Friday, November 26, 2004

Future of Digital Media

Check this out. Really cool look into the future of Digital Media. If anything like this were to come true, its bound to have significant implications on practically every form of online content (highly personalized manuals, training materials, for instance)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Customized manuals and documents?

I was recently at the Blue Shield Health Insurance website. I was pleasantly surprised to note that they had a mechanism to generate a customized Blue Shield of California Online Provider Directory! Fill out a bunch of options, a PDF is generated and in a matter of minutes you are notified via email to pick up your custom directory! I thought this was really cool. Wouldn't be great it tech manuals and training modules go down this path at a low level of granularity, say at the chapter or topic level as opposed to a course level or a product manual level. This is perfectly in line with the O'Reilly approach to online publishing.

In the EDA and semiconductor industry imagine if all content from various product vendors was actually made available online (with creative commons licensing of course) for end users to mix, match and modify content for their internal use, there is no question that design methodology would improve significantly. Besides, it would result in a better trained audience and a more knowledgeable user base. There is no question that this would help the industry overall. I am sure this is true for other technology disciplines as well. Most importantly, I think the positives offered by this scenario would far outweigh the negatives, if any.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Unfortunate, but true

Check out this news report about the failed eUniversity in UK. Its unfortunate but true. A classic example of people (and governments too!) throwing money at projects and expecting wonders. When things like this happen, it unfortunately sends negative signals about a fundamentally powerful technology with lots of potential but ahead of its times.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Interesting discussion on tech product manuals

I came across an interesting discussion on the poor quality of manuals and documentation in general in the IT industry. Some excellent points have been raised by many.