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Updated by Jack Molisani on Feb 09, 2020
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LavaCon 2015 Proposal List

The next LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and Technical Communication Management will be in New Orleans, October 21-24, 2018.

Speaker proposals are now posted. Please vote if you are interested in our 2018 conference:



LavaCon 2019 Keynote

LavaCon 2019 Keynote

We are happy to announce that the opening keynote speaker at LavaCon 2019 is Jen Schaefer, the Head of Content Design at Netflix.

Register using the referral code LISTLY19 for $100 off conference tuition!


Content Strategy vs. Content Engineering: The Emerging Role of The Content Engineer

Content Strategy vs. Content Engineering: The Emerging Role of The Content Engineer

The era of customer experience management (CEM) is upon us. The customer is calling the shots and technical communicators are scrambling to deliver the goods across an expanding buffet of audiences, devices and channels. Executive teams are beginning to realize that positioning strategy involves storytelling and the means to deliver the organization’s story and promise to customers, and to involve customers as players in the organization’s story. #ContentStrategy #ContentEngineering #TechCcomm


REST API Overview and Documentation Best Practices

Proposal for REST API Overview and Documentation Best Practices
Marta Rauch, Sr. Principal Information Developer, Oracle @martarauch
Gururaj BS, Director Cloud User Assistance, Oracle @guru_bs

The market for REST APIs is hot, and content strategists can increase their value by understanding how to deliver content for REST APIs. Join this session to get a REST API overview, see a demo, and hear about emerging REST API documentation best practices.

Want to increase your marketability by getting up to speed on REST APIs? Attend this session to learn more:
 Get an introduction to REST APIs
 Understand characteristics of the REST API architectural style
 Learn about pros and cons of REST API implementation
 Look at an example REST API and watch a demonstration of performing operations on a resource using the REST interface
 Learn about emerging documentation best practices for REST APIs

Slides for REST API doc best practices
Slides for REST API overview and demo

50 Shades of Style: Whipping Unruly Content Into Submission Using Editorial Styles for Optimizing Reuse

Two writer and editor documentation experts who spent decades mastering their craft at IBM, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle share editorial guidance and best practices to help you whip your content into shape for maximum reuse in your content management system. Topics include:

  • Teasing shy tasks out of hiding
  • Taming the modifier obsession
  • Mastering the fine art of titling
  • Uncovering hidden redundancies
  • Conquering consistency at all levels
  • Discovering the delights of minimalism
  • Binding topics together with effective transitions
  • Following the rules of 7-12 throughout your content
  • Maximizing the visual stimulation of graphical information
  • Using discretion: segregating common (reusable) content from specific content Vote Deck 2: Earley & Associates: Case Study is having a convention this year and is having potential speakers post these mini-decks to allow potential attendees to vote on the presentations is having a convention this year and is having potential speakers post these mini-decks to allow potential attendees to vote on the presentations they desire.

This deck is a Case Study: Early & Associates Intranet Migration. Every company excels at what they were built and designed to do. Every company struggles when it comes to internal projects. Corners are cut, best practices are often ignored, and work is rushed in the name of saving resources (time, money, etc.) No company is immune from these potential pitfalls. Learn from a case study from Earley & Associates why internal projects need to be approached in the same manner and fashion as you would for your own clients. Vote Deck 1: SharePoint Planning is having a convention this year and is having potential speakers post these mini-decks to allow potential attendees to vote on the presentations they desire.

This deck is about SharePoint Planning: A Labyrinth of Choices. No matter what technological solution you are going to implement, you must know the questions to ask. This deck is to teach you how to ask the right questions, and ones you may not realize will potentially make your project sink or swim.


Scoping Content Project Level of Effort, and Getting the Right Resources for the Job

Scoping Content Project Level of Effort, and Getting the Right Resources for the Job

In this session, attendees will learn proven methods used for scoping the level of effort involved in achieving successful content project outcomes. Attendees will also learn how to leverage this data to strengthen the case for the resources needed to successfully deliver on project goals.

My personal Hudsucker Proxy: Overcoming Fear of Change

My personal Hudsucker Proxy: Overcoming fear of change Recognizing opportunities, and summoning the courage to seize them
A lecture proposal for LavaCon 2015

Vote for my presentation proposal at LavaCon 2015. With enough votes, I'll be discussing how I've funneled my strengths as an introvert to recognize opportunities, and how I stopped letting my fear of change keep me from taking advantage of them.

