Report from Copenhagen: TCWorld Roadshow with FrameMaker

Friday, June 7 2013 @ 12:43 AM, By Maxwell Hoffmann

WAVY LINEThe end of the first week in the tcworld roadshow found us in the Danish capital Copenhagen. The hotel was conveniently close to the airport but a little further away from the center of this beautiful town. I was staying in a small apartment in the North and on my way to the bus that would take me to the venue I noticed how loose the Danish seem to be even when it comes to drawing the line. Or maybe they were drunk when decorating this place, who knows ? Fact is that most of these wobbly lanes eventually take you right up close and personal with a tree that will not move. It is not the only art to be found in Copenhagen, as the town is full of it and boasts a good number of museums and art festivals.

But of course we were here to do some work, so it was off to the roadshow venue, setting up the Adobe banner and preparing for the talk. The crowd was a little smaller than in Sweden but of high quality when it comes to experience in technical documentation. There was a relatively high number of managers in the room, and this livened up the discussion session in the afternoon. As for usage of editing environments and content management solutions, there was quite a spread, with some companies struggling along without any CMS and others using their own solution. Some companies featured a multinational team of writers while others relied on a single part-time freelancer to get their documentation in shape.

VENUE ROOMThe presentations were all done before in either the Helsinki or Stockholm event, as there is no established Danish technical communication society and the Danish country group of tcworld has been founded quite recently. A lot of potential, though, as some Danish companies, such as Grundfos and Danfoss, are global market leaders in their respective fields. My talk, about making a smooth transition from unstructured to structured to modularized documentation using FrameMaker, was well received as many companies seem to be exactly at this point in their lifetime: unable to move their legacy documentation into the modern world without requiring a lot of resources to do so. The smooth, step-by-step approach to moving materials into a structured repository was a welcome change against the usual sad stories of having to either leave everything behind or investing a lot of time and effort in moving everything into a CMS first, before being able to produce any new output.

The day ended with a good discussion on managerial aspects of technical documentation, and after a beer in the sun in front of the hotel it was time for the tcworld team to go home for their well-deserved weekend. As for me, I am spending the weekend in this town, visiting the famous anarchist community of Christiania tomorrow and enjoying the bustling night life in this city until I get to travel home on Sunday afternoon. There will be more on the roadshow next Monday, after the event in my home country has taken place.

About the guest blogger:

Jang F.M. GraatAfter studying Physics, Psychology and Philosophy, Jang has worked as technical author, consultant and trainer more than 25 years. He has seen many business domains and industries and traveled around the globe many times. He has his own consulting company based in Amsterdam. He is fluent in Dutch, English, German and French and plans to give multi-lingual webinars like this more often in the future.

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