The Great Debate: It’s All Marketing Communication

Technical Communication and Marketing Communication professionals often seem to be at odds with each other in providing content about the products and services offered by organizations. At TechWhirl we want to explore how technical communication and marketing communication intersect, overlap, merge, or compete. So we asked our resident expert, Alissa Martine, to answer five simple (well, maybe not simple) questions on the role and essential value of marketing communications to a business. Continue reading ...

The Changing Landscape of Technical Communication: Tips and Tricks for Staying Relevant

If there’s one thing that all technical writers can agree on, it’s that we never always agree on anything. Agreed? Moving from that logical quagmire into another one: I think we can also all agree that this rapid rate of technological change is having a large impact on our professional lives. What kinds of technological change am I talking about? Mobility, speed and bandwidth and connectedness from the use of social media. Time to develop good strategies for adapting to technology and workplace changes. Continue reading ...

Adobe Systems

Technical Communication in the Next Decade: Think “Adaptive” and Deliver “Multi-” (Adobe STC Pre-Conference Session Summary)

Somehow, I never really thought of a pre-conference session as one of those can’t-miss, full house events. I am happy to rework my thinking after attending Adobe’s Thought Leadership & Content Strategy event that took place prior to the start of the STC Summit 2012 in Chicago. The well-known leaders Adobe brought together spoke to a standing room only crowd (really!) on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for technical communicators in the next decade. It was facilitated by Tom Aldous, Director of Business Development and Product Evangelism for Adobe Technical Communication. While there were some differences of opinion and prediction, consensus revolved around one key phrase—"Adaptive Content"—and one prefix that can be attached to much of the technical communication strategy and tactics that will emerge over the next decade—"Multi-." 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 ...

Metrics, Goals, and Thinking Quantitatively

Traditionally, some technical communicators and other content creators shy away from an engineering approach, sometimes arguing they are artists who should be untroubled by quantitative concerns. But several speakers that I've heard at LavaCon have focused specifically on the importance of thinking objectively and quantitatively. Continue reading ...

The Value of STC

Editor’s note: The following guest post is from the Executive Director of the Society for Technical Communications, Kathryn Burton, CAE. As the Executive Director of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), thank you for the opportunity to provide a counterpoint response to Robert Desprez’s post (Do you find the STC valuable?) on 19 June 2011. […] Continue reading ...