TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for June 27, 2014

technical communication recapOver the years, I’ve let go of some bad habits (like smoking–good for me!) and unfortunately, some good ones as well—like tackling a list of summer projects that need doing, or working my way through a summer reading list. I’m betting I’m not the only one.

So if you need to start up a summer reading list, may I suggest starting with some of the books reviewed by members of our very Special Writers Unit? Like Jill Parman’s review of Content Strategy for Mobile. I’d follow that with a regular dose of all the content strategy, tech comm, customer experience goodness you find around TechWhirl.

As for those summer projects, if we weren’t the folks organizing it, I’d be well down the path of finishing up my entry for the Customer Experience Recognition Awards. And I might be looking around for tools to help with my daily workload, like HelpIQ, which we got to welcome to TechWhirl this week. Or maybe I’d be figuring out how to do a DITA Content Audit (with a little help from Jacquie Samuels); or reviewing my content trying to “get the but out” of there (as encouraged by Marcia Johnston). Then I’d take a break and see what else is going on out there in the interwebs, guided by Tech Writer This Week. And I’d follow it up with a review of the latest debates on the email discussion list.

Then I’d probably schedule a vacation to recover from my vacation.

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

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Tech Writer This Week for June 26, 2014

Enjoying the warmth and cool breezes of great content technology, content strategy and technical communications posts in this week’s Tech Writer This Week.

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Book Review: Karen McGrane’s Content Strategy for Mobile

Jill Parman reviews Karen McGrane’s Mobile Content Strategy, and finds clear and practical advice for leveraging mobile ambiguity to improve all content.

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Word Wise: Get Your But Out of There

But. However. Although. Do you ever use these words without contradicting anything? Sometimes I do, but I’ve come to see those instances as false buts.

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DITA Content Audit Q&A

A big portion of your DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) adoption effort is converting and managing legacy content. The DITA content audit helps prepare you to convert your content to DITA.

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Tech Comm as Craft or Commodity (poll)

Are we really moving to “commodified writing” for technical information, or does effective content require a master of the craft of technical communication? Time for a vote and some more debate.

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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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