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  Thursday, October 21, 2004

Steve Calde, who spoke at the July meeting of STC Silicon Valley, has an article in the new Cooper newsletter entitled "Using Personas to Create User Documentation." Seems like a sensible enough idea: if your designers use personas as a task-analysis tool before developing the product, use the same personas (and task analysis) to guide the documentation. I'd love to see that at work in my company. So many times I have to wonder who I'm really writing for, and what they need. Our guidelines say I'm writing for "implementers and administrators." But I've never met one, and never had feedback on what they need to know from me. A persona or two -- or use cases, whatever -- would certainly be helpful.
3:35:36 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Jimbob thinks my next career should be in podcast reviewing:

Fred Sampson did a quick and nice review of some podcasts. We need to encourage Fred to become the next Siskel & Ebert of podcast reviews. Oh, sorry. I mean Ebert & Roeper. Whoever.

Somebody's gonna have a killer website ( if they start rating podcasts objectively with a 5 star system and writing little reviews like Fred did. They won't have a spare minute in their life with all those podcasts to listen to but they'll have a very popular website. Even better, two podcast critics doing a Car Talk / At The Movies type thing! [Whole Wheat Radio Blog And Podcast]

Well, just like Jimbob, I don't have time for such self-indulgence either. I have this "real" job, and a family that likes to see me once in a while, plus way too many volunteer activities. Meanwhile, Dave Slusher says someone's already doing a nice job of podcast reviews. But at the rate he's going he'll never keep up. I expect podcast popularity will work much like blogs: the best reference each other, word gets out when something new and interesting pops up, the not-so-good will wither away or simply have no listeners, and all will be right with the world. As long as we don't incur the wrath of the RIAA by playing unlicensed music. . .

3:27:57 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

Dave Slusher's podcast from yesterday includes a well-reasoned and reasonable exposition on the value and validity of the term "podcast." Seems some have taken issue with the word as technically inaccurate (podcasts aren't just for iPods, yada yada yada). Dave says all the right things about "podcast" being a meme. The one thing he doesn't address is the concept of branding. Brand names don't have to make technical sense (most don't. . .). What they do is resonate, strike a chord, evoke an image that makes the concept instantly understandable. That's what "podcast" does. The difference being that no one company owns the podcast brand.

Oh, and a peripheral comment about Dave's blog title, Evil Genius Chronicles. Dave says the name comes from Wile E. Coyote's reference to himself. But his business card said "Super Genius," not Evil Genius. AFIK, Evil Genius comes from the User Friendly online comic strip and its several books.

1:17:38 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

After mentioning in an earlier post that iPodderX had stopped working for me, one of its developers, Ray Slakinski, contacted me. We exchanged some email on the issues, and he just emailed to say there's a new (2.1.2) version out, which I have running at this very moment. We'll see what happens.

1:06:13 PM    Questions? Comments? Flames? []

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