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2016 Conduit Program

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CONDUIT 2016: Connecting Minds
Mid-Atlantic Technical Communications Conference
Presented by the STC Philadelphia Metro Chapter
#stcpmc16

Published in: Education
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2016 Conduit Program

  1. 1. 1 CONDUIT 2016: Connecting Minds Mid-Atlantic Technical Communications Conference Presented by the STC Philadelphia Metro Chapter #stcpmc16 Presentation Details Keynote Presentation: 8:45-10:15 Applying Research to Practice – Understanding Users Presented by Ginny Redish Willow Grove Technical communicators led the change from system-oriented documentation to user-oriented manuals, help, websites, and more. We brought content as conversation, content strategy, information design, and usability to our companies and clients. Through all the changes – from paper to screen, from large screen to mobiles, from manuals to social media – our goal remains the same: to create the product that works for people. To do that, we have to understand ourselves as writers and the people we converse with through our words and images. When, how, and what do our users and site visitors read — and not read? What does that mean for how we select, organize, write, design, and test our content? In this fun and interactive keynote, Ginny will share both research and practical examples that lead to guidelines you can apply right away. Ginny has been a passionate evangelist for clear writing and usability for many years. Through her consulting practice, Redish & Associates, Inc., Ginny helps clients plan, organize, design, write, and test all types of communications. Ginny is sought after as a speaker and workshop leader. She is a dynamic instructor who has trained thousands of writers and subject matter specialists in the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. Reviewers rave about Ginny’s most recent book, Letting Go of the Words – Writing Web Content that Works, now in its second edition (2012). She has also written or co-written numerous articles and book chapters, as well as two of the classic books on usability. A long-time STC member, Ginny is an STC Fellow and a former member of STC’s Board of Directors. She is a member of the Washington, DC – Baltimore geographic community and a co-founder of the
  2. 2. 2 Usability and User Experience virtual community. She also serves on the Editorial Board of STC’s peer- reviewed journal, Technical Communication. Ginny is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Harvard University. Session 1: 10:30-11:15 Evolution of the Knowledge Broker Presented by Bernard Aschwanden & Christopher Ward Thunderbolt The role of technical communicator is ever-changing. Content creators have an opportunity to position content as the most pivotal asset to a company’s continued success. The world has changed, and users want instant access to information. Content creators have to evolve into Knowledge Brokers and align their development process with their company’s business strategy. It’s time to take content and turn it into an asset that generates revenue and this session shows how it can be done. Bernard helps companies generate revenue and reduce costs using content. He guides clients through the best processes to create, manage, and deliver content. Once content is delivered, he helps socialize the message, understand and act on feedback, and improve the process and workflow. He is the founder of Publish- ing Smarter, an Associate Fellow of STC, and President of STC. Bernard has helped hundreds of companies implement successful solutions. He is focused on publishing better, publishing faster, and publishing smarter. @aschwanden4stc, www.publishingsmarter.com Christopher, Director of Sales at WebWorks, specializes in helping small teams accomplish high things by better aligning departmental processes with overall company strategies. Christopher’s experience in strategy development began as an Analyst for U.S. Army Intelligence and then later moved into the corporate world when working for Dell computers. Over the last five years he has been working for WebWorks and enjoying getting to know the Technical Communications industry. His diverse experiences allow Christopher to recog- nize untapped potential in a company’s overall business strategy and help them achieve that potential. @webworkschris Video Tools in Technical Writing – Double Your $$$ Presented by Don Wolf Scenic This session will demonstrate the reasoning and techniques of using digital video media as a tool while working with subject matter experts and applying it to the knowledge transfer disciplines of your projects. The attendees will see the efficiency and accuracy of using such tools when acquiring your data. Video medium is the fastest growing segment in marketing today and after attending this session you will be able to use your acquired resources to leverage addi- tional revenue streams for you and your clients in the bold new world of social media and digital deliverables.
