Tech Writer This Week for November 8, 2012

Tech Writer This Week – November 8, 2012 – TechWhirl

TechWhirl’s Weekly Roundup of the best technical communication and technical writing posts on the web.

Storified by · Wed, Nov 07 2012 16:39:38

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In the U.S. we get a couple of days off before the next election cycle begins. So we’re using it to find really useful commentary about all the things we’d rather spend our waking hours on than flipping channels away from PAC ads. In Technical Communication, Forbes contributor Caroline Mayer (forbes.com) has a sobering post where she discusses coping with *useless* user manuals. When business and mainstream media comment on the state of documentation, consider it a wake up call! Mark Baker, (everypageispageone.com) gives us some insight on remedying that state, as he discusses moving from task-based documentation to decision support documentation. We have a double-shot from Rhonda Bracey (cybertext.wordpress.com), where she offers one slideshow on telecommuting from the trenches, and another on why editing is not as easy as it looks. And Tom Johnson (idratherbewriting.com) talks about being bored (gasp!) as a tech writer, and avoiding “maintenance mode.”

Content Strategy features some practical guidance this week. Christiaan Lustig (netmagazine.com) explains why content creation should be part of the design and development process. And Matt Herron (uxbooth.com) discusses the distribution of responsibilities on content-oriented projects.

We wrap this week in Career and Life, where Shevonne Polastre (chicwriter.com) shares three tips to write anything quickly. Ken Makovsky (forbes.com) tells us why good writing still matters. And Jenny Watson (jennywatson.net) clues us in on RDP (Remote Desktop) tips and tricks.

Technical Communication

How to Cope With Useless User Manuals – ForbesiStockphoto/ThinkStock Among the growing list of pet peeves we accumulate as we age, few rank higher than unusable user manuals, at least…
The Real Docs Need is Decision Support – Every Page is Page OneOne of the most important tools of modern business is the decision support system. Such systems can be complex and even exotic, but at it…
Presentation: Remote working: Telecomuting from the trenchesI delivered this presentation on remote working to the ASTC(NSW) 2012 annual conference on 3 November 2012. This presentation focused on …
Presentation: Editing: It’s not as easy as it looksI delivered this 45-minute presentation on editing to the ASTC(NSW) 2012 annual conference on 2 November 2012. The focus of this presenta…
Staying Out of Maintenance ModeThe past few weeks, I have to admit, I’ve been kind of bored as a technical writer. I even considered switching more into content marketi…

Content Strategy

‘Content first’? Content left, right and centre! | Feature | .net magazineWhat’s your favourite website? The one that you use most frequently, perhaps even several times a day? Picture it and think of why you li…
Practical Content Strategy, Part 1: Roles and Approaches – UX Booth | UX BoothBy Matt Herron Category Social Tags pragmatic, t-shaped The "Theory vs. Practice" debate takes many guises, and content strategy is no di…

Career and Life

Three Tips to Quickly Write AnythingNational Novel Writing Month ( NaNoWriMo) has arrived, and it got me thinking on how people are able to get 50,000 words down in 30 days….
Why Good Writing Still Matters – ForbesLast month, the HBR Blog Network published a piece by Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit (the largest online repair community) and founder of …
RDP tips and tricks | Jenny Watson – Technical WriterRecently, I’ve been helping a client roll out an implementation of a new Helpdesk tool for tracking support calls. Rather than install th…

Craig Cardimon

Craig Cardimon wears many hats and loves all of them -- technical communicator, content curator, and freelance copywriter. In his not-so-copious spare time, he reads, writes, runs on the local trail, and watches way too much "retro" TV.

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