As Editor of the Oracle Developer Tools User Group (ODTUG) Technical Journal, I am privileged to read and review all conference materials submitted for the ODTUG Editor’s Choice Award. This is a task I look forward to each year – since 2007 or 8 when I first volunteered for the ODTUG Technical Journal. This year should be interesting …
The popularity of blogs, videos, and podcasts attests to the fact that today’s developers are gathering information in a wide variety of media. Our members are consuming more information online and in alternate formats, as opposed to formal white papers and other printed media. Some have said the white paper is dead; others say they just don’t have time to read one, let alone write one.
ODTUG’s aim is to deliver quality, timely technical content to our members in the most convenient online formats possible – and we want to keep that momentum going. Over a year ago, our Technical Journal transitioned to an entirely online format. Accordingly, it’s time to make the next transition, with our Kscope conference materials.
In the past, we asked Kscope speakers to submit both their presentation slides and a white paper that covered their presentation topic. Starting in 2014, we invite our Kscope conference presenters to submit their conference materials in the following media types: video, audio file, blog post, and white paper. Entries should convey a complete technical topic.
All conference materials are eventually available to our members. The purpose of this expansion is two-fold. Accepting speaker presentation submissions in the aforementioned reusable media types:
- Increases the volume and type of technical material available to our members
- Expands the ODTUG Editor’s Choice Award to acknowledge creative, effective use of all modern media options to convey a complete technical topic, not just white papers
Our Editor’s Choice Award honors excellence in conveying a complete technical topic to our members. Expanding the media type of Editor’s Choice submissions simply means we have a wider variety of submissions to judge. The Editor’s Choice Award winner is decided by a team of ODTUG experts who review all of the conference submissions and grade them according to a variety of scoring criteria that cover these general topics:
- Communication Quality – assesses communication style (written or verbal), overall organization of the media, and grammar
- Applicability – evaluates subject matter importance, completeness, effectiveness, and accuracy
- Topic Merit – acknowledges the exceptional and innovative, treatment of a cutting-edge topic, technical complexity, or a new and unique approach to a common problem
There are two new scoring points related to media type – one for media format in the Communication Quality category, and one for effective use of media in the Applicability category. The recommended media type score values submission types in this order: video, white paper, audio file, blog post; however, each submission will be evaluated on its own merit. Effective use of the media in conveying the message is more important.
Remember that these new media-related scores are just two of over 150 possible points, so our advice is to not get too hung up on media format. The content and the message are the stars.
Most important for the Editor’s Choice Award is overall excellence in technical communication of complete technical topic for our ODTUG members. As such, grammar, organization, proper formatting (for the media type), clarity, examples appropriate for the content, and how well the message is conveyed all matter.
By the way – no tweets allowed! Our ODTUG members are smart and eager to learn; they are hungry for more than a tweet. As a technical editor, I believe our members deserve more than 140 characters.
We are also accepting nominations for our Editor’s Choice Review Team. This dedicated team of volunteers reviews each conference submission according to published scoring criteria. The scores are weighted and averaged to arrive at an overall winner. Our review team is comprised of a cross-section of our members – no one developer tool or technical topic is overly weighted or favored. We are always looking for new Editor’s Choice Team members. To join us, or to nominate someone else, please contact me at email@example.com, or use the contact form below. Reviewing conference submissions is an easy way to volunteer for ODTUG and get a preconference view of all Kscope conference material. It’s like a conference before the conference.
So, Kscope presenters – wow us with your stuff! Impress us! The door is open – show us what you know, in your favorite media. I thank you in advance, from all our ODTUG members.
As always, happy coding,