Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I'm Baaaccckkkk...

Yes, it has been quite some time since I've paid attention to my poor neglected orphan step-child blog.

But the good news is, I will be blogging more regularly going forward. Just in a different place.

As of today, I am now a contributor to the Digital Book World Expert Publishing Blog!

I'm thrilled and very flattered to be included with a really great group of people who have been invited to contribute to Digital Book World.

I'll be talking about the technical nuts and bolts - the specifications and the standards that go into publishing production for one of my favorite topics: All Things eBook!

So... Come on over and peek under the hood to see what it's all about. :)

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Note to self...

It's ALWAYS about the customer user experience.

Whatever you do, whatever you build, it will only be as good as it is useful to the person who has to use your tool to get stuff done.

And people expect to get stuff done with the least number of clicks, in the least amount of time, and in a way that doesn't disrupt their thinking about the whole point of what they are doing in the first place.

Therefore, don't listen to the people who say they have a better mousetrap, and beware of people who say "it's just like a mousetrap only different..."

It just ain't gonna fly.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Digital Media Publisher Monster Garage

It is so on!

The nice people at Single-Sourcing Solutions asked me to put together a webinar demonstrating the customization capabilities of Arbortext's Digital Media Publisher and Digital Media Consumer.

I'm always up for a challenge to go under the hood... Especially when the subject has customization capabilities that go beyond the pale of a chameleon merely changing colors.

Come on over on October 26 and watch the fun:

Under-the-Hood Multimedia Publishing

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I've been... Busy. More XML stuff. And Arbortext. No. Really!

A minor accomplishment, but an accomplishment nonetheless: not letting XML in the Wild go 2 full years without a post.

And now, for something completely new:

I'm doing a webinar on October 26 for the folks at Single-Sourcing Solutions:

Arbortext Digital Media Publisher: Monster Garage

More details to come in the next few days...

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Not so much as a post, as a callout...

XML in the Wild wasn't the proper place for this particular rant: http://www.teleread.org/blog/2008/12/22/e-book-hardware-oh-you-had-to-go-there/

Ebooks and eReader hardware does take up quite a bit of my attention in my spare time, though.

How is this related to XML? It's all in that single source multiple output publishing concept. More to come soon...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The iPod Touch... It is good.

I did it. Last night.

I bought my very first iPod. Ever.

Why, on this night, of all other nights? I've been thinking about this for a while.

Part of being an XML she-geek comes from being a genetic bookworm. I read 'em in mass quantity, and am not too picky about format (in comparison, for instance, to my father-in-law, who will only read hardcover books due to tactile preference).

I've been doing the eBook thing since the emergence of Peanut Reader for the Palm way back in the 90s. (How scary is that??? The 90s are now way back.) I've skipped around from device to computer to laptop to device to phone to blackberry, but I was finally faced with a situation that brought the whole "can it all be in one, or not?" into perspective during my last business trip.

You see, I had to drive 3.5 hours from home to HQ. I've only been there one other time, so I needed to use GPS. My husband took off with the dedicated GPS unit because he had to go to Jersey, so I was left with the GPS on my Blackberry (which does very nicely, BTW).

Only one problem: Telenav on the Blackberry KO's Audible's ability to patch into the stereo speakers of a car by routing everything that isn't native Blackberry through the speaker on the Blackberry itself. So it was a choice of get be without Audible, or get lost. Since it was a business trip, I pretty much had no choice on this one. Luckily, I found a radio station that was playing nothing but Aerosmith as I headed into Boston, so all was not lost (literally).

But back to the iTouch... I've been fawning over them since I stayed at my friend's house of Mac a few business trips back. He has his iTouch set up as a remote with Apple TV and iTunes connected to something like 160 GB of tunes that can now be accessed from anywhere in the house. Cool.

I'd been reading about eBook apps. on the "iThing" (to quote that guy who does the Bookshelf app.) for quite some time on teleread.org, mobileread.com, and dearauthor.com. I also have been looking for a way to access some eReader books I bought way back when I was still reading on my Palm Tungsten E2 before it gave up the battery ghost.

No eReader app for the Blackberry + sketchy Audible support for the Blackberry + can't use any of this stuff while I'm using Blackberry GPS = one helluva excuse to buy my very first iPod/Touch/Thing (I like Thing best, I think... very Addams Family).

So I bought it, and I loaded it up with audible and ereader as the puppies sang nearby in awed chorus.

And it was good.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Consulting Boot Camp

This is not a technical entry. I will discuss no software in any detail. There will be no screen shots or a walk through.

I have been, and will be tied up in consulting boot camp through the remainder of August and the first couple weeks of September.

Why is this significant enough to warrant a blog entry?

Because I'm learning important stuff that I never had the opportunity to learn in a formal learning environment before. Well, most of it, anyway.

What I'm really enjoying is that there's a process and method to _everything_ on my new gig - which is the reason I signed on. They haven't thrown me into the waters to see if I'll sink or swim because they realize that people who don't know what they're doing do not make effective consultants.

But it's not the XML stuff or the technology that I'm really focusing on this time out... (That's more like a game of catch up or matching - this feature is that feature in some other product that I'm more familiar with than what's in front of me.) It's the soft skills, marketing, and product positioning that's making the difference.

I had a great set of mentors when I started out... And they deserve credit for contributing to where I am today. But I'm thinking about tomorrow, now. I've been watching people I know in their career situations, and I've learned what not to (be|wear|act like). But I've never really filled in the blanks about _what_ to be.

So I'm doing the soft skills soft shoe shuffle. I'm reading, and listening, and finding that it's really hard to apply this stuff on the spot in the real world. The soft skills experts are right. It takes dedicated and conscious practice to get your soft skills in order.

Which isn't necessarily easy for a loud mouth, opinionated, super heroine who wants to convert the world to XML before bedtime. "Think before you talk|speak|act" has become my mantra...

I guess all of this means that I actually have learned something from spending my time in the business section of the book store and library. Cool. Guess I'm succeeding at the "Continuous Learning" thing they're all going on about.

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