Sunday, January 20, 2008

Great Meeting

If you missed the meeting on January 15th, you missed a good one. Mark Wallace presented on "How to Run a Successful DITA Pilot User Assistance Project." We had very good attendance and it was an excellent presentation. Mark made his presentation based upon a successful pilot project at IBM ISS where he works. Thanks, Mark for that informative presentation.

Now, I would like to ask all of you a few questions. And this is especially for our STC Atlanta members but, even if you aren't members, I would like you to answer. Although I may be "preaching to the choir."

Do you view blogs? Do you use RSS to do so? Do you have a blog? How many RSS feeds do you subscribe to?

We are considering a blog format for our STC Chapter newsletter. We have had problems recruiting and keeping a newsletter editor. So this is an alternative. And it would also allow multiple inputs from different members and you can comment immediately on the articles. I think it will allow a more interactive format. And we will have an RSS subscription link so you will immediately know when a new entry has been made.

What do you think about this format?

Until next time ...


Mike Hughes said...

I use as my rss aggregator and I subscribe to about 15 feeds. some are blogs and some are newsfeeds. I look at it each day as part of my morning "boot and read email" routine. I think it is a great way to stay on top of current topics. I also have a blog, I have to admit that I started it mainly to find out what all the Web 2.0 fuss was about. I like blogging because it lets me put emerging ideas out for public scrutiny more easily and more often than conventional publishing would let me do. I find that it helps me form positions and modify them over time as I see how they play among my professional peers. For this reason, I think a chapter blog would be an exciting experiment for our chapter--let's do it!!

Miranda Bennett said...

I have a blog. I read blogs. I think a blog is a great idea.

Holly said...

Yes, I am for this idea.

Many other STC chapters and communities are moving toward this format.

It would allow us to post information for our members sooner.

Here are some links so you can see what other chapters are doing:

Philadelphia Metro Chapter
Website is on blogging platform.
But newsletter is PDF.

Austin Chapter
Traditional Web site
Newsletter on blog platform. Since 12/2005
Note how much nicer the newsletter looks compared to their site.
8 chapter members are contributors.

Houston Chapter
Web site on blogging platform.
Newsletter is, too.

Chicago Chapter
Web site.
No newsletter,
only a blog.

Suncoast Chapter (Tampa)

Web site is blog platform.
No newsletter. Note the use of Categories to filter content.

Washington DC Chapter
Web site.
Looks sort of wiki-ish
Newsletter: PDF
Again, the blog looks the best.

Anonymous said...

I recently started a blog just for fun and am having a great time with it. I'm using wordpress, and it's super easy.
I love blogs for newsletter content, but I'm not sure I like them as a replacement for website content. I think it would be a lot easier to get somebody to moderate a blog than to solicit content and edit a newsletter... lots of little bites instead of a huge commitment and deadline. I think the chapter should definitely switch to a blog!

Martha Stevens

Tom Johnson said...

I think a blog for a newsletter is a good idea, but remember that you still have many people who don't even know what RSS is, much less how to integrate a feed into an RSS reader.

I recommend that you use both FeedBlitz and a WordPress self-hosted blog. You can set up a WordPress blog easily enough, and begin publishing articles at any time. Then when you want to shoot the content out to all your "technical" writers who don't have RSS readers, just configure FeedBlitz to distribute at a certain date, and voila, you've got both a blog and newsletter.

The only drawback is that FeedBlitz costs money (if you want to set the publishing intervals at anything other than daily notification.)

Also, I'd like to read your chapter's newsletter. I rarely read PDF newsletters, so I welcome the format.

Also, I have a blog here: