TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for February 1, 2013

This week’s technical communication recap and update on the TechWhirl community is supported by Platinum sponsor Adobe & their Technical Communication Suite 4 |

technical communication recapMaybe it’s some sort of vestigial genetic memory that makes us want to slow down, snuggle in and nap until springtime. That or the simple desire to avoid the frequent and severe turns of weather that Mother Nature throws at us.  Here in North Carolina, we’ve swung wildly between 70 degree (Fahrenheit for our non-US readers) days, thunder-stormy nights, gale force winds, sleet and ice in the last two weeks. I keep changing up between flip-flops, galoshes and snow boots, and I never seem to synch up with the actual weather.

All of which is a long way to say that January is finally done, but the dank and chill of February is upon us. Of course if you’re in more temperate zones, you’re just laughing at me right now while sipping a tropical beverage with the requisite umbrella. I’m trying very hard not to be jealous.

Along with January, our look at trends and education is now behind us, But it should set the stage for our look at how and When Worlds Collide in February. Other professions closely allied with tech comm in terms of skills, disciplines and goals often have their own teams in the organizations. It’s a tricky space-time continuum to navigate, and we’re planning to investigate how technical communicators, and their counterparts in other departments are coping, thriving and moving ahead. We’d love to hear from you about the challenges, successes and pitfalls you encounter in working with folks in the worlds of training, user experience, ecommerce, marketing, customer support and corporate communications. There’s always room for a great guest post or even a new member of the SWU. And you can always start a conversation on the email discussion list. You don’t even have to bother with galoshes to participate.

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

 Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for January 31, 2013

Excessively wintry weather in the northeastern US won’t keep us from scouring the internet for commentary that appeals to the discerning readers of Tech Writer This Week. Predictions in tech comm, best practices in content strategy, and new techniques in UX are just the start of the curated content we’ve put together from around the web.

 technical communication student juggler

A Day in the Life of a Technical Communication Student

Today is a fairly busy day for me. I need to be in class and to work on assignments in media studies and web design. I have a little bit of time devoted to work as well, and I plan to spend a little bit of time socializing in order to stay sane. It’s a typical day in the life of a technical communication student.

 technical communication poll - tech tasks

Technical Communication Poll: Performing Technical Tasks

Over TechWhirl’s not quite twenty years’ accumulation of technical writing debates and discussions, we can find some recurring themes. One recurring theme concerns the balance between the technical and the writing sides of the job description. Recently, TechWhirler Robert Lauriston inspired this week’s technical communication poll by asking list members about the most technical tasks they’ve had to perform as tech writers.

 ROI- content management systems business case

Convincing Management: Content Management Systems Business Case

If management hasn’t come looking for answers to questions about how to effectively manage all the content floating around your organization in social media, documents, emails and information in various electronic file cabinets, it’s probably just a matter of time. The best thing you can do now is start preparing a content management systems business case.

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