AdobeDay and Lavacon 2013 Highlights

AdobeDay helped kick off the popular Lavacon Conference; both events were held for the 2nd consecutive year in Portland, Oregon. Over 80 people made an early start Sunday October 20 for the 8:30 AM event, which went through a networking lunch at 1:30 PM. This thought leader event only had one presentation that included an Adobe product demo, though it too was highly educational.

A series of highly original presentations were made, and none of them duplicated content that speakers may have shared later during the full Lavacon conference. There were a high number of #AdobeDay tweets. As a result, we received several emails and direct Tweets that proclaimed “I shoulda been there!”

5 Revolutionary Technologies You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Scott Abel, (The Content Wrangler), started the event with a compelling keynote speech on the “Technical Communication Futurist.” Abel’s vision touched on several key technologies (with unexpected reasons) that we cannot afford to ignore

  1. Automated Translation
  2. Automated Transcription
  3. Terminology Management
  4. Adaptive Content
  5. Component Content Management

You may view his slide deck in the link below:

Expecting a datasource

Technical communication futurist by Scott Abel from Adobe TechComm

Vision of changing roles from Content Maven Joe Gollner

Joe Gollner of Gnostyx provided yet another completely original visioin of The Changing Role of the Technical Communicator within the Integrated Product Lifecycle. His presentation was an excellent precursor to his conference keynote address “Breaking Bad Content“, in which he assumed the TV personal of Breaking Bad’s lead character. Gollern covered a wide range of issues and influences, including Paul Drecker’s seminal “Practice of Management” in 1954 (which foresaw the global economy we live in today), and a brilliant explanation of why disconnected silos of content persist in big name companies.

You may view Joe’s slide deck in the link below.:

Expecting a datasource

Technical communicators and the product lifecycle (adobe day lavacon 2013 j gollner) from Adobe TechComm

Source English Terminology in a Multi-Channel, Global World

Val Swisher, CEO of Content Rules, delivered a persuasive case for why accurate and simplified English source files are so critical at the _beginning _of a project. As Swisher revealed, most companies still treat the quality of source content as an after thought. Many factors account for this, which are covered in the slide deck below. Essentially, there may be some cases where it almost makes more sense to rewrite some legacy files, rather than to attempt to fine tune them.

You may view Val Swisher’s slides by clicking on the link below:

Expecting a datasource

It Starts with the Source – Source English Terminology in a Multi-Channel, Global World from Val Swisher

Multichannel Output of Structured Documents – Producing Rich Media Output from your DITA/XML

Matt Sullivan, a longtime certified Adobe trainer and expert, used Adobe Tech Comm Suite as a dynamic “black board” to illustrate the possibilities outlined in this topic. He delivered a stunning proof of concept demonstration that was educational, rather than salesy.

You may find Matt’s slides in by clicking on the link below:

Expecting a datasource

Lava con 2013 adobe day multichannel output of struct docs and rich media output from dita and xml from Matt Sullivan

Panel Discussion on the Future of TechComm

Scott Abel acted as Quiz master and MC for the final portion of the event, posing a series of his own questions and also taking questions from the audience for our panel of experts. Pictured below, the panelists were (from left to right):

ADay panel

In Conclusion

Full house Matt
A few featured guests were present last year, and it was remarkable how dramatically visions and recommendations have changed in just 12 short months. There are swiftly changing dynamics affecting Technical Communications that go beyond multi-channel publishing to tablets and mobile devices. By the way, Lavacon will return to Portland, Oregon next October. If you live in the area or are able to attend, we strongly recommend that you come. And don’t forget to arrive on Saturday, so you’ll have Sunday morning free for Adobe Day. By the way, in case you didn’t know it, you Sunday afternoon shopping can be very enjoyable; Oregon has no sales tax!