What is Anne Gentle up to?

I finally feel some energy returning after my eye injury about a month ago, although my right eye remains dilated which still means that side is a bit out-of-focus and I don’t like driving at night. I feel like I need to give a status update or some such. So here goes.

Winter Camp

boxartWith luck my eye should be just fine in time for a big event coming up: Winter Camp 09 the first week of March. I’ll be representing and working for FLOSS Manuals at this event, held in Amsterdam. From the description, it will be an amazing week:

Network Cultures Winter Camp will be a mix of presentations and work spaces with an emphasis on getting things done. It will be a four-day program of work spaces and plenary presentations, in which a dozen networks (each of which has 5-15 people) can work on their specific current topics.

The format was inspired by a cardboard box art installation that activates a temporary warehouse of contemporary knowledge from what I can gather from a translation of the page, Re-fitting ideas. Come on, that’s incredible. I am so thrilled to be a part of it. And I know it’s going to be a week of hard work.

Preschool website completed, using WordPress 2.7

We’ve also finished the preschool website I mentioned in my interview with Michael Silverman of Duo Consulting. We used WordPress hosted at Midas Networks. I recorded some screencasts with Jing to show other parent volunteers how to edit content and work with images. All the photos on the site were taken by parents so it’s quite the “do-it-yourself” website. I am hoping that WordPress 2.7 will be easy enough for even those in our volunteer and staff group who are not technically savvy but still give us the growth towards more content creators that we have in our goals for the site.

FLOSS Manuals and OLPC

We’ve sold over 200 copies of the OLPC Laptop Users Guide on Lulu.com, and Adam Hyde gave a copy of one of FLOSS Manuals’ books to Bob Young, the CEO of Lulu, while they were at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference. Impressive. I still plan to make the Sugar Users Guide better. Adam Hyde and I are working on a book about how to run a Book Sprint in FLOSS Manuals, naturally, and we would welcome additional contributors.

DITA and Web 2.0

I’ve been approached to help put a public face on standards for DITA and Web 2.0 projects such as DITA for wikis (an example is Lisa Dyer’s DITA2Wiki project on SourceForge) and DITA for blogs (another example is DITA to WordPress or DITA and microformats).

STC Intercom Editorial Advisory Panel

I’ve been pretty impressed with the STC Intercom issues in 2009 so far, but I wrote one of the articles so perhaps my judgement would be playing favorites. I would like to gather feedback from STC members and non-members who read the articles – how’s the content grabbing you this year?

Author-it 5.2

It looks as though 5.2 is the version of Author-it that will allow us to upgrade from 4.5. Our content just wouldn’t publish adequately (Word or HTML) on 5.0 or 5.1, but now that 5.2 is released, fingers crossed, we’ll be moving to 5.2 soon. I should write a blog post about some of our testing on our 20,000+ object database. I’m getting used to the Ribbon Bar as I continue to work in Word 2007, and Author-it’s 5.x interface feels a lot like Word 2007.

Writing a book, do tell me what you want to know

Last but certainly not least, I’m working with a professional editor to try to finalize my book about documentation as conversation that examines the power of social media for writing projects. It walks through the myriad of possibilities of different types of social media tools and analyzes how writers and communities are using these tools for technical documentation. Look for it this spring!

One comment

  • February 23, 2009 - 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi Anne, I’ve had my head buried under mounds of digital paperwork myself, so I haven’t been keeping tabs on you as much as I used to. Take care of those eyes. I haven’t injured myself, but they did feel like they were bulging out of my head until I invested in a larger monitor. I just need to learn to take breaks.

    Keep on writing!


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