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?
Neil Perlin is an internationally known consultant, strategist, trainer, and developer for online content in all forms from traditional online help to mobile. To this, he brings 34 years of experience in tech comm, 28 in online formats and tools past, present, and future (having represented STC to the WorldWide Web Consortium for four years). Neil is MadCap Certified for Flare and Mimic, Viziapps Certified for the Viziapps Studio mobile app development platform, and certified in various other help authoring tools. He provides these services through his company, Hyper/Word Services. He is an STC Fellow and the founder and manager of the Bleeding Edge stem at the STC summit, and the author, most recently, of “Advanced Features in MadCap Flare 9”.
So what was your favorite part of MadWorld 2013?
The conference was very high energy and a lot of fun overall, like a block party with computers. The part that I appreciated most was meeting people – MadCappers and otherwise – who had just been names on emails. (And I very much appreciated meeting the tech support crew in person. I do a lot of consulting and sometimes encounter odd problems. Knowing that the tech support crew is there if I need support with some odd problem makes me comfortable going into any consulting situation.)
What Makes MadWorld different from other industry conferences?
The intensity with which MadCap listens to its user base evokes a tremendous loyalty in return. Mad-World evoked that loyalty to a T.
Tell us a little bit about your MadWorld 2014 sessions.
My sessions this year go down into two often confusing areas. The first covers developing context-sensitive help – defining it, designing it, and creating it using both the standard map-and-alias files approach and a surprisingly simpler model involving URLs. The second covers the benefits and mechanics of working directly in your topics’ code – how to do it carefully and why paranoia is your friend when working in code.
Excluding your session(s), which MadWorld sessions do you find the most intriguing?
Your new book, Advanced and Unfamiliar Features in MadCap Flare 9: What Does That Do? has just been released. Tell us a little bit about it and where we can get it.
It’s a loose collection of write-ups about the questions that I got most often. Some of the questions fall into rough categories, like Word import and stylesheet features. Others are scattered, covering topics like HTML5, Flare output to mobile devices, how to create topic templates, how to add a printable TOC to PDF output, relative vs. absolute units of measure for style sizes, and the always-popular “unbind” feature.
I wrote the book because Flare is packed with powerful features. Many of those features are so advanced, or just plain new, that their purpose and concept are unfamiliar to many users, especially those who are self-taught but even those who’ve taken the class but got saturated or found things that the class didn’t cover. For example, what’s the Mark of the Web and why use it? What’s the purpose of the DOCTYPE option in the Target Editor? What the heck is a DIV tag? A stylesheet medium? Graphic float? And so on…
Do you plan on doing anything fun (besides MadWorld, of course!) while you’re in San Diego?
I’m a “wanted-to-be” Navy carrier pilot who washed out of flight training due to a deviated septum (which is why my nose looks the way it does). So the flight simulators on the USS Midway are my draw this year. If you’re a wanna-be or wanted-to-be fighter jock, feel free to join me.
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?
The Beach Boys. What else is there?