  3. 3. 3 Don is a communications specialist with an extensive back ground in video production, scriptwriting, pro- cess documentation, media presentations and technology. He has been part of the media services team at Grove City College, in Grove City, Pa. for over 6 years as well as a video and content producer in health- care education and training for over 15 years. He has recently had success as a technical writer for a major national Energy Service company bringing his skill set to that industry. He is now working as a freelance consultant producer for his company wolfmediapro.com. He is a past member of STC and is a charter member of Project Execution Network a Pittsburgh virtual office community of consultants in the technol- ogy sectors. www.wolfmediapro.com UX and Cognitive Load Presented by Cory Burnett Alps With the increasing load of information passing through our senses, we need to be mindful in minimizing the cognitive load of our audience when communicating with them. In this talk, we’ll explore what cogni- tive load is, what it means to our audience and how we can be mindful in mini- mizing it in our communications. Cory has been visually active in the digital-world for 17 years. He is currently the UX design manager at Oracle Corporation leading the team responsible for the UX design of the Primavera product line. @corymburnett, corymburnett.com Session 2: 11:30-12:15 Tech Comm and Mobile – A Strategic Assessment Presented by Neil Perlin Thunderbolt We’ve heard a lot about the mobile revolution in recent years. Everyone seems to have a mobile device, or several. But tech comm itself has only barely moved beyond traditional print and online help. If your company is thinking about going mobile, how might that affect tech comm? That’s the subject of this presentation. We’ll start by looking at past tech comm paradigm shifts, like the adoption of word processing in 1980 and the shift to HTML in 1997 and their effects. We’ll then look specifically at defining “mobile”, the increase in technical rigor and authorial simplicity needed to move into mobile, changes in writing, the anticipated loss of institutional tech comm knowledge, the need for new business models like iFixit that might take tech comm from a cost center to a revenue generator, and more. You’ll probably leave this presentation with no specific answers but a lot to think about. Neil is an internationally known consultant, strategist, trainer, and developer for online content ranging from help to mobile. He is Madcap Certified for Flare and Mimic, Viziapps Certified for the Viziapps Studio app development
  4. 4. 4 platform, and Adobe Certified for RoboHelp. He is the author of multiple books, most recently Advanced Features in MadCap Flare 10 and Creating Mobile Apps Without Coding. Neil wrote the Beyond the Bleeding Edge column for Intercom from 2000 to 2015 and is a popular speaker, most recently as a keynoter at TCUK 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland. You can reach him at nperlin@nperlin.cnc.net. @NeilEric, www.hyperword.com. Social Media for Technical Communicators Presented by Ed Marsh Scenic Are you on social media? Do you know which ones you should be on? Should I have a blog? Do you think it’s all just a bit silly? Ed Marsh, a 20–year technical writer, shares his experience with self-promotion, blogging, podcasting, and with sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Ed has been a technical communicator since 1994, creating printed manuals, online help, cheat sheets, technical illustrations, eLearning modules, web sites, and more. He is also experienced in information architecture and content management. He generally dislikes writing in the third person. Ed likes getting his hands dirty in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and XML. He is a Drupal enthusiast; using the CMS, he created the content news aggregation site contentcontent.info. Most recently, Ed created the Content Content podcast, featuring interviews with technical communicators, content marketers, and content strategists. He is also a homebrewer and for- mer director of the Secaucus High School Marching Band. @edmarsh, edmarsh.com UX Methods Made Easy: Card Sorting Presented by Cheri Mullins Alps This session will include a brief overview of one method used in user experience research, generally referred to as card sorting, and will engage attendees in a hands-on card sorting exercise. We will wrap up with some guidelines of how–and when–to use card sorting in day-to-day situations. Cheri is a consultant in multiple areas of user experience, information architec- ture, technical communication, and instructional design and training. Her research focuses on the intersections of culture, communication, and technol- ogy. @cherimullins
