Mindtouch, the San Diego based enterprise collaboration vendor ,is today launching it’s technical Communications Suite that is designed to combine traditional technical communications content curation with ease of publishing, community engagement and social interactions.
Mindtouch has already used this suite for such diverse customers as CompleteGuides.net, ExactTarget, RightScale, and Intuit. The offering itself includes the tools generally found in traditional technical communications applications, authoring, publishing and search, and repackages them with integrated social and online aspects including branding, forums, question and answer, blogging, social profiles and badges.
I spoke with Aaron Fulkerson, CEO of Mindtouch to get a handle on what this product offering means for businesses and specifically. He cited the example of CompleteGuides. CompleteGuides is a new boutique publisher of technical e-books. Their first book the sadly no-longer relevant Complete Guide to Google Wave, was created using traditional publishing techniques Update – see comment below regarding the techniques used in the first publication. Their second book, the Complete Android Guide, was built on the Mindtouch platform. Some statistics that Fulkerson in part attributes to the Mindtouch platform include:
- Over 800 copies of the eBook and iPad app sold within 48 hours, growing to over twice this number in the first week alone
- Supported over 20,000 unique daily visitors to the MindTouch powered site
- Received and managed hundreds of post launch community contributions, to be used in future versions of the CompleteGuide for Android
- An impressive wave of social mentions: Over 500 Twitter mentions, 70 blog posts.
In this world where business is increasingly using the web as a primary sales channel, it makes sense to have documentation creation, engagement and editing online. This product from Mindtouch will allow technical documentation to no longer be in a walled garden of its own – rather community contributions, marketing approaches and actual product sales can all happen on one platform.
Mindtouch isn’t releasing pricing for the TCS solution, and currently it’s a little manual, requiring Mindtouch to actually set an instance up. I can imagine however a situation where this solution is as simple as a blogging platform such as WordPress or Tumblr – businesses or individuals could set up an instance, brand it with their own skin, and have instant access to all the tools needed to create documentation.
Interestingly it could be said that Mindtouch’s competition isn’t so much with the traditional TCS players but rather with a host of publishing platforms – much of what Mindtouch is providing can be achieved through, for example, WordPress and some of it’s e-commerce and publishing add ons – but for organizations that want a one hit, end to end technical publishing solution – Mindtouch is a good bet.