TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for December 14, 2012

This week’s update on technical communication and the TechWhirl community is supported by Platinum sponsor ComponentOne & their Doc-To-Help Help Authoring Tool |

technical communication recapThis is the time of year when many of us focus on how nice traditions are: unwrapping one gift on Christmas Eve, cookie exchanges, Secret Santa, caroling, Black Friday shopping trips, skiing for the holidays… you get the idea. At TechWhirl we’ve managed to start a couple of soon-to-be traditions (we’re thinking that almost two years of ownership doesn’t qualify as tradition, but we’re happy to consider otherwise). One of those nascent traditions publishing our favorite technical writer letters to Santa.  While we don’t think the postal services have anything to fear in terms of an onslaught, we have received a few that are worthy of a read. So stay tuned. But those of us who’ve been in technical communication for more than a month or two can easily come up with a list of things that would make our lives, if not perfect, then at least respectable. Our “Dear Santa, what I REALLY want for the holidays” event would be, if not perfect, at least highly entertaining with your contribution… No minimums or maximums (although he’s liable to miss his 12/24 deliverables if you wax eloquently for more than 1000 words or so), and an opportunity to be creative, funny, or alluring, and not fear for your livelihood.  Submit your letter, a photo and a short bio by December 19th, and we’ll work with the elves to get your missive before the masses. We’ll be looking back at the big stuff, the little stuff and the cool stuff that impacted technical communication, content strategy and user experience in 2012.  We’ve seen some traditions in our professions begin to fall by the wayside, and have to wonder about what new traditions and techniques will break through and replace them.  And we’d love to hear from you about your thoughts on trends and directions of technical communication.  Feel free to post a comment here (new tradition) or start a thread on the email discussion list(old tradition and quite hallowed, at that). In the meantime, make room for the usual last-minute shopping, frenzy of cooking and baking, and good times with friends and family… those are the traditions worth keeping. Have a great weekend! -The gang at TechWhirl

  Tech Writer This Week for December 13, 2012 Christmas (and other assorted winter holidays) continues to creep up on us. In between making lists and creating content, we find our stockings are filled to the top with technical communication, user experience, and content strategy and curation commentary from some of the best places on the web.
  Product Review: MindTouch TCS Integrates Content with the User Experience 2013 will see enterprise-level thinking that focuses on integrating technical communication with Support, Training, and Social Media. We are seeing an evolution of the technical communicator role into integrated content strategists and content curators. The new role is going to require a new set of tools, and MindTouch TCS, “the Social Help System”, is the toolset that choreographs the entire customer experience.
  Dear Santa, What I REALLY Want for the Holidays this Year… Admit it, no matter whether or which faith you adhere to, there’s something about the end-of-the-year holidays that gets us all into a dreamy list-making mood. But we’re technical communicators around here, so not only do our wish lists have to be clear and concise, with intuitive navigation and context-sensitive help for the list averse, they also ought to be clever, useful, and downright guffaw-inspiring.
  Technical Communication Poll: Stocking Stuffers Of course it’s the time of year where we’re checking off lists—gifts to buy, parties to attend, cards to send, colleagues to endorse on LinkedIn. We’re pretty sure that those of us in technical communication have more lists than most, it’s just in our nature. We take after the jolly fat man in that regard, whose lists of naughty and nice have to be well-organized, meta-tagged, and navigable in order to deliver the right stocking stuffers
 content and customer lifecycle Giving Customers What They Want: Integrating Content in the Customer Lifecycle Noz Urbina advocates a strong link between innovation and great experience throughout the customer lifecycle via content management. His Lavacon 2012 session focused on providing specific audiences the customer experience they want by mapping deliverables to the customer lifecycle.

 Technical Communication News

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