Understanding User-Generated Documentation: FLOSS Manuals

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A presentation given by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, and Janet Swisher, Enthought.com, at the Society for Technical Communication Summit, May 4, 2009 in Atlanta, GA. The slide deck helps users understand what user-generated content is, explores the roles of those involved, the various types of content being created, and provides statistics about the current state of the web and user-generated content and explores why user-generated documentation is needed. The slide deck does not include the second portion of the conference presentation, a demonstration of FLOSS Manuals, an open-source wiki-based web service that provides users with the ability to create user-generated documentation projects for open source and free tools. You can visit the FLOSS Manuals website to learn more. URL in slide deck.

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Understanding User-Generated Documentation: FLOSS Manuals

  1. 1. Understanding User-Generated Content: The FLOSS Manuals Story A presentation by Scott Abel and Janet Swisher * May 5, 2009 STC Annual Summit, Atlanta, GA Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  2. 2. User-Generated Content is Consumer Created Content Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  3. 3. Roles in User-Generated Content Content Creator Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  4. 4. Roles in User-Generated Content Content Critic Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  5. 5. Roles in User-Generated Content Content Collector Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  6. 6. Roles in User-Generated Content Joiners, Spectators, Inactives Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  7. 7. 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 source: eMarketer.com tweet this! up 73% over 2008 source: Nielsen Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  8. 8. what they’re doing Typical User-Generated Content Activities on Social Networks * providing answers to questions * joining group discussions * uploading/creating content * promoting oneself * responding to polls, surveys * finding people, products Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  9. 9. as of May 1, 2009, ranked by relative monthly audience size Largest User-Generated Content Websites YouTube 80,600,000 Wikipedia 78,200,000 craigslist 45,600,000 flickr 24,100,000 Digg 11,400,000 tweet this! source: eMarketer.com Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  10. 10. English language, videos 4-20 minute in length There are 89,300 “How To” Videos on YouTube today In March 2009, the average US online video viewer watched 327 minutes of video; 40% of which came from YouTube source: Nielsen tweet this! Tuesday, May 5, 2009
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  14. 14. how to Tuesday, May 5, 2009
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  23. 23. how to Tuesday, May 5, 2009
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  25. 25. Open source is an alternative licensing approach that provides users with access to the source code; permits users to use, change, improve, redistribute it in modified or unmodified form source: wikipedia Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  26. 26. Open source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner; often compared to user-generated content. tweet this! source: wikipedia Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  27. 27. how to Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  28. 28. 182,090: The number of open source software projects listed on SourceForge.net tweet this! Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  29. 29. advantages Typical Open Source Software Advantages * no licensing fees * utilizes the “power of the crowd” * usually modular in nature * offers quick innovation Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  30. 30. disadvantages Typical Open Source Software Disadvantages * “system testing” often ignored * unclear processes * constantly evolving moving target * security concerns (hackers) * lack of documentation Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  31. 31. how to Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  32. 32. Want the URL for the FLOSS Manuals website? Text FLOSS to 41411 and we’ll send it to your mobile phone. Or, for you old schoolers, jot this down http://en.flossmanuals.net Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  33. 33. Demonstration of FLOSS Manuals Janet Swisher Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  34. 34. Contact information Scott Abel scottabel@mac.com http://thecontentwrangler.ning.com Janet Swisher JMSwisher@gmail.com http://www.janetswisher.com FLOSS Manuals http://en.flossmanuals.net Tuesday, May 5, 2009
  35. 35. User-Generated Documentation The FLOSS Manuals Story A presentation by Scott Abel and Janet Swisher * May 5, 2009 STC Annual Summit, Atlanta, GA Tuesday, May 5, 2009

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