural materials like Help. However, there is little research on the value of multimedia in online documentation nor its effective use.This paper describes an exploratory study done for a Master of Information Science thesis to determine the impact of multimedia on online documentation.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (1998). Articles>Documentation>Online>Multimedia


The Impact of Single Sourcing and Technology   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Design of information tends to be controlled by the functionality of the tools and technology. The last decade has seen a powerful move to online materials and a move away from paper. The next 5 years will see a move to new ways of structuring information for multiple media, multiple audiences, and multiple types information. The use of document databases, single sourcing, and knowledge webs will redefine 'writing.' As we move into the next millennium, information developers need to take control of the technology to support information design. This article addresses the changing face of technology, information design, and skills required to ensure effective information development in support of user needs.

Rockley, Ann. Technical Communication Online (2001). Design>Information Design>Single Sourcing


The Importance of Being Categorized (Correctly)

Categories are only useful if they meets the needs of the user. I can’t imagine that the variations of what I think of as “Science Fiction books” that were listed in the category are of any use to anyone.

Rockley, Ann. Rockley Blog (2010). Articles>Information Design>Metadata>Taxonomy


Incorporating Usability into Content Management

This article describes the importance of incorporating usability into all stages of implementing content management, including assessing your needs, assessing your users (of both the content and the content management system), and assessing your content. It questions the emphasis of technology in many of the current discussions about content management, and instead, advocates looking to the field of usability to form the basis of a content management implementation.

Rockley, Ann. Rockley Bulletin (2004). Articles>Content Management>Usability


Information Architecture of Content Management

When people think about content management, they generally think about it from a systems perspective, focusing primarily on tools and technology. While it is true that content management usually requires a technological solution, it also requires that content be designed for reuse, retrieval, and delivery to meet your authors' and customers' needs. Content management requires that tools be configured to support authoring, reviewing, and publishing tasks, but first, those tasks must be designed. Designing content and the processes to create, review, and publish it is what information architecture is all about. The Information Architecture section of The Rockley Report will focus on the different aspects of information architecture for content management. This article introduces you to some of the components of information architecture that we will cover in The Rockley Report over time.

Rockley, Ann. Rockley Bulletin (2004). Articles>Content Management>Information Design>Content Strategy


Information Modeling: A Practical Approach   (PDF)

Information models are a critical component of single sourcing, enterprise content management, and dynamic content management. The information model is your blueprint for the effective writing, structuring, and delivery of reusable content. This session explains how to design information models, including information product models and element models. It also explains the role of metadata and how to effectively design it.

Rockley, Ann. STC Proceedings (2003). Articles>Information Design>Content Management>Project Management


Knowledge Management: Do You Really Need It?

The knowledge that we have within a corporation is valuable to internal employees to ensure that they are able to do their jobs as accurately and efficiently as possible, and our customers are requesting more and more information to enable them to use our products correctly. For years this knowledge resided in peoples’ heads and in volumes of paper. Now that information is being moved onto the Internet/intranets and extranets.

Rockley, Ann. Rockley Bulletin (1998). Articles>Knowledge Management



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