SWAG Bragging: The Best of Technical Communications Conferences

Freebies. Promotional Materials. Giveaways. Most people simply call it swag. Short for Stuff We All Get. Even the word SWAG is fun to say. A lot of us get cool trinkets when we attend technical communications conferences, and we thought we could “crowd source” this project as part of May’s TechWhirl theme. Thanks to those who participated via social media, and the technical communicators sent us pictures of their favorite conference goodies. Continue reading ...

Tips and Tricks for Technical Writers: Google Freely and Productively

Google is everywhere. Really. So it’s no wonder Google wants to help you migrate into the cloud, and they make it easy because their services work seamlessly and amazingly well with each other. If you have a Google Account, you have access to a plethora of programs and services, some of which you may not even be aware of, that can make your everyday life much more productive. These services can be a boon for technical communicators who want to break the chains of the old-fashioned desktop and move their digital lives onto personal, mobile, smart devices. Continue reading ...

Adobe Systems

Evangelizing, Myth-busting and the Future of FrameMaker

Tom Aldous, Director of Business Development and Product Evangelism for Adobe’s Technical Communications business, is a gracious man—he sat down with TechWhirl on several occasions to highlight the happenings in the world of FrameMaker and RoboHelp, discuss the issues pertaining to content management, selection and implementation of XML authoring and publishing tools. We found the conversations enlightening, informative, and entertaining. Continue reading ...

The More Things Change…Technical Communications Insight from Neil Perlin

Ever want to know what being a seasoned technical communicator is like? Spend an hour with Neil Perlin, and you will be amazed and inspired! My interview with Neil on the field of technical communications was quite refreshing. I felt that I learned more from interviewing him than I could have in a classroom for an entire semester. Neil provides training and development for online content, help documentation, and mobile technology. More importantly, he can provide a lifetime of experience in technical communications to those who ask. We spent more than an hour, and throughout the interview he shared his insight, experience, knowledge, and thoughts on the future of the technical communications. Continue reading ...

Building the Business Case for Technical Communicators by Leveraging Talent, Skills and Passion

Corey Ganser is enthusiastic about how customer support should be and how his company, MindTouch excels at providing exceptional help service products to popular companies such as HP, PayPal, Toyota, Mozilla, Autodesk, even Microsoft. At LavaCon, Corey shared his insights on how technical communicators must demonstrate to managers that they are a strategic component and valuable asset to the company: in marketing, revenue, documentation, and technical support. Continue reading ...

LavaCon Session Summary: Lightning Talks – Multiple Speakers

The LavaCon 2011 Lightning Talk session comprised six speakers, chosen to present in random order, who had ten minutes to present a topic of interest that is important in the field technical communication, including social media, wikis and XML, performing demos, certification, and the future of the field. Similar to the lightning talks at the STC Annual Summit in 2011, the LavaCon Lightning Talks took place without the strict ten-minute time period, twenty slide limit, or automatic advancing of slides. Continue reading ...

LavaCon Session Summary: Corey Ganser on “Who Cares About Your Content?”

Corey Ganser presented a thoughtful session about the importance of engaging technical writers and customer support agents with the goal of decreasing support costs and increasing client satisfaction. Three stakeholders in the question of who cares about content are the company, the customers, and you (the technical communicator). During his session, he explained how his employer, Mindtouch, forged relationships with its customers and found opportunities for selling its products and services Continue reading ...