Yearly Archives: 2014

Subject First; Context Afterward

In communication, they say, context is everything. Actually, “everything” consists of context and subject. Useful information is subject in context. The question is, which comes first: context or subject? In the book era, the content search pattern was: context first, subject afterwards. That is, suppose you deliver three different products and have released three different versions of… Read More »

What kind of “easy” authoring are you looking for?

I was reading JoAnn Hackos article on easy DITA authoring solutions and it got me thinking about what the word “easy” means in regard to DITA or any similarly complex technology. Can an editing interface make DITA easy? Some DITA consultants that I know complain bitterly about tools that make that claim. DITA may be many… Read More »

Any technology you use should be “Googlable”

‘Any technology you use should be “Googlable”‘. These are the words of Bill Scott,  VP Engineering, Merchant | Retail | Online Payments at PayPal, as reported by the amazing Sarah Maddox. (I say amazing because Sarah manages to lucidly and intelligently blog just about every conference session she attends. Having just helped cover the LavaCon conference, and… Read More »

In Praise of Short Term Thinking

I was in Portland  for LavaCon last week, and one night I had dinner with a bunch of content strategy types. As we do, we spent some of the conversation bemoaning the short term thinking that many people and organizations have about content. One of the first sessions I attended, however, was Edwina Lui’s A Goldilocks Approach… Read More »

Transclusion Will Never Catch On

Transclusion is pulling content dynamically from one page into another page. Rather than cutting and pasting text from one page to another, you create a pointer to the page you are borrowing from. That pointer is resolved at run time, pulling content from the other page when your page is loaded. Transclusion was a fundamental part of Ted… Read More »

Reference Distance Zero: Beyond Linear Information Design

Summary: Designing information for paper was largely about managing reference distance. On the Web, the reference distance is zero. A completely different set of design requirements apply.   Linear information design Traditional information design thinking has always been linear. This is a consequence of the medium in which the vast majority of information was presented:… Read More »