Archive for September, 2008

PC Talk Radio interviews RJ Jacquez: A Captivating approach to eLearning

Last week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Rich Levin from PC Talk Radio and I was grateful for the opportunity to share with his listeners what Adobe Captivate is all about, how it goes beyond a screen recording tool, and how it integrates with our other eLearning solutions and products, such as Connect Pro, Presenter, Flash, Dreamweaver and Acrobat.  We also talked about what Acrobat 9 means now that
it has the Flash runtime built-in and why we are so excited as a company about AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime).

Here’s how Rich describes the interview and a link to the Podcast:

When Adobe asked me if I’d like to take a look at their new 3.0 version of Captivate, I assumed I’d be testing a tool that captures screen output and saves it as a Flash video. That’s because, when I glanced at Adobe’s Web page for Captivate, I saw it described as a tool for “screen recording and demos” and “presentations.” It turns out Adobe Captivate 3 is that, and a lot more. While you can use it to create screen videos and demos, you can also use it to create simulations, interactive computer-based training sessions, tests and quizzes, and more — without having to learn scripting or video editing skills. I spoke to R.J. Jacquez, Senior Product Evangelist at Adobe Systems, about this new Captivate release, as well as how Captivate works with Adobe’s other e-learning solutions (such FrameMaker, RoboHelp, and Acrobat, Presenter, and more). If you only think of PDFs or Flash when you think of Adobe, you’ll enjoy this expansive interview with Jacquez, which explores reasons for using an e-learning platform over traditional video capture for training and demos. We also touch on the broader Adobe story, e-learning in general, and the mythology of competing against Microsoft and Apple.

A Captivating Approach to E-Learning
Thursday, September 18, 2008 5:00 PM


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STC Chapter goes Virtual and makes a Green difference

At Adobe, we have a strong commitment to the environment and we actively implement measures to increase efficiency, conserve energy and water, improve air quality, and reduce waste.  From our office buildings to our product packaging, we continue to reduce our environmental impact.

This is why when I was asked to speak at the first-ever virtual meeting for the Society for Technical Communication Canada West Coast chapter; I was not only thrilled but also excited about making a “green” difference.

Since travel is typically the biggest greenhouse gas contributor (GHG), web and video conferencing are the best way for all of us to reduce our CO2 footprint by cutting down on travel.

Since the chapter wanted to broadcast a live video feed of Karen Rempel, chapter president, as well as a Podcast of the past president, Theresa Putkey, and a pre-recorded video of Rahel Bailie, who was in London at the time, we wanted to make sure we did a dry-run before the live event in an effort to make sure we had all the layouts and pods in place in our Web Conferencing tool, Adobe Connect Pro.

For more information on what it took to setup and prepare for the meeting, the chapter volunteers wrote a great description here.

I’m happy to report that the meeting went really well and while I can’t share the entire recording of the meeting, I have assembled a highlight reel in a PDF portfolio, since this was one of the topics I discussed during my presentation (what’s new in Tech Comm Suite 1.3). 

To view the PDF Portfolio, you will need to have the free Reader 9 software and once you have it, you can right-click here to download the PDFPortfolio.

To learn more about the virtual experience, check out Tony Chung’s blog.

I hope more STC and ASTD chapters embrace this idea of going virtual, not only because virtual meetings work but also because this is a good way for all of us to make a contribution toward solving the climate change crisis.


Embracing the Video Revolution in Technical Communication

In planning the launch of the Technical Communication Suite last year, we really had no idea the impact our tools were going to have in today’s Web 2.0 and eLearning 2.0 world, where consumer experiences have become richer than ever with access to dynamic and interactive information and it’s unlikely people will ever be satisfied with anything else and that includes technical information and learning experiences.

Since then, I have delivered presentation after presentations on the Suite, and every time I do, I learn something new about how our customers are using FrameMaker, RoboHelp, Captivate and Acrobat 9 Pro Extended together, and sometimes I am even lucky enough to have viewers like Rene Stephenson from Hitachi, who after seeing first hand what’s possible when you integrate 3D models, video, software demos and interactive simulations into technical and training documents wrote the following:

“I must say, you have inspired me to think about the future of what we can give our customers in the way of truly useful advanced technical content, as training materials, documentation, and online help. The 3D graphics and movie support have me hooked!”

Inspired myself by all of this, I have given two presentations already on the topic of “Embracing the Video Revolution,” one at Doctrain West and also at the 2008 STC Conference and both times, the topic resonated quite well with attendees.

I’m a big fan of using statistics in my presentations and none is more irresistible than ComScore, Inc. – a Global Internet Information Provider reporting that in the month of July ’08 alone, Americans viewed more than 11.4 Billion videos online for a total of 558 Million hours.  YouTube alone accounted for 5 Billion videos and it’s also worth pointing out that YouTube relies entirely on our Adobe Flash Video technology to deliver video, as does MySpaceTV, Google Video, Yahoo Video and others like 

Incidentally, if you want to see Adobe’s broadcast video technologies in action, check out Adobe TV, which is a free online video resource for expert instruction and inspiration about our Creative products, and hopefully soon we can add a channel for our TCS and eLearning products, too.

Clearly, we live in a highly visual world and I strongly believe that we need to exploit any opportunity we get as technical communicators and eLearning professionals to begin saying it visually!

Too see just how our Technical Communication Suite is enabling this video revolution, check out this recording I just finished on what’s new in the Technical Communication Suite version 1.3.

How are YOU building richer and more engaging technical and instructional documents?  Leave a comment below and tell us your story!