Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionals

Year: 2008 (Page 2 of 36)

Call for Papers Deadline: Gilbane San Francisco 2009

The call for papers deadline for Gilbane San Francisco is January 14th, 2009.

Please see the conference description and topics below, and then follow the instructions and guidelines for submitting proposals at: Send any questions to

The lines between many content technologies continues to blur, as they do for example, between Web publishing and social media. Web content management is not just about web pages in repositories, but is part of an integrated platform for presenting and interacting with customers, partners, employees, and other enterprise applications.

Social media outlets with varying characteristics are now channels that need to be included in content strategies. This does not mean you "manage" the content in the same way, or even at all in some cases, but it does mean you need to consider and understand the content and its flow, whether it is used as a new way to informally communicate, for project collaboration, or for engaging customers. Also the variety of tools you might use say, for improving project collaboration, managing regulated content, building an employee knowledge center, or multi-channel publishing, is quite diverse.

Given this evolution of technologies and products, squeezing topics into arbitrarily defined technology categories becomes, well, a bit arbitrary. So, at Gilbane San Francisco this year we are focusing on four broad areas of enterprise use of Web and content technologies. We’ll still be covering all of the technologies we traditionally cover, but are organizing them in a way that will make it easier for you to pick a customized conference track that meets your specific business objectives. We’ll also provide more guidance on specific business applications. For example, if you are interested in adding multi-lingual capability to your product support infrastructure, we’ll identify each conference session that would be appropriate to that task.

The four tracks are:

  • Web Business & Engagement
  • Managing Collaboration & Social Media: Internal & External
  • Enterprise Content: Searching, Integrating & Publishing
  • Content Infrastructures

In addition to covering "best practices", technology coverage within these four tracks includes:

  • Web Content Management (WCM)
  • Authoring
  • Enterprise & Site Search, Text Analytics
  • Semantic Technologies
  • Social Media & Networking
  • Multilingual Technologies
  • Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
  • Publishing
  • XML

Boston-Area DITA Users Group

Robert D Anderson from IBM, Chief Architect of the DITA Open Toolkit, writes:

This note is to announce that after some time off, the Boston area DITA
Users Group will be starting up again in 2009. To get things started, we
have created a new group Yahoo, so that we will be in sync with and
searchable by users of the many other Yahoo DITA lists. If you are
interested in joining the DITA Boston Users Group, please visit this page
for sign-up info.
We will soon be sending a survey to that list with proposed meeting topics,
so please sign up in order to help us decide what to feature. We will also
be looking for companies willing to host a meeting; if you already know you
are interested in hosting, please join the group and send a note to
ditabug-owner (which will go to me as well as to Liz Augustine and Lee Anne

A Strategic Roadmap for Structured Content

We are wrapping up our project with JustSystems. In total, we created three papers, three companion webinars, and the the interactive ROI blueprint. I will also be producing a podcast shortly with Bruce Sharpe, JustSystem’s Founding Technologist. You can download the papers and view the recorded webinars here (registration required).
A tip of the hat to Gilbane colleagues Geoffrey Bock, Mary Laplante, and Dale Waldt who did most of the work. It was a big project!

Conferences, Twitter and the economy

It was great to find out for sure last week at Gilbane Boston that the economy has not had too much of an impact on the conference business (we even had attendees from a few financial service companies). While I’m sure there were some people who couldn’t make it because of travel or other budget concerns, our Boston conference was larger than our San Francisco conference last June. Of course most of our attendees are in IT, a sector that has not been hit nearly as hard as most others. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal wrote about a Forrester forecast that “Businesses and other organizations in the U.S. will spend $573 billion on computer software, hardware and services next year, just 1.6% more than they spent in 2008, according to new data out Tuesday from Forrester Research Inc.” Clearly, this is not ideal if you sell enterprise software, but really, for a fresh forecast for 2009, this is not bad. In fact, the content technology areas we cover seem to be rolling along pretty well.

I won’t try and write about all the discussions and activity at the conference here, but there was much a-twitter about Twitter. Our audience seemed to be split on its usefulness, but the animated discussions about it did cause a few people to sign up for a Twitter account. Although I joined Twitter when it first launched, when faced with the “What are you doing now?”, my reaction was “Well, this is silly”. So my first tweet was only a few days before last week’s conference. I’m sure there are other good uses of twitter, but so far I think conference activity is one of the best ( It was certainly useful to me as a way to monitor what at least one segment of attendees were thinking and doing, but it also looked like it was a useful way for attendees to share info about different presentations, network, and arrange “tweet-ups”. This is not news to all. There are some downsides however – see Amanda Shiga’s thoughtful blog post on the pros and cons of conference twittering.

DITA for Blogging?

We had a great discussion last week in our session, Using DITA for Enterprise Publishing. One of the themes was about using DITA for business documents; two of the speakers, Michael Boses of Quark/In.Vision and Eric Severson of Flatirons Solutions, are on the DITA Enterprise Business Documents Subcommittee. We didn’t get to talking much about blogs, but then this announcement caught my eye today: DITA for WordPress.

A few days ago I released the DITA-OT and the WordPress plugins that enable me to publish part of the (almost inexistant) DITA-OP documentation on this blog. I am talking about the About, Download and Getting Started pages that appear in the menu up here. The DITA-OT plugin transforms a map into a single file, suitable for publication, and automatically call the xmlrpc API of the blog to publish it. The DITA WordPress plugin adds a css (a slightly modified version of the DITA-OT commonltr.css) to your WordPress theme to properly render the standard domains. You can download both plugins here, they are released under the GPL license.

Ektron Unveils Complete Services Solution at Gilbane Conference

Ektron Inc. announced a complete services solution in support of their Web content management technology, Ektron CMS400.NET, at the fifth annual Gilbane Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Built on Ektron’s comprehensive Web Project Methodology and RAMP strategy (Risk mitigation, Adoptability, Maintainability, Performance), the new portfolio of service offerings is designed to support Ektron customers and ensure success throughout the entire lifecycle of their Web project. Ektron’s services solution includes customizable programs available at every phase, from the early planning and discovery stages through the deployment and implementation of a Web site. Ektron’s Complete Services Solution includes: Consulting and Implementation, Best Practices Services, Hosting, and Training Programs.

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