The STC Summit was fun as always. My slides are below, but first some other observations.
David Pogue was an excellent keynote speaker. And he sang!
Attendance was lower than last year, but traffic at our booth (and others from what I heard) was up. I think this was a combination of a better location for exhibitors, shorter exhibit hours (Wednesday was cut), and perhaps more senior and more serious attendees.
The biggest change from previous years had to be the use of social media in general, but especially Twitter:
- The #stc09 hashtag got a serious workout, the tweetup drew 50 or 60 people, and there was constant chatter about the conference online.
- There was a complementary online event, #stcnotthere.
- As we were leaving the conference in sketchy weather, #stuckinATL_stc09, created by @lisajoydyer, helped us chronicle the various airport delays and find each other at the airport. It made the delays almost bearable.
- Rachel Hougton’s flickr feed captures the feel of the entire event, ranging from the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola to the honors banquet and lots of casual photos. (great job, Rachel, btw)
- You can find a collaborative liveblog on scribblelive.
Interestingly, it seems as though fewer people blogged the event; instead, they were tweeting. However, Keith Soltys did put up day-by-day summaries on Core Dump, and Gryphon Mountain Journals has some reactions. I was unable to find any other live-blogging; if I missed you, please leave a comment.
Tom Johnson interviewed numerous people (including me) at the event. His interview with Ginny Redish is already available.
The tweeting and other social media augmented the actual event. There were people tweeting for lots of reasons: to solve problems (chairs needed), organize groups for dinner, provide sound bites from presentations, and more. The organizing committee put up a twitter feed on a monitor next to their booth and got lots of attention.
I get the impression that the tweets gave non-attendees a flavor of the event. If you were following #stc09 but not attending, did this make you more likely to consider attending in 2010?
Ironically, one of my presentations was actually about technical communication and Web 2.0 issues. I have a white paper on this topic, which is far more useful than the slides. (OK, if you insist, the slides are also available.)
My second presentation was presumptuously entitled “The State of Structure.” This presentation discusses the results of our industry survey on structured authoring, which was conducted in January and February 2009.
If you want more information, the survey report is $200 and available in our store.
I am pleased to announce the publication of our newest white paper, The State of Structured Authoring in Technical Communication. In early 2009, we conducted a survey on structured authoring; this document presents the results of the survey along with our analysis.
Those who participated in the survey are entitled to a free copy of the report. If you requested a copy via email, you will receive a message within the next 2 business days with download instructions. If you requested a printed copy, those will go in the mail tomorrow.
The report is also available for purchase and immediate download. The cost is $200 for the 38-page report (plus 18 pages that reproduce the survey questions, so the file is 56 pages long).
I’m also delivering a presentation at next week’s STC Summit in Atlanta, which discusses the results of the survey. If you’re attending the conference, I hope you’ll join me on Monday, May 5, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Regency V for “The State of Structure.”
I’m knee-deep in survey data analysis. With over 600 responses, our recent structured authoring survey was hugely successful–thank you. Many respondents added candid details about their experiences with structured authoring implementation–their fears, mistakes, and biggest surprises.
The survey report will be available later this month (free to participants, $200 for others), but I wanted to give you a couple of preliminary highlights:
- About 30 percent of respondents said that they are currently using structured authoring.
- There’s a lot of hype around DITA, but our data indicates that it’s backed up by reality. Consider this chart, which shows the top three types of structure (custom, DocBook, or DITA) implemented, being implemented, or planned.
DITA dominates the chart. But it looks as though DITA is additive. That is, it’s not cannibalizing the numbers for DocBook or custom structures. Those numbers are relatively flat. Instead, it looks as though DITA is increasing the total number of implementations.
If you are attending the STC Summit this year, I’m doing a presentation on the survey results on Monday, May 4, at 1:30 p.m., called “The State of Structure.”
Answer? I don’t know, but The Content Wrangler is conducting a survey to find out. Here’s the announcement:
2009 is a touch economic year for most of us. Companies are cutting back on nice-to-have purchases and focusing in on what’s necessary. This survey conducted by The Content Wrangler aims to help us better understand your training needs for 2009 and to identify the types of classes you need. We plan to use this information to help training providers create relevant public and on-site training programs that address your needs and to gain an understanding of the current state of training program interest in our industry today.
In case you need further motivation, there is also a random drawing for some goodies. The survey has only five questions, so it should be quick.