Tech Writer This Week for September 6, 2012

Tech Writer This Week for September 6, 2012 – TechWhirl

TechWhirl’s Weekly Roundup of the best technical communication and technical writing posts on the web.

Storified by · Thu, Sep 06 2012 07:20:33

Summer fun might be on the wane, but tech comm discussions on the web are popping briskly. Larry Kunz ( says tech docs and the people who create them are the salt of the earth. Authors Note: Being a tech writer, I agree, but then why are many tech writers considered necessary evils and techpubs departments dismissed as cost centers? 
Commenting on Larry’s piece, Mark Baker ( offers existential and thought-provoking commentary on where we as technical writers or communicators fit into the wild and wooly world of tech comm. Tom Johnson ( discusses the finger-pointing of RTFM and the disconnect between technical writers and end-users. Ugur Akinci ( explains why technical writers with graphics skills shouldn’t ignore infographics. And Colum McAndrew ( compares technical communications to shopping and wonders if providing only the necessary information is enough.

If you weren’t able to join TechWhirl for the Fast 5 interview with the Adobe TCS 4 team, not to worry. We recorded the video chat and it’s now available on our YouTube channel. Ankur Jain and Kapil Verma spent some time talking with Jacquie Samuels, Mike McCallister, Al Martine and Connie Giordano about the trends in tech comm and the great new features available in FrameMaker 11 and RoboHelp 10.  Make plans to join us for the next Fast 5 interview with Stephen Ryden-Lloyd of Innodata on Wednesday, September 12 for his insights and a preview of his LavaCon 2012 talk on Effective Tablet Strategies for the Mobile User Experience.

The TechWhirl LavaCon 2012 team has been finalized, so be on the lookout for posts and commentary from Rachel Houghton, Michael Munkvold and Lois Patterson starting in October.
We wrap this week with Career and Life, where Melanie Pinola ( offers tips on tracking expenses (and other things) with Gmail and Google Docs.
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Technical Communication

The salt of the earth > Systems Documentation, Inc. > SDI Blog …2 days ago … You are Here: Resources Blog … the German-language "web competence" site. On the Internet, technical documen…
Wide World of Tech Comm | Every Page is Page OneThe discussion around Larry Kunz recent blog post The Salt of the Earth raises some interesting questions about the part that those of us…
The Blame Game of RTFMIt may surprise you to find that the wikipedia entry for RTFM is a actually longer than the Wikipedia entry for technical communication. …
Infographics — A Special Mode of Technical Communication | Technical Communication Center© Ugur Akinci Infographics – a graphic designed to share information – has a lot of potential for the future. If you are a technical comm…

Career and Life

Use Gmail and Google Docs to Easily and Quickly Track Anything [Quantified Self]Google Docs and Gmail can be used together to create a simple yet flexible way of tracking just about anything. For example, you can easi…

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