TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for Sept. 26, 2014

technical communication recapYou could set your clocks by it (maybe Daylight Savings Time, maybe not) … the return of classic discussions to the email discussion list and community forum happens as surely as some boss somewhere is telling a hapless colleague to “make it look pretty.” From the perennial job title debates to discussing the value of “RTFM,” our crew of new and veteran techwhirlers like to put new spin on classic conversations, as well as bringing a few new ideas to light.

If reading (non-user-manual) content is more your speed, you can use your new or classic browser to peruse the awesome features we’ve published this week, including advice on following up during the job hunt, an intro to the concept of DITA conversion, and a sneak peek at one of the top-notch sessions planned for LavaCon 2014. You still have time to vote in the September poll as well.

Remember, the deadline is approaching in our annual opportunity to get terrifyingly creative. We want your submission for the 2014 Tech Comm Halloween Horror Festival… truth or fiction, as long as it’s scary (or at least funny), submit your story by October 17.

For a real time-travel excursion, check out the TECHWR-L discussion list archives. Bet you’ll find a few familiar faces, and quite a few familiar topics.

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl


Tech Writer This Week for September 25, 2014

The best articles on the Internet for the week of September 25, 2014.


The Help Files: Follow Up Special

Much like Ferris Bueller’s monotone economics teacher taking class attendance, it seems like we’re always waiting on someone to answer us. This month we’ll take a look at some good ways to check on your job hunting progress without making a nuisance of yourself.

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What Is DITA Conversion?

While DITA conversion is part of the larger DITA adoption process, it requires significant forethought, planning, and resources on its own. So we’ve prepared this overview to DITA conversion to help you start evaluating what it will take to convert your content to DITA.


LavaCon 2014: Troy Parke & Patrick Neeman on UX for Content Pros

Everyone has a different take on it, but the six “boxes” in user experience are Interaction Design, Visual Design, Content Strategy, Information Architecture, User Research and Analytics, and Front End Development. Each requires vastly different skills, so most UX professionals can do at most three well. If you get someone that has four or five, we call that a Unicorn.

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Role of Video in Technical & Support Content (poll)

Whether you currently handle video content as part of your duties, or think the task may be thrust upon you at some point, do take a moment to vote in the poll and provide your thoughts about effectiveness, usability, ROI or anything else that can improve our understanding of video’s role in technical content.


Tech Comm Halloween Horror Festival 2014

Once again it’s time to record those mythic tales of darkness and despair and share them with other champions of the light (and other wannabe heros battling evil and bad formatting across the globe) in the Tech Comm Halloween Horror Festival – 2014 Edition.

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