Friday, March 02, 2007

Doing a whitepaper? Begin early enough!

This will probably be my last night working on my whitepaper for Collaborate 07. I look forward to get a long night in the weekends!

This night I was not alone! My friend John Scott was also working on his presentation ;-) When you know you're not alone doing these things that need to be done, it's a bit easier. We also triggered each other once and a while. Thanks John to keep me alive!

It's my first whitepaper for a big event, so I thought I should blog about my experience doing that and also to warn the others not to make the same mistake.

I submitted my extract, that's easy... I had also my presentation in my "head" (I thought), so writing this whitepaper shouldn't take that long. That was a *big* mistake, or should I say a miscalculation. ;-)

I started with the concept of what I wanted to tell: ApEx Shared Components, what can they do? and why and how I used them in DG Tournament. A manual is great, but it doesn't show you that specific thing working in a real environment, so I wanted to cover that area.
Of course I love some screenshots, as an image says more then thousand words, so I made a lot of them and included it in the whitepaper.

When I was writing things down, I thought: "Will this be interesting enough for the public?", "Does all this get fit in an one hour presentation?" etc.

So, I asked John Scott and Doug Gault to have a look at the very first draft of the paper. They sent me some comments and tips how to improve (thanks guys).
That's something I learned from Tom Kyte, he told once that it's important to have good reviewers.
I realize now I should have asked more people to read my whitepaper or let them reread the current version. Well, next time I'll try to do better and think about what happened this week.

Finally my Tips & Hints when you want to do your first whitepaper:
  1. Prepare yourself
  2. Know what you want to write about
  3. Know what you want to tell to the audience
  4. Start early
  5. Let good people review your paper
  6. Adapt accordingly
  7. If time becomes an issue: get enough coffee ;-)

This is my advice so far, I wish I had followed all of that myself!
If you're having some other tips for me, don't hesitate to put a comment.


Anonymous said...

>start early

Now *that* is where I went wrong ;)


Anonymous said...

I've started working on my presentation for the EOUC last weekend...
Deadline : 23/4
That seems like early enough ;-)