TC Camp Gazette #8: Patricia Boswell

TC Camp Gazette

TC Camp NewsAn interview with: Patricia Boswell, Google

Please note: Unfortunately, Patricia’s class: “Measured Prose: Analytics for Your Content Performance” has been cancelled.

Why this topic? Traditionally, technical communications falls outside of the normal distribution of the bell curve when it comes to the field of Analytics. “Documentation is the outer shell electron of the company,” Patricia said. She went on to add that most people don’t consider how important their technical communications are to the customer. She explained, “By applying the right analytics to your product documentation, you can learn more about adoption and engagement signals to your online docs. Key engagement indicators are a direct correlation to the company bottom line.” In this way, she pointed out how you can use Analytics to make a case for the financial value of your documentation.

While financial value is important, you can also use Analytics to drive other actions with respect to documentation, such as where to focus your resources. “Certain signals tell you whether users find the information important or not-so-important, and from there, you can determine which parts of your documentation need the most effort, and which parts you can either remove or put on maintenance mode.”

Why the TC Camp Un-Conference? “I love the unstructured setting.” Before entering high tech in 1994, Patricia was an instructor and had led many types of training events from the scripted to the unstructured. “The most amazing classes I ever led were the ones where there was a loose structure. It gives you the chance to go with the dynamic flow and it makes it better for everyone.” Patricia echoed what so many have been saying about the TC Camp UnConference, “I am so excited about this event and the unscripted sessions.”

What can attendees expect to gain from attending your class? Whether or not you are currently using Google Analytics with your content, this is a must attend event! Patricia will be guiding you on a journey out into the wild to “do some really cool things with Google Analytics.” During this session you will be delving in to see Analytics in action, assessing concrete examples of content and not just abstract ones. You will come away with the knowledge of how the use analytics to drive viewers to your content. Patricia will also teach you how to craft your own campaign tags for stronger analytics to measure your traffic.

If you haven’t used Analytics before, but you are curious about it, this is the perfect opportunity to see what it is all about. If you are using Analytics and want to learn more, this is a chance to explore your specific content metrics in a workshop setting. There’s nothing like a concrete example to really help people understand Analytics.

Patricia BoswellPatricia Boswell and her husband have a very interesting hobby they share together. They design, remodel, and build homes. He does the architecture and is a general contractor, and she does the interior design and landscaping. They just recently sold their last creation and are currently “camping” on the land they will be developing next. She applies Analytics to her design hobby!

Improve your survival skillsSurvival Skills: Improve your skills through a workshop

#1 recommendation from the camp counselors? Review your camp experience

Make sure you fill out the evaluation form at the end of your workshop. Your camp counselors want to give feedback to the instructors and make improvements the next time around

Bring your gearPrep Steps: What are you bringing with you?

This week’s #1 recommendation from the camp counselors is to volunteer to facilitate a session.

Unconferences are run by the attendees. Session topics are voted on by the group. Each session must have someone who will volunteer to facilitate the discussion. You don’t need to be a subject matter expert on the discussion topic to be the facilitator. There is no ‘right way’ to lead a session. However, there is a preference towards promoting interaction and discussion.

Tip: Don’t assume people in the room know more, or less, than you do. You never know who is going to be interested in your session. You might want to start by asking people to hold up their hands if they’ve been involved with the topic for more than five years, for one to five years, or for one year or less.

Mystery SpotMystery Spot

Come to camp, earn a merit badge! TC Camp attendees are rewarded for the roles they assume in camp participation. Current Badge Report:

  • Workshop Instructor
  • Discussion Leader (Facilitator)
  • Discussion Reporter (Scribe)
  • Attendee (I came!)
  • Mystery Badge!

What other badges can you earn? Watch this spot!

Sign up for camp newsTick Tock! This month’s camp special

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From the Cat HoleFrom the cat hole: Brain teasers, oddities, and fun stuff

This week’s question:

How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

Last week’s answer: Mt. Everest. It just wasn’t discovered yet.

Email your guess to counselor@tccamp.org for a chance to win a special merit badge! Each correct answer from eligible entrants will result in one entry in the drawing. Drawing will be held at TC Camp during the general session. Winners must be present during the drawing at the camp to win. Eligible contestants must be fans of the TC Camp Facebook page, TC Camp LinkedIn page, and be subscribers to this newsletter at time of submission. Entries for today’s question close at midnight 1/15/2013.

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