TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for February 14, 2014

technical communication recapOdd how professional communities can share a lot of the same attributes as human beings. Our email discussion list had been unusually quiet for several weeks, until a list regular asked why things appeared to be a ghost town. Then, just like someone waking up from a long winter’s nap, things started popping, perhaps having gotten the virtual equivalent of a hot shower and a morning caffeine jolt.

It proved to be a good opportunity for us to catch our community up on what’s been happening around TechWhirl, and get jolted ourselves for some oversights that were completely unintentional (working on correcting as we speak, so thanks for saying what we needed to hear). We are working hard to find ways to join up email discussions with community forums and commenting, but it looks to be somewhat of a manual process for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime if you’re a regular list dweller, take a few minutes to see the kind of content we have on the site, and add your thoughts and comments by registering for the forum. If you spend your time in the forum and on, it’s worth checking out the archives, and subscribing to the email list to see who’s talking about what. And if you happen to be a development genius with an app that can integrate “old-school” email lists with web-based forums and commenting, you would definitely be our permanent Valentine.

This week’s content provides a lot great information and fodder for discussions around agile and tech comm, DITA, and budget priorities. Take a look, vote, comment, and share as needed.

Looking for TechWhirlers to Beta Test

One of our long-time Whirlers, Keith Hood, is looking for some fellow TWs to help with some beta-testing: People familiar with MS Word to test a system of using code fields to create conditional text and single-sourcing in Word documents. Contact Keith Hood, if you’re interested and want details.

Have a great weekend, and Happy Valentine’s Day

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

Tech Writer This Week for February 13, 2014

While tomorrow is dedicated to candy, cards and the love industry complex for much of the world, for us at TechWhirl, we dedicate each and every Thursday to love. Yes, we’re talking about the love of a good article, video or picture.

 whole team approach -cocoon photo credit Victoria Bernal

Agile and Tech Comm: The Whole Team Approach (part 2)

When moving to the whole team approach, functional teams must look beyond the core set of duties they have had in the past. Development will not just code anymore; QE will not just test that code anymore; and Information Development will not just document that code anymore.

 DITA-Darwin Information Typing Architecture

8 Content Pain Points that Implementing DITA Solves

The people in your organization who control the budgets look hard at things like ROI, productivity, KPI (Key Performance Indicators), and resolving business pain points before agreeing to open the company wallet. Among the items you need to make the case for implementing DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is solid proof of the pain points it can solve.


Tech Comm/Content Management 2014 Budget Priorities (poll)

February is a perfect opportunity to start a conversation among our content professional compatriots on their budget priorities for 2014. Given that the proposed budget and the approved budget often bear little if any resemblance to each other, we figure that for many it’s a conversation on overlooked and sidelined priorities.

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