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Oxford England

  • The End of the Road
    These photos are separated from my Travels album because Oxford is something of a second home. I still manage to visit it several times a year. So the pathway between Manotick and Oxford is well trodden and I can likely do it with my eyes closed - and probably have on more than one occasion.

Royal Roads University

  • Hatley Castle
    This series of photographs was taken over the last few years. I have stayed at the campus of Royal Roads on several occasions and I have been repeatedly impressed by the grounds. They are in many ways a little-known treasure.


  • Kafka Statue
    Here is a selection of pictures I have taken during my travels over the last few years. I am very obviously an amateur photographer and it is not uncommon for me to forget my camera altogether when packing. What the pictures do not convey is the fact that in these travels I have met, and gotten to know, a great many interesting people.

Manotick Ontario

  • Springtime in Manotick
    Manotick Ontario Canada is the part of Ottawa that I call home. Much of Manotick stands on an island in the Rideau River. Interestingly, the Rideau Canal, which runs through and around the river, was recently designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. So this means that the view from my backyard is in some way on a similar par with the Egyptian Pyramids - although the thought strikes me as ridiculous.
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« Insights from an Unexpected Journey | Main | A Man of Content Sorrow »

November 03, 2012


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Marcia Riefer Johnston

Glad to hear these counter-balancing thoughts, Joe. I agree with you about the Adobe preconference day. Between that event and the Lavacon and Content Strategy Workshops that followed, my brain is still twinkling.

Milan Davidović

If "the way an organization communicates with its customers throughout the “customer lifecycle” is of strategic importance", wouldn't you think that these would start getting interested, if they haven't already?

Joe Gollner

Hi Marcia and Milan

If mine are counter-balancing thoughts, Marcia, then this means that there are criticisms in circulation. Now in focusing in on some of the good things I noticed, there is definitely room for improvement. And this is applies generally to "technology trade shows" and to our more boutique gatherings in the content industry.

And Milan, I did take a look at the list of "management consulting firms" and I am pretty sure that these firms don't spend too much time thinking about content strategy or effective communication. Come to think of it, they don't usually spend too much time thinking about products, services or customers. I do tend to associate content pretty closely with these latter items - products, services and customers. So its not too surprising that it winds up in the same bucket in the back seat to the all important financial machinations churning out short terms bursts of notional profit and tangible bonuses. Maybe I have become, to us one of our more memorable military phrases, "bitter and twisted".


Hi, Joe,

Many thanks for this interesting high-level summary of the October conference circuit! I'm curious about the Adobe pre-conference thought leadership event: Can you give an example of the outstanding program that invited such active participation? I didn't have a chance to attend Lavacon, and am curious if I should make more of an effort to attend next year, so any more specific info would be very welcome!

Cheers, Kai.

Joe Gollner

Hi Kai

Thanks for stopping by. I will provide a short response here and then we can follow up directly with more specifics if that is called for.

On the Adobe pre-conference thought leadership event the preceded Lavacon 2012 in Portland, I could offer up one example that I thought was noteworthy. One of the invited speakers at the event was Mark Lewis from Quark. Mark spoke about DITA metrics (or the identification and application of measurements that can be used to support and sustain content process and infrastructure improvements), a topic that he has been immersed in for several years and on which he has a book coming out (See the site for the book Two things are worth underscoring here. One is that Mark was able to provide attendees with insights from this most up to date work in this challenging, but important, area. The other is that Mark works with Quark, a company that in several ways competes directly with a number of of Adobe's offerings. The openness of the Adobe team to include into their event everyone who had something of value to offer attendees, regardless of what company they hailed from, was something that was not lost on the audience. As a second short example, attendees at the Adobe pre-conference thought leadership event also received a free copy of another book - Content Strategy 101 - by Sarah O'Keefe and Alan Pringle (see Sarah was also one of the speakers. All this means that attendees at the event took away an awful lot new and timely information.

On the Lavacon ( series of events, all I would say is that it seems to be one of the events that is working the hardest to bring together the many trends that are impacting the world of technical communication, including its increasing fusion into overall business communications and into overall enterprise publishing processes. This is a process of change that has been underway over the last few years and I have found Lavacon to be the one event that is pushing most resolutely into this new region of convergence.

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