TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for February 7, 2014

technical communication recap for July 5You know how you can look forward to planning and preparing a delicious dinner for family and friends, serve it beautifully, and then sit back and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done, and the deliciousness too?  That’s the kind of week we had on TechWhirl.com.

Members of our Special Writers Unit have been reading, researching and working on some hearty dishes of DITA and agile development, sprinkled with a touch of news, and garnished with an interesting poll question. Thoughtfully prepared, satisfying and delicious.

Looking for TechWhirlers to Beta Test

One of our long-time Whirlers, Keith Hood, is looking for some fellow TWs to help with some beta-testing: People familiar with MS Word to test a system of using code fields to create conditional text and single-sourcing in Word documents. Contact Keith Hood, bus.write@gmail.com if you’re interested and want details.

You too can be a valued Whirler like Keith. Post a comment via the community forums, start or respond to a thread on the email discussion list.  We’re always interested in the feedback from taste-testers, food critics and other tech comm and content management chefs.

Have a great weekend, and bon appetit!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

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Tech Writer This Week for February 6, 2014

A summary of the best articles on Tech Comm, CXM and Content Management for the week of February 6, 2014.

 DITA for Print

Book Review: Get “DITA for Print” Before You Start Customizing

I picked up my signed copy of DITA for Print: A DITA Open Toolkit Workbook at LavaCon 2013. After flipping through a few chapters, I quickly realized that I would have saved an enormous amount of time and frustration if I had had Leigh White’s book before I struggled through figuring this process out on my own, as such, I decided to start over again from scratch and do things right.

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Agile and Tech Comm: The Whole Team Approach

While “basic” scrum has been a huge help to the way we work and puts us more in sync with the rest of our team, adopting the whole team approach to development within scrum has further solidified our role on the team, improved teamwork across the board, and increased our product and documentation quality.

 What is DITA

What Is DITA?

What is DITA? Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is the best way to be smart about writing and publishing your business content. It leverages XML (eXtensible Markup Language) to make your content intelligent, versatile, manageable, and portable.

 Stilo International

Stilo International: Delivering on the Promise of Automated Content Conversion

Automating content conversion processes to reduce costs and streamline delivery remains a common challenge and often an elusive goal for content organizations. Stilo International has worked with publishers and content developers to develop innovative, world leading software solutions for XML content conversion and transformation such as its latest cloud-based service, Migrate.

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Still Relevant User Support Documentation? (poll)

Whether you’re looking for info on a 2014 version of the 1980′s quick reference card, or ammunition to bolster an argument about placement of revision information, we think there’s a good chance that you haven’t gone completely digital, omnichannel, and responsive in building out your technical content, no matter how much you’d like to.”

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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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