  5. 5. 5 Session 3: 1:45-2:30 Upgrading Legacy Projects to Handle Responsive Output Presented by Neil Perlin Thunderbolt Responsive output opens new venues for tech comm; we can create outputs for almost any device from PCs to smartphones. But old projects can be hard to make responsive because they often have features that don’t support responsive well – local formatting, graphics inserted using hidden tables, fixed width tables, excessive content, information in large, static tables, and more. And what about “click” versus “tap” as the output scales? This presentation first reviews responsive output’s rationale and technology. It then looks at technical and design problems and presents solutions. Finally, we’ll look at some code that can be used in topics and a CSS to automatically change “click” to “tap” as the screen scales, solving a longstanding writing problem. You’ll leave this presentation with a solid understanding of how to deal with legacy project problems and how to improve your projects going forward. Getting A Head in the Clouds Presented by Timothy Esposito Scenic Heard about the “cloud”? Wondering what it entails and how you can use it? Can’t tell Google Talk from Google Hangouts, or Google Drive from Google Groups? This session covers several popular cloud solutions and how to get most use out of free services. Getting a Head in the Cloud will demystify the many cloud options available to the everyday computer user. The objective is to clearly list out common applications, explain their strengths and weaknesses, and then show the audience to effectively use the tools to their best advantage. To start, Tim will discuss the concept behind Cloud computing. Companies offer Cloud solutions for both everyday consumers and at the corporate level. The various features offered by several prominent Cloud sites, such as DropBox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, will be explained. Costs will be compared for extra storage opportunities. The next section will delve into Google technology and how it works together. Google offers many different tools for free, and keeping them all straight while using them efficiently can be overwhelming. This presentation will break down the commonly used applications and show how they all work together. Another aspect of Cloud is synchronizing web browsers between machines. A brief discussion of Xmarks will show how user data can by safely synchronized between browsers. With all this technology on our computers, it is good to know that it is also available on mobile devices. Several of the Cloud tools and their respective mobile apps will be explained. Finally, Tim will summarize how all of these tools can work together to make your per- sonal or work data management easier. Timothy is a Principal Technical Writer at Oracle Corporation where he works on logistics software. An STC member since 2005, for the Philadelphia Metro Chapter Timothy has served as Scholarship Chair, Treasurer, Webmaster, and was elected Vice President. Additionally Tim has participated in the 2012 and
  6. 6. 6 2016 STC budget review committees, helped plan the STC NY-PMC-Houston regional competition, and assisted in organizing and running the PMC Mid-Atlantic Technical Communication Conference, all while managing the technology for the chapter. In 2015 he won the Distinguished Chapter Service Award. @tmesposit, www.linkedin.com/in/timothyesposito Mastering Error Messages Presented by Craig Borchardt Alps Error messages are a critical part of a user’s experience with a software product. When done poorly, they can render even well-constructed software unusable; however, when done well, error messages almost invisibly can add elegance, supporting users when they don’t understand and smoothing over the rough spots within a poorly considered product. Error messages are definitely one area where writers can have a tremendous impact in a product. What can be done to improve the design, creation, and authoring of error mes- sages? This high-level talk will touch on writing standards, development pro- cesses, as well as issues with translation and mobile products. Craig is a program manager who is responsible for the error message develop- ment for Oracle Fusion Applications, working in collaboration with product managers, writers, translators, and the UX team. He has been at Oracle since 1995 and holds graduate degrees in Professional and Technical Writing from Carnegie Mellon University as well as Cognitive Psychology from Columbia University. He has com- pleted additional studies in Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. Session 4: 2:45-3:30 Your Country Needs You: Communicators in the U.S. Government Presented by David Caruso Thunderbolt Skilled communication professionals are in high demand within the U.S. Government. Real position descriptions and job postings will be decoded in this presentation with insider tips on how you can build a resume that will get you an interview. With more than 12 years of Federal service, David will offer insights of what core communication skills he has found most valuable and what he learned on-the-job. This presentation will also help the mid-career professional who may be look- ing to try something new or just add more value to their workplace David is a Senior Member and President of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of STC. He works as a Health Communication Specialist for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Since 2008 he has been instru- mental in developing the NIOSH social media program which now boasts more than 20 channels and 200k+ followers/friends. In 2013-2014 he served as an internal communication consultant for NIOSH looking and capacity within one research division. Most recently he was named Senior Health Communication Specialist and Coordinator
