Introduction to the Mobile Ecology

Neil Perlin


Like any new technology, mobile has its share of confusing new jargon and concepts. Getting them wrong may be harmless … or it might lead to buying the wrong tool, hiring the wrong person, or going off in the wrong strategic direction.

This webinar provides an overview of the main concepts and terms in the mobile world. First, it discusses rationales for going mobile at all. It then discusses the types of mobile outputs—native apps, web apps, and ebooks—and pros and cons of each type, and then explains what an “app” is. The webinar then discusses authoring tools, focusing on those familiar to technical communicators but introducing some useful ones from outside the tech comm world. Finally, the presenter discusses design, planning, and management issues for mobile on its own and integrated into a larger tech comm environment.

Presenter Biography

Neil Perlin has 33 years of experience in technical communication, with 27 in training, consulting, and development for various online formats and tools, including WinHelp, HTML Help, JavaHelp, WebHelp, CE Help, Doc-To-Help, RoboHelp, Flare, and many now known only in legend. Neil is a columnist for Intercom, a frequent speaker for STC chapters, regional and annual conferences, and other professional groups. He is a member of STC’s New England chapter, started and ran the chapter’s EDoc SIG from 1993 to 1996, created and manages the Beyond the Bleeding Edge stem at STC’s annual conference, represented STC for the W3C (WorldWide Web Consortium) for three years in the early 2000s, and is an STC Fellow.

Neil is MadCap-certified for Flare and Mimic, Adobe-certified for RoboHelp and Captivate, and Viziapps-certified for Viziapps Studio. He provides training, consulting, and development for online documentation and help, Flare, RoboHelp, Captivate, Mimic, XML, single-sourcing, structured authoring, and mobile app development through Hyper/Word Services of Tewksbury, MA, He can be reached at, and blogs and tweets periodically about technical communication, amateur astronomy, and barbecue at NeilEric.