TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for July 5, 2013

technical communication recap for July 5Vacation? What vacation? Or so it seems, since a short week for US technical communicators didn’t slow down TechWhirl. I’m sure if we tried hard enough we could think of a technical writing tie in to fireworks displays, but I digress.

If you’re anticipating a nice slow Friday, feel free to take a look at all the tech comm and content management goodness we have for you to enjoy and share. If you need a good laugh, check out Lisa Higgins classic humor, this time with a few rules of the corporate world for newbies just starting out. Take a few minutes to vote in this week’s timely tech comm poll in which we look for common ground in how we spend our vacations. Lois Patterson shares her thoughts about the Northern Voice conference, and extending your knowledge gathering beyond the traditional limits.

We’ve started a new feature on TechWhirl we’re affectionately calling Template Tuesdays. If you’re looking templates related to technical communication and content management, or if you have one you’d like to share, this is the place to visit. We start with a template for a documentation plan that’s geared to traditional waterfall development projects.

And before Craig Cardimon took off to enjoy Independence Day, he curated some great tech comm, UX, and content strategy stuff from around the web into Tech Writer This Week.

If that’s not enough to keep you busy for awhile, then maybe you need a vacation…

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

 Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for July 4, 2013

Before taking off to grill some burgers and watch fireworks, Craig Cardimon found some time to curate excellent content around technical communication, content strategy and user experience for Tech Writer This Week for July 4.

 best vacation choices for travelers

Technical Communication Poll: Best Vacation Choices for Communicators

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed musing about the traits we share as technical communicators as much as the unique ways each of us have. In March 2000, when Tara Charter posed a semi-serious list of qualifications for a software technical writer. “Must like cats and Pepsi” ranked number 4 on her list, and the subsequent debate demonstrated that a love of “warm fuzzy animals (both cats and dogs) and cool fizzy drinks (Pepsi and Diet Coke ranked at the top)” was among those traits many of us shared. So as our U.S. readers are looking for ways to stay cool, celebrate the Independence Day holiday, and spend time and money on a summer vacation, it seemed appropriate to look for another commonality—how we spend our non-working time, especially vacations or holidays.

 review northern voice

Conference Review: Northern Voice

Northern Voice is a blogging and social media conference, held in Vancouver every late spring since 2005 that attracts a host of prominent and not-so-prominent bloggers, social media experts, and journalists, and some who wear all three hats. It’s “Canada’s first weblogging social media conference.” Even if Northern Voice is not about technical writing per se, it is about writing and it is about technology, so there is much that technical writers can find of interest.

 Template Tuesdays

Documentation Plan Template (Traditional)

The Traditional Documentation Plan is used to schedule and allocate resources to create and maintain technical content deliverables for a specified project or product. The plan describes the audiences, content types and output media, and provides a schedule for development and completion of deliverables. Download the .DOCX file.

 humor: newbie and respect

From the Sidelines on Being a Tech Comm Newbie and Respect

It was a long time ago, I’ll be the first to admit, but I was a newbie once, too. A fresh-faced innocent to technical writing, wide-eyed and fairly glowing with charming naivete. Well, I like to think that now, only because it makes it so much easier, but I suppose that wasn’t really true for me any more than it is for anyone. As a matter of fact, by the time I got my first tech writing job, I was already jaded and vaguely misanthropic …

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