Archive for October, 2009

Interview with TweetDeck Founder

Adobe Platform Evangelist Andrew Shorten talks to Iain Dodsworth, founder of TweetDeck, about his experiences of developing this high-profile AIR application and how using Adobe technology contributed to TweetDeck’s success.  

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Great interview!

For the same reasons Iain and his team chose Adobe AIR as the platform for developing and deploying TweetDeck to their millions of customers, our RoboHelp team is betting on Adobe AIR Help as the next generation of User Assistance (i.e. Online Help).

With the launch of Adobe Technical Communication Suite 2, which includes RoboHelp 8, the ability to generate Help based on Adobe AIR, as well as the included Help systems in TCS2, which are entirely based on Adobe AIR, have been one of the highlights of this release and we are happy to see customers excited about the potential of this platform.

If you are new to our story around Online Help based on Adobe AIR, here are some resources to help you learn more:


A running list of Twitter Best Practices

In preparation for my upcoming eSeminar entitled Twitter 101 for Technical Communicators I’m starting a running list of Twitter Best Practices that have worked for me and that I hope will work for you, too. I will continue adding to this list, so please consider following me on Twitter @rjacquez for new updates to this list.  

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  1. Choose your Twitter username wisely

Simply put, the shorter the username, the better. If you haven’t signed up for a Twitter account just head over to and click “Sign up now.” One of the most important decisions you will make is selecting a username, which will be your very own unique ID on Twitter. In doing so, consider the fact that a Tweet is limited to only 140 characters, so every letter counts. This becomes even more important when someone ReTweets (RT) your Tweets, which will include your original tweet plus your Twitter username, plus RT. Again the shorter your username, the better.

If you already have a Twitter account and want to change your username to a shorter version, just head over to your Twitter account, and in the Account tab, you can change it.  I recently changed my Spanish account from rjacquezEspanol to rjacquezES and it’s already working better for this account.

  1. Upload a Picture of yourself

Nothing says Newbie or Spammer like using the default Twitter picture one gets after signing up for an account. Twitter is about having great conversations and it’s nice to see a picture of the person with whom you are conversing. I highly recommend you upload a picture of yourself, rather than a cartoon or another picture of something other than you, your followers will appreciate it.

  1. Add a More info URL to your profile

This is an important piece of your profile and I recommend that you make this your blog. If you don’t have one, I suggest you join the
blogosphere by starting your own blog.  Your Blog and your Twitter account will go hand in hand because Twitter provides an easy way to add links to your blog posts.

  1. Add a One Line Bio

This is limited to 160 characters, but it’s just as important as uploading a picture of yourself and a URL to your profile, because most people will decided whether to follow you or not based on your Bio.

  1. Add a Background image

Consider your Twitter page your very own personal website and just as a website has a look-and-feel, so should your Twitter page. While Twitter does provide a Design section where you can pick a background image and colors, I recommend that you spend time creating a custom background, which showcases what you are into and what you tweet about. I designed my own Twitter background using a free Photoshop template I downloaded from Rames Studios’ page. There are plenty of free Twitter backgrounds out there, including those from are easy to apply to your own page.

  1. Don’t Protect your Tweets

Social Networking sites like Twitter are about sharing, discovering, learning and having great conversations, and thus protecting your Tweets completely defeats the purpose of everything Twitter stands for.

  1. Don’t auto-DM your new Followers

Perhaps this has happened to you, too, you find someone interesting to follow and as soon as you do, you get an unsolicited Direct Message (DM) from the user, with a link to join a group or download something, or worse yet promoting a money-making idea. What a turn off and likely the number one reason to get unfollowed immediately. In my opinion, if your actions on Twitter are respectful and professional and your Tweets bring value to your followers, they will go out of their way to learn more about your products and services.

  1. Always add context when Tweeting URL links

Lately I’ve seen too many tweets containing only a hyperlink, which makes me a bit suspicious and I rarely click the link, and when I see a consistent pattern, I usually unfollow the Twitterer. I feel that it’s common sense (and common courtesy) to explain what you are Tweeting about and what the link you are posting is all about.

Here’s a tip for TweetDeck users: in the Settings dialog box, you can enable “Show preview information for short URLs,” which will do just that before you choose to visit the link.

