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Subject:Re: Resources for learning Structured Writing? From:John G <john -at- garisons -dot- com> To:"Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com> Date:Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:13:17 -0400
Information Mapping is a privately held company whose sole stock in trade
is Information Mapping. They are (or at least were several years ago when I
was looking at their process) wildly protective of their intellectual
property. So much so that, IMHO, if someone were to try and write a
"Structured Documentation *a la* Information Mapping" book or article,
they may well have gotten a cease and desist letter.
Just my impression from years ago ...
On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 1:04 PM, Janoff, Steven <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>
> Okay, last attempt at searching for this. I'm still getting great
> responses but they don't address what I want, so let me try one more time
> to be specific.
> I'm looking for a way to learn Information Mapping, as it was developed in
> the 1960s (and beyond, to the extent it's been improved), WITHOUT going
> through the "official" Information Mapping company.
> I'm preferably looking for either a book, a DVD, or some kind of digital
> media that will help me learn the techniques of the system. (Books *other
> than* by Robert Horn, as I have the two main ones and I don't have the
> patience for them.)
> Courses are great but they're not what I want right now. Unless, there's
> for example a FREE online course through something like Coursera or one of
> the major universities.
> If what I'm looking for doesn't exist, then what I'm looking for doesn't
> exist. I have enough information for a "Plan B." But I would really like
> "Plan A."
> Thank you very much.
> On Monday, October 20, 2014 1:13 AM, Steve Janoff wrote:
> Okay, I love the recommendations so far (thanks, Stuart and Robert), but I
> need to be more specific about what I'm looking for. Apologies for not
> doing so.
> I'm looking for resources for a non-technical team, first off. Tech
> writers but not familiar yet with DITA or XML.
> I want a resource that teaches structured writing *outside of* any tagging
> environment, so no DTDs or EDDs, no DITA or XML, no DocBook or S1000D,
> nothing along these lines.
> I'm looking for a resource that focuses exclusively on structured writing
> as it comes out of the Information Mapping tradition -- that was developed
> in the late 60's, long before even the PC let alone the current
> environment. (It's my understanding that DITA, and I believe also S1000D,
> were developed in response to IM.)
> If I remember right, IM provides 7 topic types, versus the primary 3 in
> DITA, so I want to see what the IM ones have to offer.
> I have not been able to find a source that instructs in structured writing
> a la Information Mapping. The IM professional company offers materials and
> primarily courses, but I don't want to go that route just yet. I want a
> team of junior writers (and some senior writers) who have not yet been
> exposed to DITA or XML to learn the skill of structured writing *first*
> (out of IM, remember, not DITA-dependent), so that once they have a general
> mastery of the art, *then* they have a base to learn DITA and XML and get
> ready for a transition if it is to happen. But even if there is no
> transition, I would like them to have that skill regardless.
> I'm surprised there is no dedicated resource for this, as far as I can
> tell. All I see are the older articles by R. Horn and his 2 or 3 books but
> nothing contemporary that's tutorial, even though I realize that if this
> was developed in the 60's, maybe you don't need a modern book. But I have
> yet to find anything relevant.
> I hope that's a bit clearer on the goal. Thanks!
> On Friday, October 17, 2014 4:37 PM, Steve Janoff wrote:
> In following up on the recent thread regarding migration to DITA: it
> became clear that whether or not one migrates to DITA, learning the skill
> of structured writing is a good idea.
> Therefore: Does anyone know of any good resources for learning this skill?
> Also, are there any good resources that would guide one in teaching this
> skill to a department of writers with no experience in the art?
> Thank you so much. I have not been able to find a single book on it (via
> I appreciate any and all thoughts and inputs.
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