I had a great idea come across my radar this week – a Documentation Blitz! I’ve been working on case studies for a second edition of my book, Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation, and in one of the case studies from Sarah Maddox at Atlassian, I uncovered a gem of an idea. From Sarah:
We have also held a couple of documentation blitz tests. This is a very successful way of involving the development and support teams in testing the documentation just before the release date. The technical writers set up a plan, including a list of the documents to focus on and a couple of ways people can give us feedback. We usually include an IRC channel, as well as wiki pages and comments, so that the engineers can choose the way that suits them best. We allocate a time period, usually just an hour, and everyone dives into the documentation. The chat session goes wild, comments fly, and we end up with a lot of useful feedback.
I love this idea and want to experiment with it for OpenStack. Fortunately the timing is just right, with the Diablo release ready for a September 22nd release. So, here’s the plan.
On Monday September 19th, from 2:00-3:00 CST (Monday, September 19, 2011 at 17:00:00):
- Add comments to the documentation pages at http://docs.openstack.org/docblitz (I’ll open these pages up on Monday).
- Chat about your findings in the #openstack IRC channel.
- Send out a tweet using #docblitz hashtag.
- Log a documentation bug at https://bugs.launchpad.net/openstack-manuals.
To get coverage on the other side of the globe, we’ll run the Doc Blitz for a second hour at 11:00 pm – 12:00 midnight CST (Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 04:00:00).
Let’s go find some doc bugs!