AODC – in conclusion

Last week I attended the Australasian Online Documentation and Content Conference (AODC) on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. I’ve posted a number of detailed reports on the sessions I attended. This post is a summary and a “thank you” to the organisers.

A big thank you to Penny Bradley, Tony Self and HyperWrite — you did an awesome job, with not a hitch to be seen! I learned a lot, met a lot of people and laughed a lot. It’s valuable to see what other technical writers are doing, because we all tend to work in a particular technology or field and can feel isolated from the bigger picture.

Best of all, I now know how to pronounce “DITA”. It’s “ditter”, or even “didder” and not “deeter”. This handy distinction avoids confusion of the XML standard with Dita Von Teese.

Summary of AODC posts

Here’s a list of my blog posts on the sessions I attended:

You can also get to the above posts via the AODC tag.

And here are some other interesting posts on and around the conference:

  • A summary of AODC day 3 by Rhonda Bracey, one of the conference delegates — see her other posts on the AODC too, for excellent summaries and commentary.
  • Tech writer’s spot — Elena comments on the “nu grammar”.
  • Travelling Worm in Surfers Paradise — a review of the conference location from a hanger-on.

Next year?

I work at Atlassian. One of our products is a wiki called Confluence. Following the principle of eat your own dogfood, we do all our technical product documentation (well, almost all) on the Confluence wiki. For example:

At the AODC conference, a number of people were interested. What’s it like to do technical documentation on a wiki? What works well, what doesn’t? Why do we use Confluence for our documentation? Can customers contribute to the documentation? What process do we use to review changes made by people other than the technical writers? These were just some of the questions people asked me. Tony suggested that this would be a good topic for a session at next year’s conference. There’s certainly enough to talk about, and of course I find this topic exciting and absorbing šŸ™‚


Here are some snaps to make you wish you’d been there. First, the venue — Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia:

Surfers Paradise at dawn

My name tag, fairly unadorned because I’m uninteresting i.e. this was my first AODC session and I come from a boring state in Oz:

AODC - in conclusion

A more interesting name tag:

AODC - in conclusion

If you are unfortunate enough to hail from New Zealand, you get a kiwi or a sheep (depending on the whim of the name-tag creator) instead of the Ozzie state. If you’ve attended a large number of sessions, you get the superman logo and are dubbed a super-veteran. I’m not sure what Marian did to get the no entry sign superimposed over her superman logo! The sun means something too, over and above the fact that it shines out from you šŸ˜‰ and there are yet other pictures with meanings I’ve forgotten. Can anyone list the name-tag adornments?


About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 19 May 2008, in AODC, atlassian, Confluence, technical writing, wiki and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Sarah, really looking forward to your presentation at the next AODC.

  2. I am curious about wriing documentaiton in wiki. Do you actually write in wiki (using wiki markup) or do you write in a word processor, then convert to wiki markup. I am using the wiki platform and the wiki markup is cumbersome.

  3. Hallo there šŸ™‚ I do write all my docs on the wiki (Confluence) and yes, I do use wiki markup. Confluence also has a rich text editor, which you can use instead. That editor provides tools and WYSIWYG editing fairly similar to Microsoft Word, though not as rich in features. I prefer wiki markup because it’s quicker and I like the direct control it gives me.

  4. Fred Fredmore

    Sorry, but it’s “dee-tah” not “dittah”. And where that “r” sounds come from, I have no guess.

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