Daniel Gundi is a technical writer at Adobe working on documentation and video tutorials for Business Catalyst. This is an interview I grabbed when I was in Sydney earlier this year at one of the first official Partner conferences.
Brent: Hey, this is Brent Weaver from BCGurus.com. I'm here today with Daniel Gundi from Adobe. Welcome to the program.
Daniel: Thank you.
Brent: So, Daniel, tell me what you do at Adobe.
Daniel: Currently, I'm a technical writer for Adobe, just working on the BC help documentation, video tutorials and all that.
Brent: OK. Very cool. So what's your background? Where did you get introduced to web? How did you find yourself at Adobe working on BC?
Daniel: All right. OK. Well, honestly, I didn't know web was the way I wanted to go out first. I started off with a network engineering path, and found myself in a start-up job with a web-hosting company. Then I thought,
"Wow. Web is the way I want to go. It's the future." Then I found myself really wanting to work with a small start-up company, just a small group of guys just trying to get their way out there.
Brent: And that was Adobe, right?
Daniel: Well, yeah. That's how I found Adobe. No, no. I've been with Business Catalyst since 2008. Now, in 2008 when I applied for the job, the role was actually for a GoodBarry Company, which is Business Catalyst's sister company.
Brent: I'm sure some partners are like, "What are you talking about?"
Daniel: The newer partners might not know, but yeah. I applied for this GoodBarry job so I thought it sounded small enough and it was a support role at the time. So, yeah, we were in a small office this is prior to acquisition, obviously, a small office, me and Mario from support sitting there just doing our support cases. Now, at the time, it was one inbox was basically where our cases were. We'd go through an inbox and just take them ourselves and write back to them so we've definitely come a long way.
Brent: So there have been improvements.
Daniel: Slightly, yeah.
Brent: I can't imagine what support would look like if it was still through one inbox right now.
Daniel: It was a bit tough, yeah. It was a bit tough at the time so now I don't think it would be too great. Yeah, so from there, obviously, the acquisition to Adobe, still working on support, getting a feel for what our customers need and the pain they had.
I found that documentation was a big thing so at the time, we had no one dedicated to documentation and, in my spare time in between support, I was sort of updating whatever I could, in terms of articles and everything like that. Slowly, slowly, I transitioned more and more of my time into focusing on documentation and less support as we got our team built up. Yeah, so I found myself now as a technical writer for Adobe, working on the Business Catalyst documentation.
Brent: Got you. So I'm sure as some partners can understand right now, it seems documentation is kind of in a transition if you will. Can you maybe elaborate a little bit about what's going on in that department?
Daniel: No, that's fine. That's probably the word I would have used as well. There's a bit of a transition phase now. There's a few reasons for that. One is, as you would all know, the V2 to V3 transition. So we sort of needed to cater for the two interfaces still available. Then we also have CCM, the credit cloud subscription. There's a few different workflows to getting to building a BC site now, as you may know. So you have your Dreamweaver users, you have your Muse users. You have your guys still coming through the BC website, so it's really important to sort of differentiate the different sort of workflows in the article. So you'll need a quick set-up guy for the Dreamweaver users, the Muse users, the BC users, and so forth. So it's still a transition phase but it's definitely going to be improving.
Brent: OK. Is there kind of a light at the end of the tunnel? Where are we going to see documentation kind of get back to where it's really taking partners' businesses to the next level?
Daniel: Oh, yeah, yeah, for sure. The light at the end of the tunnel here is that we finally have a structure in place, as opposed to just updating it through support. We are basically rebuilding our knowledge base, and all our community content. Now when I mention "community", the big part of the difference between what we were doing before and what we're doing now is we really want to leverage the community in this.
One thing I took out from the partner conference we just had yesterday, is that a lot of our partners are more than happy to share their content and help out other partners. There's a strong community around BC. It's amazing, and that's what we want to take advantage of. We don't have to write every, single article or make every video ourselves. There's a lot of good content out there from our big partners, and we want to take advantage of that. And we can reference to them from our articles or from our topics pages. It definitely doesn't have to be Adobe-written content, no. Yeah, that's a big part of it.
Brent: Very cool. So we've seen the new forum come into play. I know we're going to be talking to Mario here in a bit about that, but the new knowledge base as well, there's going to be the ability to kind of contribute at some level? If a partner, say, has something they want to contribute back, what's the next step for them?
Daniel: Right, OK. Well on that step, I'm going into the forums as Mario will go into more detail about how the forums are going but as you may have seen already, the forums are a great community aspect. There's private messaging. There's ratings if articles or documents are helpful. If anyone does want to contribute any videos, any articles or just want to discuss anything like that, feel free to actually get me on the forums, private message me.
Brent: You're probably one of the top contributors on there.
Daniel: Yeah. A few people have already found me through some of the documents but, yeah, just get me on there. We can definitely discuss.
Brent: OK. Now I see some documentation coming through on the forums, but the knowledge base itself is kind of going to get revamped with this whole project?
Daniel: Yeah, that's right. So with the old knowledge base or the previous knowledge base, everything was sort of all in one funnel. We had technical documents such as jQuery, work arounds. We had tutorials, quick help reference articles, everything in one place. Now in the forums we've sort of found a good way to have those quick tips, jQuery, any Java script help, because everyone can comment on it and actually add any further tips, which is great. But we're actually redoing right now, we're restructuring the actual help content, what we like to call "the core content" so that's probably the most important to start with. We're in progress with that. We're doing quite well. I'd say we're looking at it this year.
Brent: Very cool. So expect some better, the nuts and bolts of the documentation be in 2012. That's really cool.
Daniel: Definitely, definitely, yeah.
Brent: So, Daniel, is there anything else you'd like to tell the BC community now? You've kind of got the floor.
Daniel: It's all me now. No, I'd just really like to emphasize that we do want to take advantage of those partners who do want to help out other partners, or who just want to get their own content out there. We're more than happy to help you do that. Just, once again, contact me on the forums and we can work from there.
Brent: Very cool. Well I definitely appreciate it. The hospitality, I think as I said when I was talking to Jackson, has just been amazing in Australia. I can't thank you guys enough for taking care of us here at this two-day conference and we appreciate your time, for sure.
Daniel: No problem.
Brent: Well thanks for listening in and expect more great content from BCGurus.com.