I probably started following CyberText back in 2006 when I began technical writing. The author, Rhonda Bracey, began doing the newsletter and, later, her CyberText Newsletter blog, as a way to keep track of interesting processes and procedures she discovered. She also runs CyberText Consulting. More interesting still is that she is based in Australia. We technical writers might be quiet but we do get around!
You know where you are, right away, “CyberText Newsletter” headlines the top. With a subhead that reads, “The official newsletter/blog of CyberText Consulting: Technical communication specialists.”
The page is never-ending, or bottomless, as far as I can tell. You may be able to scroll all the way down to the blog’s first post. I actually did scroll, on and on, for a minute or so. The background is white. The border is black. The logo and donation text are highlighted in a pleasant yellow. Blog posts are displayed on the left. The right column contains information and links. All in all, it’s a simple, no-nonsense layout that I can appreciate.
Treasure Trove of Digital Resources
Don’t overlook the right column. It contains a treasure trove of information and features such as a search function, donation button, Twitter button to follow Bracey, and that’s just for starters. Scroll down to see:
- Subscription function to receive notifications of new posts.
- Categories for the blog posts – Over a dozen groups (we won’t even mention the subsections) include Blogging, Book Recommendations, Business/Work, Hardware, Software, Twitter, Styles, Punctuation, and my favorite, Technical Writing.
- Pages – About, Blog Archives, and Newsletter Archives.
- Links – Cybertext Bookstore, CyberText on Twitter, and CyberText Website.
- Recent Posts – My favorite here is the Microsoft Style Guide.
- Top Posts – The posts with the most hits involve, to no one’s surprise, the pesky workhorse, Microsoft Word.
- Blog Stats – Bracey’s blog has gotten over 11 million hits so far, including a few from me.
- Button to see Bracey’s presentations – This link takes you to https://www.slideshare.net/rbracey/slideshows. Sign-up is free.
- Tags for the blog posts – This category is fascinating for those who like to drill deeper. This section contains posts having anything to do with the tags. Just scraping the surface, we have Apostrophes, Blog Scraping (see what I did there?), Error Messages, Find And Replace, and so forth. We use tags at my work, but only in the UI of our software. I had never seen tags used in this way in a blog before. The tags in this tag cloud are presented in different sizes representing the frequency of use, so they are quite eye-catching. And because no two consecutive tags are the same size, so it draws your eye right in.
- Archives by Month – Offers archives from February 2018 all the way back to May 2006.
CyberText is presented simply, without a lot of glitz or glam, but packed full of good information. I added this blog to my feed reader under Technical Writing, and I check it fairly regularly. I suggest novice technical writers sign up for the weekly emails. I recommend the site and the email list for both novice and experienced technical writers.
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