  1. Make your Tweets ReTweet-friendly

When someone ReTweets your Tweets, they are helping you spread the word by sharing your tweet with their own followers, so the least we can do is to make it easy on the people who are ReTweeting for you. One way of doing this, as suggested in the comment below by
Matthew Bibby, is to make sure you leave plenty of room (perhaps as much as 20 characters) in the original Tweet.

  1. Don’t just Tweet during product launches

I recently Tweeted this and it resonated well with active Twitterers. I see many brands become active on Twitter the week before a product launch in hopes of leveraging the platform for spreading the word. However because they haven’t Tweeted in a while, unfortunately most people have stopped following them by then. Like anything else in life, the key to success on Twitter is consistency! Btw, this can easily apply to conference organizers!

  1. Don’t auto-Tweet DMs

I don’t even know how this is possible, or what services people use to accomplish this, but I’ve seen it done. I think people do this to expose annoying Direct Messages they get from people they are following, but perhaps a better approach would be to unfollow these Tweeps. Remember DMs are messages directly sent to you and thus you should not make them public.  Also remember, the only way someone can send you a Direct Message is if you are following them.

  1. Don’t use to Tweet, use a Desktop Aapp

I was really surprised to read that most people still use to update their status on Twitter and I’m hoping over time more Twitterers discover that using a desktop client provides a much better Twitter experience. To get the most out of Twitter, you should consider using a desktop Twitter client application. My recommendation is TweetDeck, but there are many options out there and has a great list HERE.

  1. More best practices to come…


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10 Reasons To Attend Adobe Learning Summit 09

Our entire Adobe eLearning team is very much looking forward to this year’s Adobe Learning Summit 09 and I wanted to share with you why we are so excited, and my personal 10 reasons why you should consider joining us on November 9th in San Jose, CA.  

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  1. Shantanu Narayen, Adobe’s CEO, will open the conference

This year, we are delighted to have Shantanu welcome attendees to our conference and provide the opening comments and in general, set the tone for the day. Among other things, Shantanu will speak about Adobe’s commitment to the field of eLearning.

  1. Clay Shirky will deliver the Keynote

We are fortunate to have Clay Shirkly, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, especially because of the impact Social Media and Informal Learning is having on eLearning today.

  1. Learn Best Practices from top eLearning Customers

    We have a “Best Practices” track where the following customers will share eLearning best practices and lessons learned: Xerox, Rexi Media, Franklin Covey, Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, Thomson Reuters, Constellation Wines, Brookwood

  2. Be the first to see a sneak peek of Adobe Captivate for MAC

I will personally be delivering a sneak peek session at the conference, where I will showcase our development progress of Adobe Captivate for MAC. Furthermore, I will also be showing an eLearning project we are working on, which has to do with offline eLearning and it’s based on Adobe AIR.

  1. Meet the fine people at Adobe who work on your favorite software

Throughout the conference, you will have the opportunity to meet Adobe employees who work specifically on the Adobe eLearning Suite, Captivate, Acrobat and Acrobat Connect Pro. Furthermore, during the closing general session, attendees will have an opportunity to pose their questions to the Adobe experts. This is an opportunity to hear about new technologies and get a better understanding about learning innovation in virtual classrooms, interactive content, simulations and games.

  1. Network with other eLearning Professionals

This is your opportunity to meet and network with other eLearning Professionals who use the same eLearning toolbox that you do, and who are likely thinking about the same things you are, Social Media, Informal Learning, Virtual Classrooms, Rapid eLearning, Twitter, Mobile Learning, etc.  Speaking of Twitter, if you haven’t done so, please consider signing up and be ready to tweet your view of the conference by using the #als09 hashtag.

  1. Adobe Captivate Beginner and Advanced sessions

Regardless of your level of expertise with Adobe Captivate, there are plenty of session to take your knowledge to the next level.

  1. Learn more about the Adobe eLearning Suite

This conference is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the benefits of the Adobe eLearning Suite and how all the tools in the Suite are well-integrated and provide
everything you need to create rich eLearning experiences.

