MadWorld 2013 is almost upon us! What is MadWorld, you ask? Only the most fun and informative technical communication conference you’ll ever attend, that’s what.
Join the MadCap team, industry thought leaders and your peers at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego from April 7-9 2013 and stuff your brain with more skills, ideas, and best practices than you can handle. Oh, and did someone say “networking?” ‘Cause there will be plenty of opportunities for that.
Let’s get to know one of our rock star presenters:
Patrick Calnan’s Bio: Before we begin, I should confess that I am an avid MadCap “fanboy”. From my very first experiences with Flare, I’ve been completely hooked as Madcap’s applications have helped my work tremendously and made me look great in the bargain. I even went so far as to produce a YouTube video called “How MadCap Flare Made Me Look Like A Rock Star” for a presentation that I gave at another conference. As a result, my wife thinks that I need to get out more often but Flare and the other tools have made a real difference in my professional life and so I’m a big fan of the company that produced such amazing hits!
As for myself, I’ve been a technical writer for more years than I care to admit and have been working with Flare and other MadCap tools since early 2007. I’m Canadian and have spent the bulk of my life living and working in the Great White North although I also spent three years working for EDS in Michigan back in the 90’s. I’m married and the very proud father of an 8-year old son whose curiosity and questions have me visiting Wikipedia on almost an hourly basis. I’m also an amateur musician as I play the drums very loudly but not particularly skillfully. This might explain why I also have to wear hearing aids most of the time.
Tell us a little bit about your session: “Evolution of an Online Help System” will take you through the early steps of implementing Flare to produce online help and then onward to using MadCap tools to improve the customer’s experience and knowledge. I’m hoping to pass along some lessons learned along the way and also hopefully some insights into how a growing software company is using Flare and other MadCap applications to reduce costs and produce better documentation. This isn’t a promotional presentation but rather the practical, in-the-trenches experiences of a fellow technical writer whose team turned a bad situation into a great one.
Besides coming to see your spectacular session, why should someone attend MadWorld? Any time that you can get MadCap leaders and technical experts in the same room is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the applications and make yourself a better technical writer. Just to name-check a couple of the other presenters, I can’t wait to see the sessions by Scott DeLoach and Neil Perlin as every time I see either of those two, I learn something new and valuable.
Excluding your session, which MadWorld session are you most interested in attending? Neil Perlin’s version of the “What the %&#! Does This Do?” series is definitely on my list as is Scott DeLoach’s “The Employee You Don’t Have to Pay or Feed”. I’m also interested in any of Mike Hamilton’s presentations as he’s always a great speaker and I try to learn from him whenever I can.
In your humble opinion, what’s the coolest thing about MadCap Software? The open architecture. I’m not a great HTML code mechanic but when you can open almost everything that Flare works with in a plain-text editor, that rocks. We had a situation where a client asked us to do some post-production editing of our online help so that they could re-brand it. Our in-house web designers found it remarkably easy to work with the HTML output that we produced from Flare and as a result, we met the client’s needs with very little trouble. I’m not sure that there are many other help-authoring tools that would have been able to help us in quite the same way.
What makes you most excited about visiting San Diego? As a music fan, I’m looking forward to visiting the House of Blues and, of course, staying at the Hard Rock Hotel is a definite plus. And while I’m a proud Canadian, it’ll also be nice to get away from the ice and snow for a while so I’m hoping to check out a beach or two while I’m in town.
If someone really enjoyed your session and wants to buy you a drink at MadWorld Happy Hour, what cocktail should they order? Just a ginger ale on the rocks would suit me just fine. And please say “Hello” as I’m very much looking forward to meeting new people and hearing about their own experiences.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? I’m really excited to be invited to MadWorld 2013 as I think that it’s going to be a great time and a very rewarding experience.
Space at MadWorld is limited, so register now!