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Beacon by the Bay: ASI 2017 Annual Conference ~ Portland, Maine ~ June 15-17

May 16, 2017

The American Society for Indexing (ASI) will hold its annual conference in Portland, Maine next month, from June 15-17, 2017. See the “quick click” guide below for details on registration and accommodations.

The conference will take place at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in downtown Portland, in a setting along the shores of Casco Bay, capturing the beauty and culture of the city.

Your “quick click” conference guide:

The ASI 2017 Annual Conference will feature keynote speaker Mary Norris, who worked at The New Yorker as part of the editorial staff, in addition to work as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader. She is the author of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen.

To begin the conference, Sylvia Coates presents a daylong session: Read more…

2016 In Review: Helping Planners with “Public Service Essentials”

December 11, 2016

Part of this last year was spent attending various planning conferences throughout the West, as part of a traveling series on “Public Service Essentials.”

The workshop was originally road-tested at the Peninsula Section of the WA APA conference in Bremerton in the fall of 2015, and at that time it was split into two different sessions. Feedback was positive and helpful in developing the content.

paw-logoI spent the 2015 holidays in content development, and came up with an optional program where content could be contracted into one session. For 2016, that newly-developed workshop first rolled out at the Planning Association of Read more…

My American Community: THW&I sponsors the fight against hunger in Dallas

May 11, 2017

Just recently, near the end of March, I found myself just south of Dallas, Texas.

A Cowboys game, you ask? No, wrong time of year, and I cannot profess to be a fan of “da boyyyz” as a friend once put it….and I wasn’t there for baseball either, as spring training was still in full swing (but I did once catch the Mariners on the road in Arlington against the Rangers many years ago, so the possibility is not a far cry).

Actually, I found myself spending an afternoon at the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB), sponsoring an event with the Dallas-Ft. Worth Community Association Institute (DFWCAI) — as part of an effort that day to help in beating hunger in the community.

This was my first experience of this kind, in terms of Read more…

INDEX vs. SEARCH

April 21, 2016

Here it is….the heavyweight match! I’ve also thrown in the concordance for good measure.

So the story goes….an analysis of various tools reveal potential successes in findability. The more complex the technical documentation, the more accuracy and timing factor into content retrieval events.

table_search-vs-index_v2-2

This pretty much sums it up. More examples will follow soon.

Check it out, it's the Top Hat Indexer's top hat!

Document Usability, Pt. 7: CASE STUDIES

February 22, 2016

This post follows the ongoing discussion on usability solutions for planning, government and business documentation.

Happy 2016! In the last post on usability before the holidays, Usability Pt. 6: INDEXES, we continued our discussion of solutions to enhance and maximize the usability of documentation in government and business.

From an overall standpoint, I believe one of the primary goals in government documentation involves looking at new and innovative ways to improve usability and the user experience, and some of those ways involve adding usability features to the documents.

So, the usability engine keeps on rollin’ into the new year…..and in this 7th installment on CASE STUDIES, we move into the sort of usability feature that has started catching on in the last decade in technical documentation, however I believe its importance is typically overlooked.

Making it real

Case studies break down complex concepts into real-world examples in an effort to Read more…

A Folk Hero and a Conductor: Finally Meeting #10

November 18, 2015

Jim Zorn has been a household name wherever I’ve lived since I was about the age of eight or nine.

For those of you who don’t follow football or the NFL, Zorn was the first quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks franchise, and emerged as such in its first training camp in the summer of 1976….a unique left-handed quarterback with a funny last name….and I can relate, because I happen to also be a lefty with a funny last name.

But I’m not a professional football player, in case you were wondering. I write indexes for technical documents….although I did play lacrosse for a very brief time in college.

Anyhow, those who were following the Hawks at the time knew him as the front end of a dynamic passing combination with wide receiver Steve Largent, and together they formed one of the most formidable passing duos in the latter 70s NFL over a span of four or five years.

I’m going to discuss Zorn’s football days with the team, and then morph things to the more personal side of this story….and finally meeting with this guy and our exchange.

In those fledgling days of the team, “Zorn to Largent” became a Read more…

Document Usability, Pt. 6: INDEXES

October 14, 2015
A portion of the index in the 2013 Master Plan for the East Bay Regional Parks District

A portion of the index for the 2013 Master Plan (East Bay Regional Parks District)

This post follows the ongoing discussion on usability solutions for planning, government and business documentation.

In the last post on usability, Usability Pt. 5: GLOSSARIES, we continued our discussion of solutions to enhance and maximize the usability of documentation in government and business.

From an overall standpoint, I believe one of the primary goals in government documentation involves looking at new and innovative ways to improve usability and the user experience, and some of those ways involve adding usability features to the documents.

Now, in this 6th installment on INDEXES, we move onto the fun part. (and my favorite!)

The power of the index

Most readers are familiar with indexes, but unaware of Read more…

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