The webinar and interview we recorded last week thanks to MindTouch is now available for your listening and viewing pleasure. I had a blast talking to Scott. I thought we might argue a bit on some of the points, but we were in much vehement agreement that day! It’s just over an hour long.
After the webinar, I answered a few questions on Twitter that were interesting and we didn’t get time to discuss during the hour. I liked this one from @bmdesignhki, Asko Kauppi:
How about making LESS documentation, by having customers scrap out the unnecessary parts. Who likes documentation?
My response was:
Love the question about making LESS docs – I think web analytics will let us be ruthless in our deletions!
I am still ruminating on this a bit, though. How can we enable our customers to be ruthless about deleting the documentation on a site? We’ve carefully crafted this content, might even have a strong feeling about it, even (gasp) ownership! A customer won’t have this difficulty letting go of the words, so to speak. But if the analytics say it’s gotta go, it’s gotta go. Nearly all the web analytics work I’m doing right now is tightly access controlled. We can send reports to the community, but I don’t know if I’d want the community to do my deletions. Especially if one of the community members was prone to say “Who likes documentation?” Hee hee. Not sure about crowd-sourced deletions, but it does seem like it’s a great job for a fresh cleanup crew. Maybe instead of Earth Day clean ups, we need more Content Day clean ups. Definitely got me thinking more about clean lines and clean docs.
Another question that came through on Twitter was from @djtowne, DJ Town, she asked:
What metrics should social support sites provide?
My response was definitely truncated as 140 characters is hardly enough to respond within, but I said:
re: social support metrics: new v. return visits, time on site, what are they searching for? Comment response metrics for sure.
The longer answer is contained in this post, Web Analytics for Technical Documentation Sites. I have more ideas as well but I’m doing some research with my own OpenStack community documentation to test out some theories. Until I blog again, enjoy the webinar.