Yep, we’re doing it again. MadWorld returns to the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego April 13-15, 2014 and you’re invited to join the “Mad”ness! MadWorld 2014 is the premier technical communication and content strategy conference for technical writers, documentation managers and content strategists.
At MadWorld 2014, you’ll be treated to inspiring educational sessions, fun events, and all the networking you can handle.
We’ve put together a stellar cast of speakers just itching to share their knowledge with you, so let’s get to know one of them, shall we?
Kai Weber gets a kick out of technical communication that makes users excel and look good. More formally speaking, he’s a Senior Technical Writer for SimCorp in Frankfurt and Copenhagen. He got his start when he translated a COBOL programmer’s guide from English into German more than 20 years ago. Since then, he’s been writing, editing and translating software documentation. He went full-time in 1999 and has focused on financial and banking systems since 2001.
Why did you choose to be a part of MadWorld 2014?
How much time do you have…? (Okay, just kidding…) But when I first heard about MadWorld 2013, I had already locked in my conferences for the year, and I regretted that I wasn’t able to go. When I heard about the fabulous times attendees had, I regretted not going all over. So I just had to go the next year!
It helps that I think MadCap is a cool, accountable company that understands how tech comm’ers tick and how to give them pretty darn cool tools. And as one of the founding members of the MadCap UK & Europe user group, I look forward to being part of the larger global MadCap user community to bring back tips and tricks and enthusiasm.
What Makes MadWorld different from other industry conferences?
Since I haven’t attended MadWorld13, I can only speculate. But I’m looking forward to an event with focused sessions, engaging speakers (hoping I can live up to others’ expectations) and fun after-hours.
Tell us a little bit about your MadWorld 2014 sessions)
Well, my passion for cognitive science catches up with me in my sessions. This is the “college major I never had”, and cognitive psychology strongly influences how I approach technical communication. Attendees can look forward to romps of aha moments as I walk them through some basic insights that are immediately applicable.
You’d Better Recognize! takes a close look at how we recognize patterns whenever we learn a new tool or process. We try to figure out recurring elements, how they hang together and how they fit with what we already know. If we as technical communicators know how pattern recognition works, we can benefit twice: We can use it as a conscious shortcut when we try to understand new subject matter. And we can build it into our documentation, so it’s easier for our readers to understand.
Addicted to Meaning focuses on mental models as the building blocks for meaning. We take it for granted that technical communication should be meaningful – but how does meaning actually work? And why do we find some documentation we read meaningless? And most importantly: How can we ensure that our documentation is meaningful?
Excluding your sessions, which MadWorld sessions do you find the most intriguing?
I’m looking forward to hearing Pam Coca on Things You Need to Know That You Don’t Know You Need to Know. I strongly believe that one of the most efficient ways that we tech comm’ers can add value for our employers and customers is to work smarter, not harder. And it sounds like Pam has several tried and proven tricks up her sleeve! I will also join Ellis Pratt to see him Bust a Move on his journey from technical communication to content strategy which is relevant to the environment I’m working in.
Do you plan on doing anything fun (besides MadWorld, of course!) while you’re in San Diego?
MadWorld 2014 is at the Hard Rock Hotel, so we have to ask you a music question. What are your 3 favorite songs in the whole, wide world?
If I can name only three, I’ll go with these:
“Amelia” by Joni Mitchell
“Cassidy” by The Grateful Dead
“Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre, when our choir sings it and blows the roof off of the church…
And most days, something by Paul Simon would be on my list, too.