  1. Learn about Connect Pro as a Learning Management System and as a Virtual Classroom Solution

Both Peter Ryce and
Randah McKinnie, from the Adobe Connect Pro team, will be on hand at the conference and will also deliver presentations on why Acrobat Connect Pro Training is a great LMS solution and Tips and Tricks for delivering Virtual classrooms respectively.

  1. Check out what participants have to say about last year’s Adobe Learning Summit

Last year’s conference was a smashing success. Check out what participant’s said about last year’s conference.  Click HERE and the video at the top of the page will begin playing automatically.

  1. Adobe Learning Summit 09 is co-located with DevLearn 09

I know I said 10 reasons, but here’s an extra one. This year’s ALS conference takes place on November 9th and is co-located with DevLearn 09, which begins the very next day, 09/10, so if you are going to DevLearn, please consider also attending the Adobe Learning Summit.

Hope to see you there!


eSeminar: Twitter 101 for Technical Communicators

I just read and tweeted How Dell took social media mainstream and there was one thing in particular which stood out to me, namely “On Twitter, word spreads like wildfire, and companies no longer have the option of ignoring the conversation.”  

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Think about it, at this very moment you customers are having conversations about your products and your brand whether you choose to participate or not. I’m happy to say that I, along with many other Adobe colleagues are fully engaged in these conversations with our customers and I highly recommend that you do, too.

I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that thanks to Social Media, we are experiencing a fundamental shift in the way we discover, share and consume information. This was the topic of my closing presentation at this year’s Technical Communication UK conference.

Today, we are witnessing an explosion of information and it’s estimated that
new technical information is doubling every 18 months with much of this content being user-generated.

I see a tremendous opportunity here, where Technical Communicators can become Technical Information facilitators. After all, as I often say, no one knows your company’s technical information better than you do.

More specifically, from all the Social Networking platforms, I see Twitter as the perfect solution Technical Communicators should embrace.

To get you started, I’m hosting a Twitter 101 session for Technical Communicators, where I will share from personal experience how you can become the go-to person for your customers looking for technical information about your products and services.

Click HERE for more information and to Register.

Follow me on Twitter @rjacquez


Recording: Benefits of Adobe eLearning Suite for Captivate users

In preparation for my eSeminar on the Benefits of Adobe eLearning Suite for Adobe Captivate users, I decided to leverage the “wisdom of the crowds” so I sent out this tweet to my followers:

I received quite a few ReTweets and many great replies from Captivate users, who have already embraced the entire Suite. Here are a few that I received and that I used throughout my presentation:

@rjacquez I got ELS because it was a complete package, I could design & edit my courses and each component start to finish in house.8:30 PM Sep 28th from web

@rjacquez CourseBuilder extension and SCORM Packager2:28 PM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez


@rjacquez I develop corp and ed courses and the complete back and forth functionality was a huge key. + asset creation with ps9:49 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez integration is money for me. when i must use other software on a job i notice my productivity dip. best product I own.10:33 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez … limitless possibilities, easy to find people with appropriate skills, constant improvement, great engineering team.11:17 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez @stevehoward999 I can only repeat and support Steve Howard’s comments on eLearning Suite11:28 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck

@rjacquez Reasons for ELS: Got everything I need in 1 bundle/license & Price12:12 PM Sep 29th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez 1) Captivate won in our assessment of tools. 2) Got the whole suite because of how much more powerful Cp becomes with other pckgs11:32 AM Sep 28th from TweetDeck in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez I am buying ELS today!! I’ve been using Captivate for a while, and just need the rest of the suite to make it even better!3:44 PM Sep 29th from web in reply to rjacquez

@rjacquez its so easy to use! you dont need a licsence to view the output…1:27 PM Sep 28th from web in reply to rjacquez

I can’t thank these Tweeps enough for taking the time to reply, and for sharing their top benefits of the eLearning Suite from their Captivate perspective. I highly recommend that you follow them on Twitter as they always share great eLearning insight. To do so, click on their pictures above to go to their respective Twitter pages.

Finally, if you couldn’t make the live eSeminar, the recording is now available.

Click HERE to watch the Benefits of Adobe eLearning Suite for Adobe Captivate users

If you have your own list of benefits, I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment, or send me a tweet @rjacquez.