TechWhirl Recap for October 21, 2011

TechWhirl supported by Platinum sponsor Adobe & RoboHelp 9 | http://goo.gl/mWtcM.

This month a majority of our articles have focused on Networking Strategies and Tools.  This week Mike McCallister highlighted six tools for technical writers to build relationships on LinkedIn, and VIU’s Julie Clarke explored how technical writers can network your way to a paycheck.  While we’re not certain if you can do a lot of networking with DITA, Jacquie Samuels provided some Tech Writer Tips & Tricks for the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA).

Also this week launched our Road to LavaCon contest.  LavaCon 2011 will be the first time TechWhirl attempts to “cover” an event.  We’ll be live blogging, summaries of the day, aggregating Tweets and, assuming we can find the time \ liquid courage, we’ll also do a podcast from there as well.

We knew that a few more people were needed to cover the event so we could both attend and sleep during the conference.  Working with the dynamic organizer of the event Jack Molisani , we worked out an agreement to run a contest to find two additional writers.  In return for helping us write about the event, they get to attend LavaCon admission free.

We’ve been very happy with the response online and offline and look forward to selecting our new bloggers, getting their SWU tattoos in place, and preparing for a new adventure.  Time is running out but you can still enter by Liking the LavaCon page and putting a message on their board on why you would like to write for us. LavaCon Facebook: http//goo.gl/3LhEq | More on the Road to LavaCon Contest

Halloween is almost here, which means that we’re nearing our first ever Tech Writer Halloween Horror Stories week.  We’ve gotten some great submissions and we’re excited to share them with you.  Got a story to tell?  Submit it online here. Or, share a Tech-Horror-Tweet by using the hash #TechWriterHorror and we’ll read them on our upcoming Halloween Podcast.

A sincere thank you to everyone coming to our site, and those who are helping make it the best online resource for Technical Writers on the net, we certainly appreciate it.

From the whole ghoulish gang @ TechWhirl,

Have a great weekend!

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What You’re Talking About

A quick What you talkin’ ‘bout to our Tech Writers and their discussions in our email discussion group:

  • So only heated debates on the number of spaces after period seem to generate more discussion than the whole topic of technical communications certification. Originally posted by Leonard Porello, the various branches of the thread on “STC certification program” represent questions, criticisms and suggestions from the curmudgeonly, the skeptical, the supportive, and the curious.
  • Becca Price sparked another lively and busy thread when she asked for thoughts on her TW instructor’s admonitions on the proper way of “introducing steps.” Infinitive or clause, or nothing at all?  Opinions vary, as they always do on the list, but there are some valuable points to many of the rationales.
  • We’re curious to see how the responses to Bobby Henessey’s request for advice on how to “Generate One TOC from multiple Word Docs.”  Master documents have been the bane of many tech writers’ existences for years, but some Whirlers report that newer version of well-known tools, handle TOCs much better than the “old days”.

In Case You Missed it: This Week  @ TechWhirl

SPONSOR-Luv

We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their support.  We wouldn’t go on a road trip without them

Platinum A: Adobe Systems Incorporated

Platinum B: ComponentOne, Madcap

Gold: Society for Technical Communication (STC), EC Software, Vancouver Island University