Shifting from Live/Online Training to Courseware: Improving Learning, ROI, and Reach

Shifting from live training to courseware Managing content, reuse and rich media to deliver what, where, and when needed

The past few years have seen massive shifts in how we deliver and attend training. Vote for my proposal to see how I successfully moved from in-person training, to live online training, to developed courseware, and why it was good for everyone involved.

An innovative analytical framework to optimize your content strategy

Pre-conference slide-deck

In this presentation, Chiradeep Majumdar and Gyanesh Talwar present an innovative analytical framework that helps you optimize your content strategy by focusing on the critical factors that significantly impact your content success. By drawing action items around these key focus areas, you can ensure that your content strategy is poised to generate maximum business value for your organization.

Ditching Words

Our options for creating content keep expanding, along with our options for consuming that content. I've been teaching and presenting on various forms of video and interactive documentation for a few years now, and this session will contain the best take-aways from those sessions. I'll discuss the strategies I use to replace cumbersome text with more effective media.

LavaCon 15 - Shifting the Paradigm of Requirements Gathering

Are you tired of attending or leading the same old boring requirements-gathering sessions? Would you like to find a way to get stakeholders excited about requirements gathering? Then this class is for you!

Find out how to use collaborative play to build better solution requirements for SharePoint projects (or any other project for that matter). In this class, you will learn seriously fun ways to do work-seriously! Learn how to tap into true innovation and uncover hidden business requirements. What are you waiting for? Come to this class and learn how to put these tools into action!

By attending this class, you will be able to:
• Introduce new and field-tested concepts for creating a clear and compelling vision for SharePoint
• Facilitate more effective requirements-gathering sessions
• Identify and avoid five problem patterns that plague many project teams
• Hit the ground running with new templates that you can use to facilitate your own Innovation Games
• Refine requirements down to measurable business value, and map to strategic business goals using the "rainbow" technique

LavaCon 15 Dynasty - How to Build a High Performance Team for Repeat Victories

Developing and sustaining high performance teams is an oft-stated operational goal for most enterprises. Many teams can achieve high performance sporadically. But sustained high-performance is elusive for all but a few "dynasties".

Join us as we drill down into key aspects of high performance teams, including:

• The indicators/concepts of high performance teams
• High performance defined
• How is a team different from a family or a gang?
• Continuous reformulation of team membership
• Drafting and incentive’s – how to start building next year’s team now
• Finding, developing and enhancing talent
• How to attract, build and sustain high performance teams
• Team maintenance. Motivation and conflict management
• When high performance doesn't work
• Case studies (or just one)

LavaCon 15 Dynasty - Gamestorming Fullday Workshop - Get Your Gamestorming On: Let the Games Begin!

Analysis is broken! Did you ever wish there was a more effective and interactive way to gather requirements? In this session we will role play some of these tactics that provide quick and effective insights into business needs. Throw out your trusty questionnaires and get ready to play some serious games. If you want to have fun while you define requirements you won’t want to miss this session.

By attending this class, you will get a chance to:
• Get hands on experience in gamestorming and innovation game techniques
• Understand how to facilitate these innovative strategies on your project
• Apply field-tested strategies in your organization

LavaCon 15 Dynasty - Enterprise Social Sustainment - Evaluate Aadopt Iterate

Sustaining adoption is often overlooked and an under-planned part of many Enterprise Social implementations. You simply cannot afford to ignore the importance of this topic.
Successful sustainment of Enterprise Social is a critical component to ensuring the long-term success of any comprehensive content strategy,
Apply field proven tactics to sustain your Enterprise Social and Content Strategy
Understand how to evaluate user engagement metrics

By Attending this class, you will be able to:
• Understand how to engage and build social and content champions Apply field proven tactics to sustain your Enterprise Social and Content Strategy
• Understand how to evaluate user engagement metrics
• Understand how to engage and build social and content champions

Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening: How Teamwork Has Changed

People say that working on virtual or global teams is no different from working on teams with people in the same building. They are wrong. So how can you ensure that you are successful when working with (or managing) people you have never seen in person, people who are likely to be in different time zones and very different business environments? You need to recognize that the rules of teamwork and business etiquette have unquestionably changed, and your success depends on adapting to the new rules.

This session explains the keys elements of a successful global or virtual team. We’ll look at the behaviors and approaches that work best, and how they can help you overcome communication issues that may arise. We’ll address practical issues like time zones, cultural differences, holidays, and language. We’ll consider some of the writing problems you may have to overcome. Finally, we’ll discuss how your personal work life can change when you are meeting with and managing people you’ve never met face-to-face.

