Monday, July 12, 2010

There's More to eBooks Than Words

“It’s all about the content.”
This simple, yet insightful, comment by leading publishing consultant, Ann Rockley, during a recent webinar on “Exactly What Not to do When Making the Move from Print Publishing to New Media,” (made me think about the many discussions I’ve had, and the many articles I’ve read, about the so-called digital publishing revolution.

I came to the realization that most of us are missing one vital component of this new opportunity. It seems that no matter how much we talk about the changes in process from print to eBooks, we still aren’t giving enough consideration to ways to add value to the content itself. Even when we create and repurpose content, using either traditional serial, or modern modular approaches, we are still, for the most part, delivering content that is not really taking advantage of the fact that the delivery platform (be it Kindle, iPad, or who knows what in the future) is digital.

For all the talk, we are still mainly focused on delivering text.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Are you an "Awesome Dude"?

I just spotted this message posted by one of my nieces to her FaceBook account the other day:

[name] finally has picture messaging on her Nokia N900 thanks to an awesome dude and his step by step youtube video!!

A seemingly simple message, but one that made me stop and think. I've written, and spoken a lot over the last year of so about the way that the digital generation access and assimilate information (a subject I'll be revisiting at this year's LavaCon), and also held forth on my view that as Technical Communicators we should be embracing and working with new media.

Here is a perfect example of that convergence. Rather than use the manufacturers, instructions, or look for an answer on their web-site, or on-line help, my niece turned to the internet and the wider online community.

Her answer came not from Nokia, but from some "awesome dude" on YouTube.

What are you doing to make sure that you as a technical communicator can be the next "awesome dude"?