TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for February 8, 2013

technical communication recapYet another “storm of the century” is barreling down on the Northeastern US, lots of smart content folks have headed west to the Intelligent Content Conference in San Francisco, and TechWhirl holds down the virtual forts in technical communication, content and more. Just another typical week in our modern world.

So while you wait to see if your flight is delayed or cancelled, or how much snow you’ll have shovel, grab a cup of coffee and see what happened this week on TechWhirl. Another great CCMS educational piece from Jacquie Samuels, more classic humor from Lisa Higgins, a tech communication poll about other communication tasks you handle, Tech Writer This Week from Craig Cardimon, and lots of news and job postings.

On the email discussion list, Whirlers are treated to encore debates on the definitions of technology terms, and questions on previewing graphics and working with recent and not-so-recent versions of the most popular tools. Your presence and your thoughts are always welcome—post a comment to one of our features, or start a thread on the list.  Either way, we love hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

 Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for February 7, 2013

As February tightens its sometimes snowy and frigid grip, TechWhirl continues to scour the web in search of interesting and relevant posts and articles about technical communication. Look for spreadability, stickiness, foodism, and walking away, among other great commentary on technical communication, user experience, and content strategy.

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Technical Writing Humor: From the Sidelines on the Real TW Life

Once, I spent about four hours dinking around with the warning icons for a manual. I tweaked the little stick men so the guy with the flames licking at his heels was a portrait in sheer, abject terror. Another time, I wrote a series of manuals for the United States Army completely in E-Prime, that wacko crackpot linguistic movement that calls for the complete elimination of the ‘be’ verbs. And you know why I did it, too. And I’m going to say it now, and you can’t stop me. Ready?

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Technical Communication Poll: What Communication Functions Do You Handle?

We see a growing consensus that the lines between traditional departments or team responsible for communication activities blurs a little more each year. For technical communication practitioners this represents either huge opportunity or imminent threat. And it’s this perspective that we want to explore during February as we discuss “When worlds collide.” This week’s technical communication poll question allows us to lay a foundation for that discussion.

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Content Management System Litmus Test

Executives, managers and content management workers (marketing, technical communications, public relations … anyone who works with a lot of content on a daily basis) often wonder if they really need a content management system (CMS). We recommend using this content management system litmus test to determine if your company could benefit from a (component) content management system.

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Connie Giordano

Connie Giordano is a partner in INKtopia Limited and editor of TechWhirl's Tech Writer Today online magazine. She has been a list member and contributor since the days when 14,400 baud was high speed communications, and Windows 95 was state-of-the-art.

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