Best of Augmented World Expo 2017 #AWE2017

AWE 2017 logoContent futurists alert! The eighth edition of Augmented World Expo (AWE) – the world’s largest augmented reality, virtual reality and wearable technology expo – took place in Santa Clara, California on 31 May-2 June.

Augmented reality hardware and software is still in the early stages relatively speaking but it is improving all the time, and many brands are keeping a keen eye out for AR applications that will help their business – which means jobs for the suitably skilled. As one of our recruitment areas at Firehead, the field of AR content is increasingly one to watch and so AWE is one of the most fascinating conferences for us to tune into, albeit from afar. We’re also looking forward to AWE’s European event in Munich, Germany on 19-20 October.

While AR content jobs and opportunities for digital communicators are not yet mainstream, it is certainly an area to watch. So here are some of our collected highlights from the main event to add to your bookmarks… Continue reading

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Useful links for digital communicators (June 2017)

glasses on keyboard (CC) Michael SaechangCatch up on industry insight, professional development and training articles, and useful links from the field of digital communications via our monthly links roundup.

We also post regularly to our Firehead’s Twitter and LinkedIn pages, so please do connect with or follow us there.

Here’s what we’ve been bookmarking and reading over the past month across the fields of content strategy, tech comm, UX and digital communications recruitment.

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Posted in Augmented reality, Content Marketing, Content Strategy, Digital Communications, Reading, Recruitment, The Market, Usability
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Is DITA working for you? DITA Satisfaction Survey 2017 results

Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) has gained widespread adoption in the techcomm field, as both a tool and a standard for structured technical writing. Through semantic tagging and an XML architecture, it facilitates the re-use of content across different outputs and helps thousands of organisations around the world to deliver content more efficiently and cost-effectively.

And so it was with great interest that we received The Content Wrangler’s 2017 survey, which offers preliminary aggregate results on how satisfied adopters really are with DITA, as well as how they rate the benefits and the challenges.

Technical communication professionals working at 250 companies around the world have taken part so far. The DITA Satisfaction Survey is still open to DITA users – click here to have your say or read on for the survey highlights. Continue reading

Posted in Content Strategy, Digital Communications, Market Trends, Products, Professional Development and Training, Single Sourcing, Technical Communications
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Catch up on Confab Central 2017

Confab signWhy not ‘confab’ vicariously with our wicked list of links from the annual content strategy conference held in the US.

Confab Central 2017 took place from 7-9 June in Minneapolis and brought together around 600 content leads, content strategists, brand strategists, heads of content, senior digital writers, chief content officers and other content professionals from around the world to talk content strategy.

LeVar Burton from Star Trek: The Next Generation was the celebrity keynote, talking about storytelling in the modern age, while author Ann Handley took the content strategist’s keynote slot challenging our built-up bank of biases and assumptions about content. Other leading lights from the world of content strategy – including Kristina Halvorson, Meghan Casey, Ahava Liebtag, Corey Vilhauer and Margot Bloomstein – were also giving talks on the latest thinking in this field.

Here’s the skinny… Continue reading

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How and why clients fail with their content commissions

Recently we highlighted earnings and freelance rates in the world of copywriting, according to the 2017 Professional Copywriters’ Network (PCN) survey. But the research also revealed a number of issues on the client side of hiring in copywriters.

PCN-LogoAmong the 500 UK copywriters who responded to the survey, 35% said that only some of their clients were comfortable judging copy; 5% admitted that only a few were. The survey concluded that some clients would “benefit from support when it comes to commissioning, critiquing and approving copy”.

Almost all respondents said some of their clients would benefit from advice on commissioning copy, for example, with only 10% saying few clients needed help instructing copywriters.

The main problems copywriters faced on receiving a work brief were a lack of basic information on content, tone and voice, and little guidance on who they were writing for. Continue reading

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Learn customer journey mapping – workshops now available

Noz Urbina Gatwick workshopFirehead is now offering workshops in customer journey mapping (CJM) – a very useful skill for content professionals to add to their content toolkit as it helps brands understand how the user experiences and interacts with their content across multiple touch-points and channels.

Our CJM training is run as a classroom-based workshop in conjunction with our training partner Urbina Consulting, The course covers key concepts and theory, as well as practical exercises. It is suitable for techcomm and content professionals, and managers seeking strategic insight into how to create multi or omnichannel content.

Click for full course details and delivery options…

Image: © Urbina Consulting

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25 learnings from LavaCon Dublin 2017

The LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and Technical Communication Management took place last month (22-24 May), and brought together content strategists, user experience designers, documentation managers, and other content and UX specialists to Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland.

lavacon-logo-2017While CJ Walker, founder and director of Firehead, was helping to man the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) booth, the expert talks, workshops and other sessions on content strategy and techcomm were coming thick and fast. The main content theme was Spanning Silos, Building Bridges, but there was plenty more on the digital communications agenda.

We’ve collected a selection of useful, interesting and statistical Tweets from the #Learnedatlavacon and #Lavacon stream. Visit our Storify here or scroll down to view the embed. You might also like to read more posts on techcomm or view our training options. Continue reading

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Useful links for digital communicators (May 2017)

Keyboard mouse by Michael Mol/FlickrHere’s our May roundup of industry insight, professional development and training articles, and useful links from the field of digital communications.

We also post regularly to our Firehead’s Twitter and LinkedIn pages, so please do connect with or follow us there.

Here’s what we’ve been bookmarking and reading over the past month across the fields of content strategy, tech comm, UX and digital communications recruitment. Continue reading

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How much does copywriting cost? The 2017 survey results…

The 2017 Professional Copywriters’ Network survey was published last month and it reveals pay rates, earnings and a shocking 29% gender pay gap in the profession.Leif Kendall, Director of the Professional Copywriters’ Network, said: “This, our second annual survey, is a snapshot of the copywriting industry in 2017. It attempts to capture the experience of being a copywriter in the UK, in terms of job satisfaction, income and prospects.”

PCN-Logo

More than 500 copywriters who serve the UK market answered the Professional Copywriters’ Network (PCN) questions on demographics, training, pay, how they charge and the nature of their work. Respondents ranged in age from 20 to 75, with 58% of respondents female and 67% working in a freelance capacity.

One of the PCN’s aims in creating the survey is to help advise its member on rates of pay. The chart below shows average day rates for freelancers, which averages out as £339 per day. Although this is slightly elevated as most respondents were from London and the South-east, the regional ratings will give a lot of UK-sector copywriters food for thought when they come to charge out their work. Continue reading

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