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:
Nita Beck is a certified MadCap Advanced Developer and the “propellerhead-in-chief” of the Rochester Flare User Group, the first in-person community of practice dedicated to all things Flare, which Nita founded in 2009. As owner of Nita Beck Communications, Nita offers technical communication and information architecture services to clients around the U.S. A senior member of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), Nita has earned numerous STC awards, including several in the Society’s International Technical Publications Competition and International Online Communications Competition. She offers customized training on Flare, taught undergraduate and graduate courses in technical communication for 18 years at Rochester Institute of Technology, and frequently offers fun and engaging STC conference sessions such as “Don’t Get Your Beanies in a Twist” and “Dr. StrangeFlow: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Topic-Based Authoring Workflow.”
Tell us a little bit about your sessions: Neil Perlin and I, who have more than 45 years’ worth of consulting experience between us, will be presenting on the fine art of being your own boss. For those conference attendees who dream of going independent, we will share our in-the-trenches experiences and advice about the challenges and rewards of being self-employed, especially in our industry.
(note: Nita has also just added a new session called “Rapidly Prototyping a Flare Project.”)
Besides coming to see your spectacular session, why should someone attend MadWorld? There is no better way to learn than to explore new ideas and to exchange best practices with colleagues who face the same business and communication challenges that you face and who use the same tools that you use.
At a user conference, we can “dive deep” into applications for Flare and its companion products. The emphasis, I believe, will be on usage, on “the practical.” How can we use Flare to solve a business challenge? How can we use Flare or Mimic to solve a communication challenge? What techniques can we learn from others to help us optimize our own workflows, to improve what we produce?
Of course, folks should come to MadWorld for the pure pleasure of talking shop with other rabid Flare “propellerheads.”
Excluding your session, which MadWorld session are you most interested in attending? I’ll have a hard time choosing! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mike Hamilton and Paul Stocklein several times and look forward to hearing them speak again. The sessions on translation and internationalization are very timely, given that several of my Flare projects will eventually be translated into multiple languages. And especially sessions on areas outside of my usual practice; definitely want to stretch myself.
In your humble opinion, what’s the coolest thing about MadCap Software? Hands down, it’s the people! I jumped on the Flare bandwagon the first week it went on sale, and that’s when I met (over the phone and via email) Jennifer Morse, my original sales rep. Jenn has always been helpful and encouraging, as have her succeeding sales reps when Jenn moved on and up to other roles. The tech support guys and gals are great! The engineers I’ve met… Mike and Paul… all wonderfully helpful. You know what it is? I sincerely believe that that folks at MadCap care about their users. They “get” us. They “get” what we do for a living. And they take us seriously and never for granted.
What makes you most excited about visiting San Diego? I’ve never been to San Diego, so I’m looking forward to seeing someplace new, to seeing what the climate and geography are like. I’ve spent most of my life in the east and have been to California only three times, visiting San Francisco, Yosemite, and Lake Tahoe.
But what I’m really excited about is seeing the birthplace of MadCap! I feel incredibly loyal to the company and its products, and I am so looking forward to meeting all the great folks who have invented these wonderful tools that I make my living by.
If someone really enjoyed your sessions and wants to buy you a drink at MadWorld Happy Hour, what cocktail should they order? Being a wine drinker and living close to the wine-producing Finger Lakes region of New York State, I’d be happy to sample some nice California wines. I hear they’re pretty good!
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Although I won’t be doing a technical session this time around, participating in MadWorld is an extension of my mission to network with anyone interested in starting a local Flare user group. I’m the founding member and manager of the Rochester Flare User Group, the first user group dedicated to MadCap Flare (and companion tools), now approaching our fourth anniversary. A local user group offers a wonderful venue for sharing Flare tips-n-tricks with new and experienced users alike. In our group, we hold regular meetings, offer presentations, hold “sandbox sessions” (where we “dive deep” into working Flare projects), and generally do all we can to promote best Flare practices among our membership. I’m hoping to share all kinds of ideas on the care and feeding of a Flare user group.
Space at MadWorld is limited, so register now!