A lot of people don’t know about the Experts site, and it makes me a little sad. Not just because it’s what I spend 80% of my time on, but because I think that a lot of people would find it incredibly helpful if they did know about it. This week I’ve been focused on documentation for the future. With every roll-out of a new version of Blackboard, we have to make new documentation or update the current documentation (depending on if it’s a new feature or a modification of an old one.) For the last service pack, we updated Blackboard at the end of the summer, but we started creating documentation for the new features at the beginning of the summer. I currently don’t know when we will update our service pack, but I’m already writing the documentation for the new features. If we happen to skip SP14 and just wait for SP15—a strategy we’ve used in the past—we will still need to know how to use these features, so it isn’t a wasted effort by any means.
I also spend a lot of time reviewing the formatting of new documentation going into Experts. Because Experts is a wiki, it’s a living document that is constantly being updated and changed as technology is being updated and changed. However, we need to keep things looking clean, professional, and easy for the user of the wiki to read. Consistency is key to this, which takes a good eye for details and a mild obsession with matching. I’ve said before that it makes me sad how much of the Experts Style guide lives in my head, and it’s true, but that’s what makes me the right person to look things over. There are a lot of times when I can’t guarantee the veracity of the information, (so many people in this world are so much smarter than me!) but I can at least make sure the information is formatted correctly. And so I walk a lonely road with perfectly aligned lists and pictures all with a border and less than 500 pixels wide.
–Renée Dunn, Computer Services Training and Documentation GA and “Wiki Ninja”