Tech Writer This Week for January 10, 2013

Tech Writer This Week – January 10, 2013 – TechWhirl

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

Storified by · Thu, Jan 10 2013 06:55:09

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Most of us tech writers are back at work after some well-deserved time off, while January 2013 marches boldly forward with fresh technical communication, user experience, and content strategy opinion and commentary. 
TechWhirl’s very own Jacquie Samuels, blogging for writingassist.com, dashes out of the Technical Communication gate with advice on how much outdated documentation truly costs your company. Shevonne Polastre (chicwriter.com) follows with the ONE thing you should never say when asked to perform extra tasks at work. Colum McAndrew wonders if your documentation remains robust as time passes and requirements change. And Ellis Pratt (cherryleaf.com) believes that because people are getting very friendly with technology, there needs to be a corresponding change in the relationship between people and the user documentation.
As we check out User Experience, we find Kim Bieler (uxmag.com) urging us to stop explaining UX and start doing UX. John Meyer (uxmag.com) shares six easy ways to make your website tablet-friendly in the amusingly titled, “Pursuit of Tappiness.” And Rhonda Bracey (cybertext.wordpress.com) tells us about a hostile and rude error message she encountered. 
Meanwhile, in Content Strategy, Ryan Derousseau (ryanderousseau.com) shows us how to cook up strategy on a shoestring budget. Danielle Villegas (techcommgeekmom.com) reminds us that curating good content is essential for attracting more website visitors. Sharon Burton demonstrates why cleaning out your home office is like getting control of your content. And Angus Gordon (econsultancy.com) recommends customizing the content audit process to meet unique organizational needs.
We wrap this week in Career and Life, where we find Brien Posey (techrepublic.com) offering five applications for helping anyone, including tech writers, stay organized. And Scott Britton (lifehack.org) explains why bookmarking ancillary services and pausing the inbox will help Gmail users manage their email better.

Technical Communication

How Out-of-Date Documentation Can Cost You Your Brand and Your Company | Writing Assistance, Inc.By Jacquie Samuels Documentation is (sadly but understandably) often the last push in the great effort to get a product out the door and …
Don’t Ever Say "It’s Not Part of My Job Description"When I first started working, I remember wondering why there were some coworkers who would always say no when asked to do anything extra….
Is your documentation STILL fit for purpose?Things normally only go astray later on. Maybe you are tasked with changes to the help file resulting from a small development project. I…
The future of technical documentation is more about psychology than technology | Cherryleaf Technical Authors BlogIn the quest to offer better forms of user assistance, most experts in the technical communications profession propose technological solu…

User Experience

Stop Explaining UX and Start Doing UX | UX MagazineBoth design communities I’ve been involved in (graphic design and user experience design) spend an inordinate amount of energy bemoaning …
The Pursuit of Tappiness | UX MagazineAt the time of this writing, there are nearly 70 million tablet users in the U.S. alone, a figure that has doubled from the year before. …
Strange error messageThe other day a retailer gave me a web address (mercator.com.au) to check for a product. I entered it into Firefox-without the ‘www’-and …

Content Strategy

Launching A Content Strategy on the CheapLaunching content strategies on various platforms seems daunting for many new businesses or consultants out there, particularly due to th…
You want more tech comm info? Let’s dig for buried treasure.I was mentioning to my husband that the stats on this blog have been rather low as of late. I figured that the holidays had something to …
Getting control over your content | Sharon BurtonThe last week of the year is time for me to clean out my home office. Over the course of the year, it becomes a mess. I have stuff I thou…
Start your content strategy with an auditAs a discipline, content strategy isn’t suited to rigidly standardised processes. Different businesses have radically different needs aro…

Career and Life

Five applications for staying organized | TechRepublicOne of my New Year’s resolutions is to be better organized. Thankfully, there is a whole slew of software available to help with that goa…
Two Tips to Manage Email More EfficientlyA lot has been written on how batch processing is the most efficient way to manage email. If you’re unfamiliar with the practice within t…

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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