I started the working day with a blank piece of paper and the goal of completing a technical article. As so often when I write I need to build up some structure before launching into writing words: headings, concepts and key ideas.
Sometimes I even find it difficult to conceive and organise the ideas I want to write about. On these occasions I start mind mapping; writing down random ideas on the subject and then connecting, extending and elaborating. The article structure usually flows directly from this activity.
The ideas are generated in a non-linear and inter-linked manner. In fact it struck me that the standard text-based article or document presented in a web browser or document viewer tends to present ideas in a highly linear manner with only limited linking functionally. In many ways the text document is a poor vehicle for presenting some technical material.
I also spent much of the day catching up on Documentum technical videos. I was struck by how effective they are at presenting both conceptual ideas and simple how-to demonstrations.
Both these ideas set me thinking about alternative methods of presenting project information. I tweeted the idea looking to see if anyone else had thoughts in this area. Lee Dallas responded with his experience: video knowledge capture, in fact he expanded his tweet into a blog post http://bit.ly/phLkdd.