Jim Hodson

last updated 11/30/2017

Jim Hodson

Vice President, Strategy and Accounts at Consistent Image Inc

Location:
920 Kline Street, La Jolla, California, United States
HQ Phone:
(858) 225-6697

General Information

Experience

Technical Writer - MCI

Member, Team - Ivory Coast

Company President - Springline LLC

Marketing Communications Manager - Sprint Corp.

Education

B.A. - English , Virginia Tech

Recent News  

Consistent Image : about us

JIM HODSON
VP, STRATEGY & ACCOUNTS Background: Jim graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.A. in English, and started his career as a technical writer at MCI and Discovery Channel. He transitioned into corporate marketing at Sprint Nextel, where he managed product education and packaging strategy. In March 2011, Jim joined the CI team, advising clients on communications strategy and developing content.

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About

Springline, LLC was founded by our company president, Jim Hodson, who has extensive experience in content strategy, communications strategy, project management, marketing, and technical writing.
Jim graduated from Virginia Tech, and started his career as a technical writer at MCI and Discovery Channel. He transitioned into corporate marketing at Sprint Nextel, where he managed product education and packaging strategy for all Sprint devices. Jim then joined the team at Consistent Image, where he gained additional experience advising clients on communications strategy, branding, and developing content, while at the same time serving as vice president of accounts, senior project manager, and general manager. It was with this experience that Jim launched Springline, LLC, bringing you the services that we provide today.

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Consistent Image Uses MadCap Flare to Deliver Product Guides

Jim Hodson |
Director of Marketing and Communications Strategy, Consistent Image “Because the process is so straight-forward with Flare, it improves our ability to support more frequent software updates in Sprint's online guides.” Jim Hodson | Director of Marketing and Communications Strategy, Consistent Image “We're pleased that MadCap is working to keep up with accessibility requirements. It is very important to Sprint to support its customers.” Jim Hodson | Director of Marketing and Communications Strategy, Consistent Image "We were looking for a way to develop this content, so that Sprint customers could search easily and access direct links-and not just links to the guide's first page, but to specific places within the guide," recalls Jim Hodson, director of marketing and communications strategy at Consistent Image. Because PDF files didn't provide the flexibility that Sprint was seeking, the team at Consistent Image began to evaluate two other formats: Flash-based e-books and HTML-based Help. The Flash-based approach, while attractive, faced similar search limitations to those of PDFs, leading the company to focus on authoring tools for publishing HTML-based Help. That research led the team to MadCap Flare. "When we did our prototypes with Flare, the content conversion process worked better than any of the other tools we were looking at," Jim explains. "Flare's ability to import Word has eased the transition to HTML-based Help," Jim observes. "Manufacturers can work within a familiar application to customize and add their product-specific content to the user guide. Then once we get the content into Flare, we make a few tweaks to create the right look and feel before publishing it. Jim adds, "We're trying to do something very specific with very particular circumstances, and Flare does a better job than anything I'm aware of." Jim says. "If there is a major new product release, it can impact hundreds of topics. However, when there's a simple product update, we might need to update only a few topics in Flare, and that represents a big time savings." Flare's single-source capabilities also allow the company to easily make changes to guides that already have been published. "With Flare's single sourcing, we only need to change the content once and then output it to our different targets," Jim explains. "Because the process is so straight-forward with Flare, it improves our ability to support more frequent software updates in Sprint's online user guides." While Consistent Image originally bought Flare to produce user guides in HTML-based Help format, the company is producing PDFs with Flare as well. Jim explains, "We're able to update content in Flare, and then relay that information back out in PDF format." Jim adds, "We've gotten to point that we can output Sprint user guides in HTML5, mobile HTML, and accessible PDF formats fairly quickly." Consistent Image has further enhanced the customer experience in the online Help by customizing some of the Flare functionality. "The built-in flexibility in Flare has enabled us to provide a more customized experience for the needs of Sprint's customers," Jim explains. Flare accessibility features also play an important role in supporting Sprint's customers. "There are emerging regulations about how communications, including user guides, need to be accessible to visually impaired customers," Jim explains.

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