I saw Santa in the mall this weekend. The line was long, but I THOUGHT about it. I know I’m too old. I know he would NOT appreciate me on his lap. I get all that.
But I WANT stuff.
I want Technical Documentation stuff. Not products, mind you:
I want FUNCTIONALITY!
I know the shopping mall Santa can’t give me the cutting edge, cloud-based social media savvy Technical Writing features I crave. So I dreamed up a Santa who could. A Santa who would let me climb up and give him a blue sky list of what today’s Information Developer’s need to compete with the torrent of up-to-the-minute content flowing through the social web.
In my dream, I scampered on to the giant lap of TechComm Santa and asked for not one but TEN (10) things. So, for your dreaming pleasure, here is my TechComm Top 10 Christmas List:
- I want 100% cloud-based authoring that works with all browsers. It should have an easy (web form?) way to let me know what structure I can (and can’t) use and it should write the needed markup (DITA XML, etc) in the background while I type. It shouldn’t query a database with every key stroke, forcing super slow round-tripping. It needs to be as fast and easy as the WordPress blogging tools.
- I want 100% cloud-based technical review workflow, connected to the browser authoring tool, that can be used from anywhere the internet is available. I want reviewers to be able to comment, suggest edits and deletions right in their browser.
- I want 100% cloud-based translation management, where a machine translation pass can output a queue of content chunks for l10n review to a translator in any country.
- I want 100% cloud-based XSL rendering, with the ability to add outputs of all types (ePub, iPad, iPhone, HTML 5, PDF – you name it) and schedule the frequency.
- I want the published output to be available to customers who are seeking self-service technical support, and thus, be SEO optimized.
- I want each topic to have a flat, discreet URL so that Tech Support staff can tweet the URL when a Twitter inquiry comes in from a customer.
- I want customers to be able to comment on or suggest edits to each topic so that the effectiveness of the content improves over time.
- I want the generated content to have social sharing capabilities, such that the author (or ANY reader) can publish it to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Digg (you name it) to share it with their social graph.
- I want robust metrics on each piece of content, showing me who accessed it, when, from where, and on what device and, if they tell us, how effective they found it to be.
- I want iPhone, Droid and iPad apps that provide access to ALL of this functionality, so I can edit and republish in real-time, on the fly, as new information comes in.
So there you have it: My 2010 Technical Writer’s Top 10 Christmas List.
Did I ask too much? Can I ask for MORE? Can I ask YOU just TWO questions?
- Which of these 10 do YOU want most?
- What ELSE is on your TechComm Christmas List?