The traditional print publishing industry requires long production cycles before any book or publication can see print. This situation has become more acute for authors like myself who publish books on annual software releases. I hope to use this blog to publish information, updates, addenda, ruminations, and other "mid-cycle" missives. I hope you enjoy it.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010


I often joke with my editors that I could pepper the final chapters of my books with profanity and we would never hear anything about it. This because the evidence points to their being high readership of the early chapters and a precipitous drop off from there. Of course whenever I make the above suggestion, the editor usually has a minor panic attack hoping that I am just kidding. (By now I think they know that I am... or am I... Have you read what's on page 716? hmmm? Well there is nothing terribly provocative on page 716 (but it made you look didn't it?).

Now, high-numbered pages may suffer from low readership, but they are not the lowest. No that honor would have to go to the pages of the preface. I think most of us are guilty of this one. You get a new book and after a quick leafing through (and after catching a whiff of that "new book smell") you just want to dive right in. So I am sure that most of would have to admit that Prefaces, Tables of Contents, and Introductions usually command a skim at best. Well, that brings me to the point of today's post. I got an email today indicating that evaluation results were available for one of my readers. Did you know that if you own a copy of Paul F. Aubin's Mastering Revit Architecture 2010 that you were entitled to not one, but TWO free KnowledgeSmart evaluations? Hmmm? Well, you might want to just flip to page xiii to learn more. (Yup, those are Roman numerals, I am pretty sure next to NO ONE reads those...)

Well, for those that have, you got yourself a little freebie. Enjoy.

A little about KnowledgeSmart
KnowledgeSmart (formally CADSmart) provides online knowledge assessment exams. From their home page: "Our web based testing tools help AEC businesses to capture and share knowledge. It is important for firms to know if skills gaps exist and where to focus learning to show significant productivity and efficiency improvements." Their latest assessment exam uses a combination of "knowledge based" and "skill based" questions to test your knowledge of the topic. You download a ZIP package and when instructed, open one of the included files, perform some task in the software and then answer the accompanying question(s). Other questions simply query your existing knowledge. The exam is scored automatically by the software and instant results are displayed and emailed to you. Some exams even include "coaching content" which will give you guidance on how to improve your skills. I have been working with the folks at KnowledgeSmart for a few years now. They are a very professional outfit and their tools are well designed and high quality. (Full disclosure: I was paid a consulting fee to create exam questions for the Revit Assessment).

They offer plans for firms wanting to test their employees or assess new hires. Exams can be used "off the shelf" or customized to include questions on office standards or procedures. If you are in need of such a tool, give them a try. I can guarantee that they will work hard to earn your business and continue to work with you over the long term to ensure that your needs are continually met.

Once again, if you have a copy of Paul F. Aubin's Mastering Revit Architecture 2010, you get two Revit Assessments for free! What better way to try their service out? 

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