Monday, March 14, 2011

A Look into the Mirror

Well, the 2011 conference is officially underway. Joe's speaking now, thanking sponsors and exhibitors and taking care of conference details.

For the first time, computer lab with all sorts of installed software for attendees to experiment with, plus guided lab sessions by vendors.

This is a session of polls, many of the questions submitted in the conference online community. The poll results will be posted to the community later.

Which skills are most important in career? Of the 5 choices, the ability to learn quickly got 45%, followed by writing and interpersonal skills at 21% each. Tool knowledge had 9% and understanding IT had 5%.

Favorite way to learn a new authoring tool? Trial & error overwhelming favorite at 42%, with classroom training at 21% and eLearning at 15%.

Improving skills in what area will best prepare you for the future? Delivering information viz handheld devices was tops at 35%, with eLearing development second at 25%. Social media and usability testing had 13% and 11%.

When asked at a party what you do for a living, you respond? Tops was writer, with 42%, then technical communicator at 33% and "I work with computers" at 14%. Unemployed and user assistance pro tied for last with 6%.

Which help controls do you use? "What the hell are A links and K links?" got 66%. A l;inks got 15% and A and K links got 10%.

What;s the biggest challenge to adopting a new tool or process? Enough time got 45% with resistance from personnel second at 29%. Lack of funds was third at 15% and infrastructure complaints had 11%.

Where do you think AIR Help will be 5 years from now? "What the hell is AIR Help?" got 37% with used in isolated cases a close second with 36%. Not sure was a distant third with 19% and widespread had just 8%.

Have you considered using a wiki for SMEs to review content? Yes, but not doing it had a bit of an edge with 33%, and "no, we don't want the SMEs fooling around with our content" was second with 25% and "No, but that's worth looking into" had 25%. Using one now was 15%, and "Wha the hell is a wiki?" had just 2%.

How do you keep your users up-to-date on software changes? "Other" won going away with 56%. A newsletter/bulletin came in second with 19%, and "we can't keep up" was third with 13%. Blog (7%) and webinars (6%) trailed.

How often do you telecommute? Never had 31% and less than 1 day/week had 30%. 1-2 days a week was at 19%, and full time came in at 12%. Interesting that 40% telecommute a day or more a week.

In the past year, what has been your primary method of non-sales contact with users? No contact came in first with 30%, and other had 25%. Email was third with 23% and in-person had 13%. Tony noted that a lot of the "no contact" comes from outsourcing, when we get contracts, we don't know who our users will be.

What type of smartphone do you have? No smartphone came in first at 40%. iPhone was next with 23% and Android trailed a bit with 16%. BlackBerry had 13%,  Other had 6%, Windows Phone came it with 3% and Nokia had 0%.

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