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atw0601

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Published on October 1, 2007

Author: Haralda

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Advanced Technical Writing 2006:  Advanced Technical Writing 2006 Session #1 Welcome to the Class!:  Welcome to the Class! Notes, news, etc. available at http://www.msu.edu/~hartdav2/atw.html Readings in PDF available on ANGEL Contact Info:  Contact Info Office: Suite 7 Olds Hall (TR 1-3 pm) Phone: 353-9184 AIM: billhd30 Bill Hart-Davidson *hartdav2@msu.edu* And you are…? Textbooks, etc.:  Textbooks, etc. 1. Rockley, Ann. 2003. Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy. Indianapolis: New Riders. 2. Bazerman, Charles & Paul Prior. (2004) What Writing Does and How It Does It. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum 3. Readings in PDF from the course ANGEL site Albers, Michael & Beth Mazur. 2002. Content & Complexity: The Role of Content in Information Design. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Optional What is Web Content?:  What is Web Content? Content is the combination of information and interactions that comprise the user experience. Content is synonomous with value on the web, comprising what users see and interact with. Which of these qualify as content?:  Which of these qualify as content? A news item on the CNN website A movie trailer in Quicktime A recipe search tool on Epicurious A flash version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on the ABC site A threaded discussion about Tech Support for Red Hat Linux A ‘blog’s syndicated RSS feed Qualities of web content:  Qualities of web content Web content is dynamic Web content is linked & distributed Web content is customized Web content is granular Web content is interactive When I say “is,” I allude to users’ expectations Web Content is Dynamic:  Web Content is Dynamic What we see on the web, we expect to change soon…or to have changed recently. We talk of “stale” or “stagnant” pages. Pages the don’t recognize us, or recognize what day it is are less easy to trust as sources of information. Note how different this is from the medium of print. Web Content is Linked & Distributed:  Web Content is Linked & Distributed Users experience content in a localized way when it shows up on their screens. But we know that it may reside on servers that are remote and widely dispersed. The ability to link content with other content means that, often, the information IS the interface! Web Content is Customized:  Web Content is Customized As “the primary location of value” of a website, the content that is most prized is content that the user experiences as tailored to their individual needs. This creates an interesting dilemma: when should we customize to the point of personalization? Is there a point where delivering value by personalizing yields diminishing returns? Web Content is Granular, 1:  Web Content is Granular, 1 Web content is far less likely to stay neatly tucked into the boundaries we associate with traditional print genres. As we develop better ways to attach meta-data to content, we increase its granularity. Familiar units from the print world like the page or the paragraph, give way to new ones… Web Content is Granular, 2:  Web Content is Granular, 2 “Granularizing” content simply means identifying and placing boundaries around smaller and smaller chunks of information so it can be referenced, styled, and re-used. Can you think of a situation where we’d want word or character level granularity? Web Content is Interactive:  Web Content is Interactive If we truly accept the idea that content comprises both interactions and information, then web “content” can conceivably take the place of applications as we know them. Let’s have a look at Ebay, for example… The Changing Role of Technical Communication:  The Changing Role of Technical Communication Old school technical communicators operated with a clear mandate defined by the difference between the product and information about the product. The web effectively erases this distinction. Developer roles merge as what used to be clear distinctions among job responsibilities become more difficult to make. The Changing Role of Technical Communication, 2:  The Changing Role of Technical Communication, 2 This class aims to explore the new responsibilities information developers, technical communicators, HCI or UCD specialists…and a host of other titles…can expect to have. Call it Tech Comm 2.0, or maybe Tech Comm XP… How will you fit in?:  How will you fit in? How many of you envision a career in which you will be somehow responsible for web site content? How do you see the tasks of managing information, interaction, and value as interrelated? ATW Mission…:  ATW Mission… To add to the working definition and list of characteristics presented here To deepen our understanding of content production/management To further define the role of the content developer in the context of TC To think about these things but also to actively experiment and try out techniques – reflection-in-action About ATW Projects…:  About ATW Projects… Typical practices a content person uses Know available technologies and know the issues likely to affect your organization and its information assets Analyze an organization’s overall content strategy; implement this strategy via content modeling Help those around you to better develop and manage content Turning Your Projects in…:  Turning Your Projects in… Set up a personal project page. A website where you’ll post your projects, big and small. A template is provided on the class web site. Go grab it now. Web Space?:  Web Space? You have access to an account provided by MSU– your AFS Space. http://www.msu.edu/~your_msunet_id To put stuff there, FTP to ftp.msu.edu and store files in the directory called public_html; Or, in a networked lab, map the drive and navigate to your public_html directory Did that last bit of jargon confuse you? For next time…:  For next time… Post your project page in your AFS space. You can use the template provided, modify it, or replace it if you like. We’ll troubleshoot and calm fears today and next time… Project 1: Web Technology & Issue Profiles:  Project 1: Web Technology & Issue Profiles For the first project, we’ll be building an online web-based magazine, of sorts, for which each of you will contribute content. Your job will be to develop a 1000 wd. article on a web content technology or issue that impacts the world of Technical Communication. Project 1, Continued:  Project 1, Continued If you are taking this course for undergraduate credit If you are taking this course for graduate credit You should do a technology-based issue article: “how does PHP support dynamic content?” You should do a research-based issue article: “personalizing content: is it worth the threat to privacy?” Project 1, continued:  Project 1, continued In addition to learning about the topic of each article, we’ll learn other valuable things: We’ll explore the complexities of managing multiple content-providers, including managing format & content consistency You’ll learn to use Cascading Style Sheets to assist in this process Project 1, Requirements:  Project 1, Requirements 1000 words is the length we are shooting for; articles should be prepared for an audience of your peers You must submit a copyright free image to go along with your copy; You must submit in HTML, adhering to a template and linked style sheet that we will build, together, over the next few class sessions Next Time…:  Next Time… We’ll talk more about P1; think about a topic Get your project page up Order textbooks Review syllabus and schedule Read articles by Applen, Geisler et. al., & Crowley (all are PDFs you can get from ANGEL)

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