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Web 20 For Technical Communicators

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Web 20 For Technical Communicators

  1. 1. Web 2.0 for Technical Communicators Presented by / Bogo Vatovec Change Management / Knowledge Engineering / User Experience / Interaction Design / Process Engineering
  2. 2. <ul><ul><li>What is Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key principles of Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enabling tools and technologies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Main business models </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 for corporate communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usage scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate strategies and concerns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 for user assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usage scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quality and ownership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role of a technical communicator </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul></ul>Agenda
  3. 3. <ul><ul><li>What is Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key principles of Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enabling tools and technologies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Main business models </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 for corporate communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usage scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate strategies and concerns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 for user assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usage scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quality and ownership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role of a technical communicator </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul></ul>Agenda
  4. 4. What is Web 2.0? <ul><li>Wikipedia: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 refers to a perceived second generation of web-based communities and services — such as social-networking sites and wikis— which aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 refers to the transition of websites from isolated information silos to interlinked computing platforms that act like software to the user. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. What is Web 2.0? Web brought services to customers <ul><li>Power to the users. Suddenly we could </li></ul><ul><ul><li>find travel information and book own travel. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>research medical conditions and treatments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>analyze financial markets and trade. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>get up-to-date information on almost any topic. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This resulted in a shift to self-service in many industries. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally reduces costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empowered IT-departments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In most cases, companies still maintained ownership and responsibility over content </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What is Web 2.0? Users get control <ul><li>Provides users the possibility to create content and experiences: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pursue social goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share content </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The previously well defined website borders are non-existent, content is shared. </li></ul><ul><li>User experience changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From limited, company centered, individual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To rich, user centric, social experience </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What is Web 2.0? How to recognize a Web 2.0 product? <ul><li>From Wikipedia: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Network as platform — delivering (and allowing users to use) applications entirely through a browser. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users owning the data on a site and exercising control over that data. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An architecture of participation that encourages users to add value to the application as they use it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>sharp contrast to hierarchical access-control in applications. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A rich, interactive, user-friendly interface based on Ajax or similar frameworks. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some social-networking aspects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combines and integrates services and content from other products. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What is Web 2.0? What is triggering this change? <ul><li>Soft goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Human social nature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical mass of internet users reached long time ago </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical added value perceived by all users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enabled by simple yet powerful technologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS (Really Simple Syndication) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web services </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What is Web 2.0? Blogs <ul><ul><li>Simple content publishing/management systems. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs display content in a reversed chronological order – newest first. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kept to keep and publish diaries, thoughts on various subjects. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new blog is added every two seconds. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In September, the blog search engine Technnorati was tracking more that 107Milion blogs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogging has become a mass phenomena and a topic of much research. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What is Web 2.0? Wikis <ul><ul><li>A wiki is computer software that allows users to easily create, edit and link web pages. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikis are mostly used to create collaborative websites. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasingly used by businesses to provide affordable and effective intranets. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There are several variations of Wikis like PBwiki, Triki, Bliki, Interwiki with specialized functions. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. What is Web 2.0? RSS <ul><ul><li>A content syndication standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An XML standard provides structure and semantics to the content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows for publishing and subscription to specific information (channel) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content is both human and machine readable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The content can be reused in different ways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is delivered to the users when and how they wanted. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. What is Web 2.0? Podcasts <ul><li>A podcast is a digital media file or related files, which is distributed using syndication feeds (RSS). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be delivered to various devices. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can contain voice or/and pictures. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be used as an alternative communication channel in all industries. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical writing podcast: http:// techwritervoices.com / </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. What is Web 2.0? Web 2.0 Business Models <ul><ul><li>Currently there are not many original business models built around Web 2.0. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For most companies, Web 2.0 offers extensions and new possibilities to expand the existing business models. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Crowdsourcing (Wisdom of the crowds) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User content sharing and creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social-network communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommendations and reviews </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. What is Web 2.0? Crowdsourcing <ul><li>Crowdsourcing stands for the act of taking a job traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call. (Wikipedia) </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived benefits of crowdsourcing include: </li></ul><ul><li>Problems can be explored at comparatively little cost. </li></ul><ul><li>Payment is by results. </li></ul><ul><li>The organization can tap a wider range of talent than might be present in its own organization. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><ul><li>What is Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key principles of Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enabling tools and technologies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Main business models </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 for corporate communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usage scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate strategies and concerns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 for user assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usage scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quality and ownership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role of a technical communicator </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul></ul>Agenda
  16. 16. Web 2.0 for Corporate communication Usage scenarios <ul><li>For this presentation, I understand corporate communication as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication about the company to the outside world. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication about the company to the employees. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Products oriented marketing communication to the outside world. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One way communication towards the employees. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Although involvement of external and internal users is possible, this is not the main focus of corporate communication. </li></ul><ul><li>What is mostly used: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS-Feeds </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Web 2.0 for Corporate communication Methods and tools used <ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A blog by the SUN CEO and Siemens CEOs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts by companies like Coca-Cola, Audi, IBM. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A non-corporate content format transmits a less corporate message. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy and cost effective to set up and manage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The message look more modern and hip. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High potential for viral marketing. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A real „blog“ is in this scenario actually not possible. At the end, it is a corporate message. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When user comments allowed, content monitoring necessary. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog structure (mostly time-stamp based) not really applicable for all kind of communication. </li></ul></ul>Leaderbook Ceo-Bible Blopaganda
