Findability is an intractable problem. This does not mean that we should not try to improve findability. World peace is an intractable problem, but it is still worthwhile to make a friend. Climate change is an intractable problem, but it is still worthwhile to plant a tree. Findability is an intractable problem, but is it… Read More »
Whenever the subject of metadata is discussed, the subject of metadata standards is sure to come up. Should you be using standardized metadata, or define metadata for yourself? Answering this question is no different for metadata than it is for screws or operating systems or paving stones or motor oil: it depends.
Every time I talk with someone about metadata, I have the feeling we are talking past each other, at least a little. We are both using the same word, “metadata”, but it often seems like we mean different thing by it. So, what does “metadata” mean? Metadata is simply data about data, or, to put… Read More »
The Web provides three basic modes of navigation: search, browse, and surf. Few web sites, and still fewer doc sets do all three well. The something extra? “Pick three and add something extra” comes from Peter Sheahan’s book Flip, in which he flips the traditional business motto “good, fast, cheap: pick two” into what he… Read More »
Task orientation is one of the most important principles of technical communication. But it is also a more difficult concept than it might at first seem. Part of the problem is the vocabulary of tasks. When we urge writers to be task oriented, we usually contrast it to a different style, which we often call… Read More »