How to cite this paper

Usdin, B. Tommie. “The art of the elevator pitch.” Presented at Balisage: The Markup Conference 2015, Washington, DC, August 11 - 14, 2015. In Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2015. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies, vol. 15 (2015).

Balisage: The Markup Conference 2015
August 11 - 14, 2015

Balisage Paper: The art of the elevator pitch

B. Tommie Usdin

Mulberry Technologies

B. Tommie Usdin is President of Mulberry Technologies, Inc., a consultancy specializing in XML and SGML. Ms. Usdin has been working with SGML since 1985 and has been a supporter of XML since 1996. She chairs the Balisage conference. Ms. Usdin has developed DTDs, Schemas, and XML/SGML application frameworks for applications in government and industry. Projects include reference materials in medicine, science, engineering, and law; semiconductor documentation; historical and archival materials. Distribution formats have included print books, magazines, and journals, and both web- and media-based electronic publications. She is co-chair of the NISO Z39-96, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite Working Group. You can read more about her at


Many of us at Balisage feel that the universe (or our organization, sponsor, client, or mother-in-law) doesn’t sufficiently appreciate or respect technologies we know could significantly improve the world. XSLT, techniques for processing overlap, DITA, XQuery, HTML5, even XML, are not given the attention they deserve. People aren’t listening! This is our fault, at least in part. We as a community need to learn to say less and communicate more, and more persuasively.