  7. 7. 7 for the NIOSH Oil and Gas Safety and Health Research Program. @DCCD, www.linkedin.com/in/health- communicator Public Speaking Skills: A Project Manager’s Best Friend Presented by David Zimmer Scenic As project managers, we spend 90% of our time communicating: writing, talking, presenting or reporting to our stakeholders. One of the most influential forms of communicating with our audiences is in a public setting, whether it be a formal presentation, meeting, a gathering of people around the coffee machine or wherever more than two people congregate. Public speaking done well enhances our credibility, leadership, influence and reputation. Public speaking done poorly puts us back in the pack of the other average people. David has learned over the years that simple tips and tricks used by some of the best speakers work for him, whether he was with an informal group of colleagues, in tense meetings with stakeholders, or as a keynote presenter at large industry conferences or as the invited speaker for the CIO briefings of executives from the leading companies in Australia. In this session, David helps you understand critical aspects of public speaking and provides his secret tips and tricks making you a more influential speaker. David A. Zimmer, PMP has been speaking publicly and professionally for the past 20 years. Over that time, he has studied the art of speaking publicly, watched numerous professional and persuasive speakers, and developed a bag of tips and tricks he uses to engage his audience. He credits his high ratings from audiences to simple techniques taught in this seminar. He has given keynote speeches to large audiences domestically and overseas. He provides instruction to corporations and companies in project management, business analysis and change management practices, leadership, public speaking, team building, and con- flict resolution. He is an adjunct professor at Pennsylvania State University – Abington. @dazimmer, www.ameagle.com, www.PersonalPMTutor.net, www.TheProjectProfessors.com Technical Communicators and Translators: Let’s Speak the Same Language! Presented by Myriam Siftar Alps With ever-increasing globalization, more and more technical materials are destined to be localized in at least one foreign language. Preparing materials with translation in mind can save a great deal of time and money during the translation process itself and make you a hero at your company or to your client. But what does this mean? It’s not just the writing itself that is involved; things like the authoring tools, style guides, controlled language and terminology management, organizing your materials for ease of reuse, and choice of graphics and icons. This presentation will help technical communicators understand how they can have a positive impact on the localization process and its outcomes. Examples
  8. 8. 8 covering multiple language pairs and industry sectors will be discussed. Myriam is the president of MTM LinguaSoft, a professional language services company, which she founded in 2003 after a successful career as an information technology consultant. Myriam was born in Paris and received degrees in computer science and Management in France, before coming to the United States where she also obtained an MBA from Drexel University. Her cross-cultural experience and her knowledge of business and technology proved a strong basis for building her own language company. Her background has also made her an engaging and effective speaker on topics such as cross-cultural communication and website globalization for many organizations, includ- ing the World Trade Centers of Greater Philadelphia, Central Pennsylvania and Delaware; the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the US Export Assistance Centers of the Department of Com- merce in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She has also spoken previously on translation-related topics to the Philadelphia Metro Chapter of the Society for Technical Communications and at the Practical Conference on Communication (PCOC), a regional STC conference in Tennessee. @mtmlinguasoft, www.mtmlingua- soft.com Closing Session and Door Prizes: 3:35-4:15 Follow the Conference at #stcpmc16 on Twitter and other social media outlets!
  9. 9. 9 Thank You for Hosting This Event: Please Give Your Continued Support To All of Our Sponsors:
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  11. 11. 11 A Special Thanks to the Giant Community Center for Providing Space for this Event: Conference Committee: Jessica Rineer - Conference Chair Jessie Mallory - President Tim Esposito - Vice President Staci Bender - Publicity Chair Harrison Brown - Website Support Chelsea Miller - Sponsorship Coordinator David Calloway - Past Conference Chair, Volunteer Ellen O’Brien - Treasurer Student Volunteers: Matthew Litton Sara Yacoubian Event Photographer: Lowell Brown Please Complete Our Survey Online: http://www.stcpmc.org/conduit-2016-survey/ Save the Date for Our Conference Next Year at Giant on Saturday April 1, 2017!

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