  18. 18. Web 2.0 for Corporate communication Users involvement and crowdsourcing <ul><li>Marketing and product design can use Web 2.0 to effectively trigger user participation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to generate new ideas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to provide feedback on the product or marketing campaigns. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to let users create products on their own. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to solve some complex issues. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GoldCorp </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cambrian House http:// www.cambrianhouse.com / </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dell IdeaStorm http:// www.ideastorm.com / </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proctor&Gamble InnoCentive http:// www.innocentive.com / </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amazon Mechanical Turk http:// www.mturk.com </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Web 2.0 for Corporate communication But involving users doesn‘t always give desired results <ul><li>Users raise issues, concerns and negative opinions about the company/product. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DellHell http:// www.buzzmachine.com/archives/cat_dell.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jamba </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chevy Tahoe collaborative marketing http://www.news.com/1606-2_3-6056633.html?tag= ne.vid </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><ul><li>What is Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key principles of Web 2.0 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Enabling tools and technologies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Main business models </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 for corporate communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usage scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate strategies and concerns </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 for user assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usage scenarios </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quality and ownership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Role of a technical communicator </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul></ul></ul>Agenda
  21. 21. Web 2.0 for User Assistance Usage scenarios <ul><li>For this presentation, I understand user assistance as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support to external users of the product. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support to internal users of the product. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support to internal employees. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The first two are typically seen as user assistance, the third more as knowledge management. </li></ul><ul><li>User assistance on Web 2.0 is completely different to what technical communicators have been doing: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditionally, a technical communicator provides user assistance materials to the user who uses them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Web 2.0, the users create own support materials and help each other. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Web 2.0 for User Assistance Usage scenarios <ul><li>Provide users with an environment to help each other </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social communities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide users with the infos about the updates, product demos, tips&tricks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS-Feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Motivate power-users to actively contribute to user assistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forums </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use the abilities of new technologies to improve traditional user assistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Update online help via RSS feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create podcasts to demonstrate certain abilities or show solutions to user problems. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Web 2.0 for User Assistance Examples
  24. 24. Web 2.0 for User Assistance Examples
  25. 25. Web 2.0 for User Assistance A new role of technical communication <ul><li>Traditional technical communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviewer, writer, designer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hidden behind the corporation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introvert – leave me alone so I can write my handbook. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practically no feedback on user assistance. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 technical communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviewer, writer, designer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content provider, expert. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enabler, designer, moderator. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On a front-line – I‘m an expert. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extrovert – this is my opinion and this is how you should do this. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive, short feedback cycles and reaction times. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Web 2.0 for User Assistance How to approach it? <ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 requires participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize a one day workshop where somebody presents the key Web 2.0 concepts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With the team brainstorm the user assistance scenarios related to your products. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure your team is monitoring and participating in the existing user communities about your products. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate questions and answers from the community to your existing user assistance products. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage extrovert individuals from your team to participate in the communities or start own blogs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider establishing a support forum if not existing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work closely with the support and marketing departments to work out an overall support strategy. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Web 2.0 for User Assistance Results from a brainstorming session
  28. 28. Web 2.0 Corporate branding challenges <ul><li>Web experience is a part of the overall brand experience - sometimes the only one the users have. </li></ul><ul><li>How to maintain and control brand experience over many channels. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not all channels are good for everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not all channels should be treated in the same way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The key is to understand how channels are perceived and used by the users </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users’ comments and brand positioning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User created content may not be aligned with the desired corporate image. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User created content damage corporate image. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corrective measures may cause a “censorship” emotional reaction. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Web 2.0 Corporate branding challenges <ul><li>Challenge of intellectual property </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who owns the content in the community? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On a blog of the SUN CEO, who owns the content once her leaves the company? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenge of trust </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to differentiate between the actual corporate message and a somewhat private message (the CEO) and the private message from an employee? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to differentiate the official support by the professional staff in the user assistance community from the non-official? </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Summary <ul><li>Web 2.0 will not replace traditional technical communication, but it is a paradigm shift for the profession. </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 can enrich the work of technical communicators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From am unknown writer to an recognized expert. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From a writer to an enabler, moderator and content manager. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An individual and a community more important then the company. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 brings the user much closer than any other know user research methods. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 demands changes in skills and attitude </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outbound instead of inbound focus – a communicator instead of a writer. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A stand-alone writer becomes a part of the community and needs to stand up. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional technical communication quality (grammar, writing style, …) less important than speed, correctness and contextual relevance of information. </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Summary <ul><li>If we can‘t directly implement all Web 2.0 concepts, we can still largely profit from them: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carefully follow user communities dealing with the subject matter, your product or competitive products. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow innovative thinkers who now mostly publish own blogs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Imagine scenarios about potential use of the new concepts. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think outside the box: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If there is a knowledge management initiative in the organization, lead it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start innovation wiki where ideas can be shared. Initiate a rewarding mechanism. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think about integrating users in your design process. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Thank you! Bogo Vatovec bovacon Boxhagener Str. 111 / 10245 Berlin T +49 30 20078666 / F +49 30 20078661 / office@bovacon.com / www.bovacon.com © bovacon

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