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New Redbooks Materials and Channels


The changes don’t just involve content; they involve speed. “The beauty of the new approach is that we can release content like Solution Guides and Product Guides shortly after a residency ends,” Kelsey says. “We don’t have to wait months for the Redbooks publication to be published before we can share the residents’ insights.” He cites a recent project that called for the release of a Redbooks publication in November. In the traditional model, that would have been the sole result. With the new paradigm, the team produced two technical blogs during the residency, a video and a Solution Guide prior to publication of the detailed document—and, yes, the full Redbooks publication in November.

No matter what technical role you’re in, we want to give you what you need when you need it and where you need it.”
—Todd Kelsey, IBM Redbooks manager

Even for IT professionals who want classic Redbooks publications, these new formats offer a significant time advantage. “Why should an architect or a CIO or CTO wait months for a Redbooks publication to be published when they just want a high-level understanding?” Kelsey asks rhetorically. And users agree. “Some of the newer content types are getting five times the traffic of the traditional Redbooks material.”

Beyond just content, the program also includes workshops built around material generated during the residency and typically taught by Redbooks authors. They can be accessed via scheduled sessions or online webinars, or custom workshops can be conducted at company facilities.

Redbooks Program and You

To make the content even more accessible, the program now delivers over a range of communications channels. The Redbooks homepage contains portals for each of the major IBM brands, allowing users to easily find the content they need. They can sort by new or most-popular entries, or search by title and keyword. They can read comments by previous users or join the dialogue themselves. The portal also includes a list of scheduled workshops with associated registration pages.

Users can sign up for RSS feeds or follow the program on Twitter to get advance notice of new content and residencies.

In addition to downloads from the Web and the Apple iStore, the Redbooks program Facebook page has garnered more than 18,000 likes. It allows users to interact with the greater IBM community to discuss the material with peers or address questions to Redbooks authors.

Through all of these portals, as well as the Redbooks YouTube channel, users can download streaming video, for example learning ways to use equity analytics to improve model accuracy from Jeff Jonas, IBM Fellow and chief scientist of Entity Analytics www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/redp4913.html?Open.

The latter is part of a growing trend. “We’re adding blogging and video plus seven new content types,” Kelsey says. For a project focused on the IBM Intelligent Operations Center, a Smarter Cities* solution designed for the city of Rio de Janeiro as it prepares to host the 2016 Olympics and 2014 World Cup, the Redbooks publication focuses on the center’s operations and provides videos on troubleshooting scenarios. It’s a way for users to learn directly from practitioners with application-tested solutions. “One of the residents on that project came from Brazil and he shares what he thinks is important in the Redbooks publication,” Kelsey says.

Kristin Lewotsky is a freelance technology writer based in Amherst, N.H.



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