Part I: Social Media, Open Architecture & Mobile Devices : Open Architecture
Open Architecture
The rise of standards and open collaboration architecture practices fueled by public and private entities such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and companies like Google, have allowed software companies in every industry to take advantage of the Internet’s speed, scale and flexibility.
Online help documentation (once only published to printed documents, behind wikis requiring sign-in or other legacy systems) is easier than ever for users to access. However, new best practices have emerged for allowing end users to more easily find the information they seek in online documentation. Next generation HATs and publishing platforms are designed to integrate with Google applications and other credible APIs that create better products and experiences for the technical communicator and end user.
Google Site Search &
Google Analytics
Replacing client-side search implementations with best of breed tools like Google Site Search (used by 72% of US internet users (source: Google Zeitgeist) can eliminate load delays and decrease the response time required to bring users to specific topics. Doing so requires a HAT or publishing platform that can integrate with tools like Google Site Search.
At the same time, new integrations are possible that allow technical communicators and their teams to better monitor the usage of their documentation. Integrating Google Analytics or other analytics engines into online help documentation can offer the ability to track unique URLS created using topic names or unique file naming rules, offering concrete evidence of trouble spots or points of interests for user communities.
The integration of the best tools and functionality available for the end user and the technical communicator is imperative to producing exceptional documentation.
See Open Architecture Integration Example below
Open Architecture
Integration Example:
Google Search and

WebWorks Reverb Help
Impact graph showing online help system deployed using WebWorks Reverb Help showing a nearly 100% increase in page views over company’s Wiki documentation and nearly 400% increase over traditional online html help system over six week period. Reverb Help included Google Search integration and consideration for search engine performance, including page specific parameters.