TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for June 28, 2013

technical communication recap for June 28By an odd confluence of circumstances, mostly due to summer in North America and the seasonal rise in PTO (‘Paid Time Off’ for folks who actually get paid for work.), TechWhirl turned into the Craig and Connie show this week. You may or may not consider this to be a good thing, but we had fun putting it all together, so I hope you’ll enjoy it all.

Tammy Bilitzky, the CIO for Data Conversion Laboratory, sat down with me a few weeks ago to discuss data conversion strategy, Agile, and enterprise mobility among other topics. We just published the interview, Navigating the Road to Data Conversion Strategy, and it’s full of really useful guidance to any organization that needs to tackle the challenge of converting legacy content. We hit the Wayback machine for this week’s tech comm poll, which dives into the archives for apt job titles and some freewheeling debate before asking “What job title best explains what we do as professionals?” If none of the options suits, please let us know with a comment on the post, we keep hoping the perfect title will show up.

Craig Cardimon decided not to mourn the impending loss of Google Reader, and he walks through a few of the best alternatives in Leaving Google Reader: Change Could Do You Good. Then he curates some of the best commentary and advice from other sites and blogs in Tech Writer This Week.

PTO doesn’t seem to slow down the conversations on the email discussion list, with requests for word usage, continuing tool debates and more. That includes another appearance by Anonymous who requested advice on how to handle translation from Chinese into English for use in the Americas. I’m hoping that Anonymous or one of the participants might consider turning that into an article for TechWhirl (the SWU is always open to new members) … maybe when they get back from PTO.

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

 Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for June 27, 2013

As a technical writer, I follow a style guide. I use the Microsoft Manual of Style, but I admit I’m not married to it. Robert Levy seems to back me up when he asks if being slavishly consistent is also plain foolish. On other not-so-foolish fronts, we offer the latest on content strategy thinking, trends in UX, the practice of CXM, and some fun and interesting Career & Life tidbits.

 leaving Google Reader

Leaving Google Reader: Change Could Do You Good

Google Reader is going to croak as of July 1, but this shouldn’t be news to anyone who spends time surfing news sites. Yes, Google Reader is dead, but I’m not grieving. Actually, I’m celebrating. Why? Because Reader’s impending death has opened the door to innovation. Web companies are offering their own replacements for the venerable old app. Leaving Google Reader could turn out to be a good thing.

 tech comm poll - job titles

Technical Communication Poll: Blast from the Past on Job Titles

As we celebrate 20 years of TechWhirl, I like to dig into the archives and reminisce about the arguments from the old days. Dan Goldstein brought up one of the biggies after listening to “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” over the weekend… how do we describe what we do in a pithy yet comprehensive way? The caller to the NPR radio program called herself a “technical communicator” and was immediately greeted by utter confusion. Which often greeted us “technical writers” back at the turn of the century.

 Tammy Bilitzky, CIO, DCL

Navigating the Road to a Business-driven Data Conversion Strategy

Equipped with years of program management and product management expertise, Tammy Bilitzky came to Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc. (DCL) in April, 2013. Her goal: to expand the company’s successful focus on high-quality, efficient conversions to best meet its clients’ present and future needs. She enthusiastically articulates her strategy as DCL’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) with a few keywords: big data, analytics and enterprise mobility. To her, while data conversion is complex and navigating a road toward a data conversion strategy is challenging, getting there is anything but boring.

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