Enterprise technology buyers are some of the most educated buyer types in the marketplace today. I don’t necessarily mean well-educated in terms of schooling, but more so in terms of how much they educate themselves when researching the technology they’re asked to buy on behalf of their company.
When I look at our sales wins here at MindTouch, I check out the individual opportunity records to see what our prospects “consumed” from MindTouch on their way to becoming a customer. 2 years ago, downloading a trial version of the product and reading a case study might have been good enough to move forward with a purchase – today, that’s barely the tip of the iceberg.
Oct 1 – Updated! This post has been updated to now include the entire 25 Most Influential Content Strategists. The announcement was made today on-stage at LavaCon. Congratulations to Joe Pulizzi of Junta42, who was named The Most Influential Content Strategist. Keep reading to learn why we put this list together and how we arrived at the Top 25.
At the upcoming LavaCon 2.0: The Conference on Digital Media and Content Strategies, our very own Mark Fidelman (follow Mark here on Twitter for the latest news and commentary on content strategy and technical communication) will be delivering the keynote address “Why Content Strategists are the Next Corporate Rock Stars.” In the keynote, Mark will discuss the incredible value content strategists will bring to the enterprise in the coming years as skills such as content delivery, discovery and curation become required to rise above the market clutter—the very same principles that MindTouch 2010, the Killer App for Strategic Content, was designed to support.
In keeping with the theme, we set out to identify the leading content strategists in the industry today—the Rock Stars that are continually pushing the content strategy conversation forward. We evaluated hundreds of members of this community and created a measurement that took into account a wide range of metrics including, but not limited to internet presence, work on standards bodies, influence and community engagement and participation.
Today in conjunction with the team at LavaCon, we’re announcing a portion of the entire Top 25 list. You can find the full list and presentation below. Who did we miss? Use the comments section below to let us know what you think!
Last week, I had a chance to interview our very own, MindTouch CTO and co-founder Steve Bjorg, about the importance of MindTouch Technical Communications Suite. I sat down with Steve for a Q&A session on MindTouch TCS, so that you can have his view into the importance and power of the product.
Mark Fidelman: What is MindTouch TCS and why is it so remarkable?
Steve Bjorg: MindTouch TCS is the culmination of the most exhaustive research in the company’s history, which included several rounds of market feedback and focus groups. We studied our current and prospective customers and asked them what they needed in a solution to be more successful. We discovered that there is a major issue around authoring and publishing content for the web. They desperately need a more robust and focused solution for documentation and Customer Support. They also sorely lacked analytics and curation tools to help them create better content for their customers.
In fact, we found there needed to be a serious re-thinking of the way companies are using documentation. I believe we achieved that with MindTouch TCS.
In just a little under 3 weeks – September 9th, to be exact - MindTouch will be hosting our European Launch Event in London to formally bring MindTouch Technical Communications Suite across the pond. MindTouch TCS, the Killer App for strategic content, has already been met with considerable market enthusiasm throughout North America and we’re excited to launch our newest offering to our European customers and partners.
Register Here for the Event
Already, we’re expecting a full house at the event, where we’ll be presenting the “Future of Strategic Content”. This is a must-attend event for anyone interested in learning how documentation can become a key strategic driver for increased revenue, decreased support costs and more effective community and brand building. In addition to our presentation, we’ll also be showcasing how the most innovative companies author, publish and curate their online documentation.
This all leads to the centerpiece of the day’s discussions – how MindTouch TCS enables our customers and partners to deliver the industry’s first “social documentation” solution to their users and communities. Like I said, this is a must-attend event for anyone responsible for their company’s content strategy.
As an added bonus, we are pleased to announce that Ellis Pratt, from Cherryleaf will be one of our featured speakers. As you might recall, Ellis was recently named one of the – #5 to be exact – Most Influential Technical Communicators by MindTouch. Ellis will be presenting the “Seven Key Challenges Technical Publications Departments Face Today”.
I hope to see you there!
Register Here for the Event
With the recent launch of MindTouch Technical Communications Suite (TCS) we have been hosting weekly webinars to familiarize our customers and community with the new features and functionality of the product. Webinars are an ideal medium through which to showcase the distinct differences between our products, so be sure to periodically check back to our webinars page where new additions will be posted weekly.
Our next webinar is this Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 10:30am PDT and is a brief 30 Minute tour of MindTouch TCS – The Killer App for Strategic Documentation. During this engaging 30 minute session, we will cover the basics of MindTouch TCS including ease of authoring and content discovery, search, administration and more!
In addition, each week we will spend a few minutes exploring a selected MindTouch feature or module in more detail.
Sign up for Thursday’s MindTouch TCS Demo!
MindTouch has long been recognized as leading the way of innovation with our general purpose collaboration platform. We’ve continued that technology leadership with our newest releases last week of MindTouch Platform v.10 and MindTouch Core.
The newest member of the MindTouch product portfolio - MindTouch Technical Communications Suite is however, anything but general purpose. This is the most focused product we have ever released. It’s built on the same great platform, but it has been sharpened with a wealth of research about a particular use case, serving a new and emerging market: strategic documentation. An emerging market, one that MindTouch users have been defining for a few years now.
Fifteen months ago we set out to better understand how we serve the millions of MindTouch users on our platform. The goal was to identify the top use cases, map those to market opportunity and mission criticality then design and launch solutions for the top few. What better way to inform product development and deliver more value to our users than by speaking directly with many thousands of them?
With our findings we quickly launched a few solution frameworks and productized some apps. These all were wildly popular. It’s hard to miss when you listen to your users. However, one use-case emerged as a surprisingly clear winner that was simply in a category of it’s own: product and services documentation. Or as we now think of it, strategic documentation.
Guest Post by Anne Gentle
I recently read Founders at Work, a collection of interviews with founders of different high tech companies through the last thirty (going towards forty) years. One technologist, Max Levchin, the founder of PayPal, started a company with an idea that people would want to transfer money securely from one Palm Pilot to another. I remember sitting at a restaurant in Atlanta Georgia with my husband’s buddies in 1998, and paying others for our meal through PayPal on my husband’s Palm Pilot.
At the time they started, PayPal expected the mobile device market would need secure money transfers and their aim was to provide that. What happened instead is that eBay users constantly asked if they could use their secure technology for Internet money transfers. PayPal tried to ignore eBay users for a short while before realizing their users were demanding a service that they could easily provide. As you might guess, they peaked out with the mobile device money transfer at 12,000 users but millions of eBay users love PayPal for their secure money transfers.
I believe MindTouch was in a similar situation about a year ago – technical communicators found MindTouch first, and MindTouch listened. And how. I visited their offices in San Diego in February for a focus group and was delighted that a web content vendor was paying attention to tech comm! They outlined their vision based on what technical communicators were telling them – that we need more agility, that our users demand HTML on the web and want to interact with our content just like the rest of the web.