Prepare for a Challenging Content Management Swim

Alan Porter has an extensive background in technical communications, so I was thrilled when I learned his recently published book, The Content Pool, spoke to the exact topic I was struggling with at work, knowledge and content management and providing an ROI to senior executives. I was eager to get started, but I struggled with the book’s length and unfriendliness to someone on the job trying to get the gist and apply/implement it. Continue reading ...

Collaborative Work Management Tools: A MindManager Road Test

We here at TechWhirl (read Connie, me and about 20 volunteers) are always looking for better ways to collaborate since none of us live in the same city. Sure, there are plenty of tools for sharing information like, well the telephone or email; or if we go all web 2.0, the awesomeness that is Dropbox. But in our experiences, there are few, if any, really great collaborative work management tools out there that allow teams across time and space to effectively do work together in anything close to real-time. We had the opportunity to road test MindManager 2012 and MindJet Connect for our coverage of the LavaCon Conference and here's the report on how they performed. Continue reading ...

Book Review: Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps

Remember when the Windows Start button was a new thing? When printed manuals for software applications were first making way for electronic “Help” files, Joe Welinske was part of a team that produced an essential work for technical writers wrestling with new technology, Developing Online Help for Windows 95. Now at the dawn of a new age, Welinske, president of WritersUA in Seattle, offers technical communicators another help in navigating new waters with Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps. Continue reading ...

Book Review: The Secret Life of Word by Robert Delwood

While I was trying to keep Word’s new ribbons from getting tangled in my hair, Robert Delwood was unlocking and enabling the powerful automation available to all of us in Word 2003, 2007 and 2010. Written with the challenges of the technical writer in mind in an easy, accessible voice, The Secret Life of Word is a great resource ... Continue reading ...

Book Review: Effective On Screen Editing: New Tools for an Old Profession

One of the things that helped me make the transition from paper-based to (mostly) on-screen editing was reading Geoff Hart’s Intercom columns on electronic editing. They were full of tips on how to make the best use of Word’s built in features and tips on streamlining my work flow. These columns, revised and updated, form the core of Geoff’s book, Effective onscreen editing: New tools for an old profession. Continue reading ...

Book Review: Wiki: Grow Your Own for Fun and Profit

My boss sent me on a Quest to reorganize the Company wiki. Before I started, I set out to arm myself with success stories from others who had gone on before. Fortunately for me, XML Press had just released a new book on the subject. A couple of emails later, and I had in my hot little laptop one of the first ePub releases XML Press ever published. With the book Wiki: Grow Your Own for Fun and Profit, Alan Porter set himself an ambitious goal: To introduce the concept of wikis and the benefits a wiki provides without losing his reader in a maze of technology. Continue reading ...