Re: IM alternative

Subject: Re: IM alternative
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "TechDoc List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 06:57:04 -0500

The Clustar Method you refer to is Simply Written's methodology. You can
read about it on our website at We're a technical
communications firm, and we developed Clustar precisely because of our
disenchantment with IM and similar systems.

Unlike IM, the Clustar Method is designed expressly for processes and
manuals, and it's optimized for single sourcing. You can use it with any
tool you wish, although FrameMaker is preferred for true single sourcing.
Like IM, Clustar starts with user analysis, but it then moves on to task
analysis. Task analysis then leads into the manual structure. It's perfectly
feasible to entirely construct an entire "shell" manual in advance, with no
content at all. We're doing that now for a local client. Using Clustar, we
break down the work flow into discrete tasks, get those tasks blessed by the
client, then make each task into a cluster. With no content at that point,
the manual is already more than a quarter done. We can then assign clusters
to writers and illustrators. When we're done, we'll generate a help file in
a matter of an hour or so, using ForeHelp to check the file and generate the
code. But we could just as easily go to XML, SGML, Java Help, or almost
anything else.

The Clustar process is, of course, a bit more complex than I've painted it,
but that's the basis. But also unlike IM, we don't pretend to have created
something awesomely new. Clustar is, at its heart, a bundle of best
practices for single source.

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar Method(TM)
"Better communication is a service to mankind."

----- Original Message -----
From: <ian -dot- saunders -at- vf -dot- vodafone -dot- co -dot- uk>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, November 18, 1999 4:04 AM
Subject: Thanks for the IM info, but what are the alternatives?

> Hi,
> Many thanks to all of you who replied to my original mail about
> Mapping, and for the pointers to all the stuff in the TECHWR-L archives.
> Your impressions about IM were mostly positive (unlike some of the
> opinions!), but nobody mentioned any alternatives to it (by name, anyway).
> In the archives I stumbled across something called the "Clustar Method",
> although I don't know whether this is comparable to IM. Does anyone know
> anything about this or any other proprietory methodology?
> Regards
> Ian Saunders
> Vodafone Airtouch Plc
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
> Training & consulting for RoboHELP, Dreamweaver, HTML, and HTML-Based
> More info at or mailto:training -at- weisner -dot- com -dot-
> Sponsored by Rose Hill, Your Business and Career Coach.
> "Assume Success! Live Your Passion!" Get the gist at
> then call 503.629.4804 for details!
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: taltom -at- SIMPLYWRITTEN -dot- COM
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit
> for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Re: Writing test for senior writer?
Next by Author: Fw: Team Building
Previous by Thread: RE: Advice seeking newbie
Next by Thread: Creating Task Lists

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads