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Along with the cliche that “No one reads the manual,” it is also cliche that technical writers are often the last to possess knowledge that is critical to their projects. Tech Writer This Week aims to demolish the cliches, by providing some timely and trending information about stuff that matters to technical communicators. On the Technical Communication front, the “last to know” cliche manifests as feeling that the help we write was tacked on to a business process that was considered finished before we are reluctantly consulted. Bill Kerschbaum (intextwriting.com) illustrates from a user’s perspective what can happen if your user guide is nothing more than afterthought.
Elsewhere in Technical Communication, John C (writeraccess.com) says technical writing is as much art as it is science, and shares five guidelines we can follow to attain expert status. Michelle Corbin (stc-techedit.org) suggests that we as technical editors should concentrate less on the words themselves because communication has expanded to include more than words. And Kathy Underwood (stc-techedit.org) shares some problematic word usages that trip up many writers (including me).
This week, User Experience leads us into previously uncharted territory. First Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan (gizmodo.com) explores why a government website should be named best design of the year, and stirs a lot of debate about simple versus usable. Then Michael Hinshaw (via cmo.com) talks about what we need to start considering when it comes to the user experience and wearable computers, such as the Apple iWatch and Google Glass.
Sarah Arrow (sarkemedia.com) begins our Content Strategy section with some basics, and explains why curating content is a good thing. After you decide to start curating content, Prasanna Bidkar (rightmixtech.com) offers seven rules for offering value to the consumer through your content. And Vincent Clarke (contentmarketinginstitute.com) has three suggestions for borrowing ideas from a great content strategy and making them your own. Finally, Andrew Kaufman (brightercollective.com) gives a lot of thought to how to make the case for content strategy, including the key processes, to clients and colleagues.
In Life and Career, Martin Brinkmann (ghacks.net) wonders what happens to our Google accounts when we die. And Jenny Watson (jennywatson.net) is learning to live without Google Reader, thanks to Feedly. I am learning to love Feedly myself, especially the categorization feature.
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