TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for January 25, 2013

This week’s technical communication recap and update on the TechWhirl community is supported by Platinum sponsor ComponentOne & their Doc-To-Help Help Authoring Tool |

technical communication recapIt’s been a very busy week on the email discussion list, with threads ranging from dealing with sudden unemployment, tracking documentation requests, and assorted usage questions. The one that caught my attention though, came from Victoria Wroblewski, and offers a quick glimpse into the real-life challenges those of us in technical communication face when a new technology makes its debut. What to do when you’re a software technical writer, and one of the big guys launches a new version of a ubiquitous operating system?

We like to cover a whole range of trends, Big Ideas, and other paradigm-shifting topics about the world of technical communication.  This thread, and some of the other great discussions this week serve as a good reminder that our world also involves daily work that might appear pedestrian and boring to the average consumer, but in the end can make a difference in how they interact with products of all sorts.

Take a look at the Documenting in Windows 8 – Click? Press? Select? thread, and add your thoughts and experiences to the discussion. Then spend a little time catching up on Craig Cardimon’s Tech Writer This Week, giggling over our classic humor piece from Lisa Higgins, voting in the weekly poll, and learning the differences between content management systems, courtesy of Jacquie Samuels. In short, be an active part of our technical communication community.

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

 Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for January 24, 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 writing humor

Technical Writing Humor: The Sidelines on Job Interviews

I think I have finally figured out interviews. People doing interviews are clever, calculating, and psychic, and they know I drove in an old beato-matic Volvo with no glove compartment. (Actually, it does have a glove compartment, but it’s in the trunk right now.) Interviewers ask tricky questions, they have ulterior motives, and they see directly into your soul.

 crystal ball - blue-sm

Technical Communication Poll: Technology Advances We’d Like to See

We’ve done a little crystal-ball gazing and tea-leaf reading already, trying to figure out what kinds of things are likely to impact technical communication professionals in 2013 (and beyond). Keeping an eye on trends and looking for ways to exploit them is one of those characteristics that can extend your influence beyond the tech pubs team.

 content management system

Types of Content Management Systems Explained (CMS, CCMS, ECMS and others)

After the first twenty times you ran across the terms “CMS” or “content management system,” you probably jumped to a conclusion about what people mean by it. Or you search for the term online and get a list of one of the types. In all likelihood, the list you retrieve on a search engine won’t include many examples of the kind of content management system you may need to manage technical content for your organization.

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