Sharpening senses with social media


“I share, therefore I am.” In a previous post about enforcing our reality, I explored the concept of our evolving social-media presence, its possible dangers, and its perceived influence on “our total social reality”. Despite our social technophobia, social media “poses no more and no less of a social threat than any other technological breakthrough like the automobile, television, and Internet”.

But can social media be something more than simply “sharing your thoughts, feelings, photos, and lives with the online world”? More than simply “an effort to declare or enforce your perceived reality or existence”? Why not? If we look up beyond our impulsive two-second retweets, sharing thoughts can lead to exploring new ideas, uncovering new interpretations, and discovering new insights.

Watch Dogs: Skills Tree

Watch Dogs: Skills Tree

Hi, my name is Jay, and I’m an IBM TRIRIGA information developer at IBM. When I launched my blog in November 2013, I knew next to nothing about cloud computing. But I didn’t let that stop me from learning the cloud basics. Now, 10 months later, I’ve sharpened my senses to a point where I’m finding flawed statements about IBM BlueMix PaaS and IBM Service Engage SaaS on other blogs!
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Smashing schedules in the mobile age


Truth? Myth? The 8-hour sleep cycle. The 8-hour work day. The 40-hour work week. Most of us have probably seen the recurring tweets, blogs, and articles about the truths and myths behind these industrial traditions. In fact, when I first decided to write about this topic, I was planning to focus on the 8-hour sleep cycle. Until I realized that the 8-hour work day was strongly connected.

So I decided to perform another one of my experiments. In my previous post about spicy rotations, I argued that to keep my projects fresh and to avoid burning out, the key is to “rotate my product-specific Agile teams, just like I rotate my favorite restaurants”. Why not extend that idea beyond my work hours? Why not apply it to my sleep cycle or my entire day? What is my natural work cycle?

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

Hi, my name is Jay, and I’m an IBM TRIRIGA information developer at IBM. For two full weeks in April, I relaxed my working, playing, eating, and sleeping schedules to their most “natural” cycles. Even if I felt like playing the Assassin’s Creed IV video game or watching Japanese touge racing videos at night until 3am in the morning, when did I experience my most productive work hours?
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Speeding ahead to MadCap Flare 10


Several weeks ago, on a day-off whim, I started watching the classic racing-anime series “Initial D” (1998) about a natural-born drift racer named Takumi and his 1980s Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno or “Eight-Six”. Immediately, I found myself being pulled into the passionate world of Japanese street racing. Before I knew it, several weeks later, I finished “Initial D: Fourth Stage” (2004-2006).

What does a Toyota AE86 have to do with MadCap Flare 10? In a word, passion! Just as Takumi’s natural attachment to his Toyota AE86 triggers his passion for downhill drift racing, my persistent fondness for MadCap Flare is fueling my passion for topic-based authoring outside of IBM. After all, overcoming difficult challenges is much more fun when you’re driven by some heartfelt passion.

Initial D: Toyota AE86 or "Eight-Six"

Initial D: Toyota AE86 or “Eight-Six”

Hi, my name is Jay, and I’m an IBM TRIRIGA information developer at IBM. In a previous post, I wrote: “When I attended my first local STC chapter meeting in September, I was exposed to Madcap Flare [9] for the first time too. Not only did the Flare demo impress me more than the Oxygen [15] demos, but ever since that presentation, I’ve thought about buying Flare for my own personal use.”
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Burning XHTML bridges to WordPress


Three months ago, in a November post, I explored the “top 3 most-popular and most-reliable WordPress.org security plugins” at the time. Although some might blame the WordPress.org community for any security vulnerabilities, it is also the responsibility of the user to “actively maintain and update the software”. In other words, “your blog is only as strong as its weakest plugin”.

Later, in a December post and January post, I investigated the possible “downfall of topic-based XML authoring and topic-based information architecture” and the “growing impact of WordPress as an enterprise CMS and enterprise SaaS”.  If XML CMSs mean extinction, I also wondered whether “XML-oriented integrations… will forever be incompatible with PHP-based CMSs like WordPress.”

Madcap Flare: Topic XML view and text view

Madcap Flare: Topic XML view and text view

Hi, my name is Jay, and I’m an IBM TRIRIGA information developer at IBM. In my ongoing journey to explore topic-based DITA-XML authoring and its relationship to social-based WordPress strategies, I stumbled across a fascinating five-year-old solution that allows you to import your DITA-authored XHTML output into your WordPress.org installation.
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Killing XML and IA with social media


Back in October 2013, the IBM editor for my writing team forwarded her enlightening observation about the meteoric rise of mobile media and the potential fall of topic-based authoring. I hadn’t created this blog yet, but I knew that her thoughts might be the seed for an intriguing post someday. Over a month after creating my blog, I still didn’t know how to frame the subject. This is, until now.

With over 20 years of IBM experience, my editor wrote: “Highly technical information that’s delivered on YouTube is widely accepted by technical users… More and more, users will be accessing our products from mobile devices. To learn something new, would you rather watch a YouTube video on your mobile phone or read several topics in an information center?”

TRIRIGAPEDIA: Hosted by the MediaWiki-powered Wikia.com

TRIRIGAPEDIA: Hosted by the MediaWiki-powered Wikia.com

Hi, my name is Jay, and I’m an IBM TRIRIGA information developer at IBM. After publishing a dozen entries, I realized that my editor’s compact yet powerful observation overlaps my blog posts about dissecting DITA, breathing Oxygen XML, plugging into WordPress, searching Big Blue, and probably a few more. Do they collectively predict the downfall of topic-based XML authoring and topic-based information architecture? Let’s find out.
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Breathing Oxygen XML in Windows 7


Recently, in a previous post, I talked about my inevitable yet anticipated migration of my IBM-issued Lenovo ThinkPad laptop from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Well, guess what? I began the migration phase on Friday night, successfully completed it on Sunday night, then successfully completed the application updates and upgrades on Monday night.

Windows 7: Jay’s new work desktop (2013)

Windows 7: Jay’s new work desktop (2013)

Hi, my name is Jay, and I’m an IBM TRIRIGA information developer at IBM. During the entire 3-day process, the installation that I anticipated the most was that of the <oXygen/> XML Author by Syncro Soft. But for clarity and convenience, I’ll refer to it as the Oxygen XML Author, or Oxygen for short.
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