Looking back over the past few years since we took over TechWhirl, we’ve found that the world of content is a far broader and deeper adventure than “just technical writing.” And part of our goal with TechWhirl has always been to make sure we’re covering the issues and ideas that matter to professionals in all aspects of this thing we call the “content industry.” While the lines between various discplines in this arena blur more every day, many of our colleagues work for organizations in mature, anything-but-cutting-edge industries. And the discussion list always reflects those dynamic tensions: between technical writers and other communicators who feel the label is too limiting; or between those who work in software, and those who create complex content for all sorts of other sectors; or those that favor one toolset over another. All of these conversations have provided a pretty sizable list of topics to cover. Now going into 2015, we want to know from you what we’re missing, what we’re doing right, and what might not matter any more.
We’ve created research portals—technical writing, DITA, content management, eLearning, localization, publishing, etc., and have some plans around new and expanded portals this year. But this industry evolves at a remarkable rate, and keeping up with the nuances and trends can be quite challenging. What areas do you want to explore or to master? Are you interested in specific sectors, such as life sciences or IT? Do you need more resources to become business savvy? Are there communication niches, like compliance or API documentation that you want to find out about? Would you prefer to see new information about traditional tech doc roles? Or does tools coverage light your fire?
TechWhirl focuses on being a friendly, highly interactive community of professionals with broad and deep interests in lots of really cool, or really geeky stuff (depending on you point of view). So take a little time to interact—vote, and more importantly post a comment to give us insight into specific topics you like TechWhirl to cover. We can’t promise we’ll get to everything this year, but we do promise to listen, and then go forth to research, interview, and create stuff that matters. (And remember, we’ll always welcome new SWU members with open arms.)