Don't Puzzle Your Customers; Draw Them a Personalized Picture

A corporate website can feel like a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, unassembled. You may be a prospective customer looking for honest information, free of jargon. Where better to find out what a product can really do than the support content? But that's not easy to find, or to search through when you get there. Or you may be an existing customer, and you don't want to re-navigate through layers of tabs and categories to find the information you need. Why can't the site just remember the product you have and your goals with it? And why is the navigation and search different on every single section of the site?

Those of us who build or contribute content to corporate sites know exactly why things often look messy — because that's also how they are behind the scenes. Content comes from many sources: at least one Web CMS, a CRM system, a product database, and self-contained systems for help and support information. How can all these sources be brought together into one coherent customer experience?

One way is to seek an enterprise-wide information architecture; an all-encompassing framework that gets everyone using compatible tools, a single content management system, and centrally-mandated templates. This works — sometimes. But it's always expensive, it can create friction and inefficiency, and if it doesn't work, the results can be catastrophic.

There's another way that brings out the "bright points" of all the content systems and teams in an enterprise. By adopting metadata standards and using dynamic delivery systems that surface relevant content within a consistent look and feel, the corporate website can change from a jumbled jigsaw to a joined-up, personalized picture. Drawing on experience providing such solutions to global brands, Mekon's Mark Poston will demonstrate how this can be achieved.

In this session, attendees will:

  • Understand how different back-end systems can relate to each other
  • Understand the importance of metadata in publishing content
  • See examples of dynamic delivery in action
Rule the World LavaCon 2015 Proposal

Rule the World! The Five Keys of Global Content Marketing
Speaker: Heidi Lorenzen
As the pace of content creation continues to accelerate, and the number of global markets that content needs to reach continues to grow, it's more important than ever to develop and implement a global content marketing strategy. With the “Five Keys of Global Content Marketing,” you’ll learn strategies to produce and deliver multilingual content faster and more cost-effectively so you can capture all the global revenue your company seeks.

In this session, you will learn why localized content is so important and how to get great at global content marketing so you can:
• Get your content to more markets faster, and do it consistently;
• Expand your prospect pool exponentially, and help your customers feel a deeper connection and loyalty to you; and
• Increase market share and global revenue for your company.

Shift happens - Augmented Reality and the Future of Documentation

In 2008, we said: "There could be a time where you open up the bonnet of your car, point your mobile phone at the engine to (a) identify which part is which a...

A Lavacon teaser: Leadership and the 7 deadly sins

These are teaser slides: Vote to get this session accepted for Lavacon for access to all the finished goods!
Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony
Explore how these seven sins (loosely defined) can impact your ability to lead
Leadership can be demanding, time consuming, exhausting, and draining
Done right, it is a chance to be challenged, step up, listen, communicate, make change, be supportive, and—if all goes well—have fun along the way
How can we make a difference that is impactful, positive, and at times bold? By leading.

A Lavacon teaser: Minimalism

These are teaser slides: Vote to get this session accepted for Lavacon for access to all the finished goods!
Basics of minimalism
Light examples
Serious ideas
Core principles of minimalism

  • Four principles, four sets of samples proving the point Reworking source content
  • Tips to get you started on minimalism
Understanding metadata - practical spia book

The power and usefulness of metadata is often poorly understood. This session explains what metadata is, and more importantly, how to explain its value to your stakeholders and users. It covers methods for capturing and recording metadata, as well as how metadata and content types are interrelated. While this talk was originally created in the context of SharePoint, the concepts are generic and apply across any content management system.
Ruven Gotz leads the collaboration practice for Avanade in New York City. He has been building award winning content management solutions for over a decade. He is a Microsoft MVP and has spoken internationally and across North America about collaboration, information architecture and enterprise social tools.

The 9 things to avoid when translating content

When you take on translating a piece of content for the first time – there are 9 easily overlooked and not-so-obvious pitfalls you can avoid to save time, effort, and $$$.

In this session, Product Evangelist for MadCap Software & MadTranslations, Inc. Jose Sermeno will cover those 9 things.

Understanding metadata - practical spia book

PLEASE DOWNLOAD TO VIEW SPEAKER'S NOTES & ANIMATIONS*** Understand what metadata is, and why you should be using it (instead of folders) in your SharePoint ...

Share to survive

Rhyne Armstrong for LavaCon 2015 Case Study

When you finally do break down those silos, how do you make sure all that knowledge passes from one group to the next? Without a program and process in place, you leave it to chance to make sure everyone knows what they need to be successful.
In this session, we will discuss tools and methods we have used to pull off a successful Corporate Training Program, and how what we've done can be replicated at other companies.