TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for March 29, 2013

technical communication recapTechWhirl celebrates 20 years of conversation, debate, and knowledge sharing in March, having started as the first email discussion list for technical writers back in March of 1993. Our technical communication recap, including this week’s technical communication poll shows how some questions, and the ensuing debate, seem to be eternal. Like the “Purpose of Tech Comms Today” thread, started by Steve Janoff, which asks whether technical communication has a chance in the face of instantaneous searches, user forums, and such.

At TechWhirl, we believe that it’s already a part of technical communication, and managing the flow of communications between organizations and their stakeholders requires more than the ability to ask questions and write procedures or reference material. It’s why we have other recurring discussions on the roles, the skills, and the trends that make up this industry. Just as in so many other areas of business—and life—the rule “adapt or die” seems to come into play. Mark Baker, who is often referenced in this thread, wrote a popular and comment-generating piece for TechWhirl about a New Doctrine of Technical Communication, which is recommended reading for those wondering how to adapt to search engine optimization, curation versus creation, mobile, customer experience, and other trends.

While you’re at it, take a look at Craig Cardimon’s Tech Writer This Week curation, and go vote in the poll. And if you haven’t seen our Fast 5 interview with Jennifer White and Mike Hamilton of MadCap Software, it might help you decide where to spend your tools and conference dollars this year.

Our TechWhirl archive ( of technical communication discussions is updated every day, and you can actually go all the way back to the first posts back in 1993 to see what was coming up in conversation during the dotcom boom and since. It’s fascinating, and helps us look forward to what the next 20 years will bring.

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

 Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for March 28, 2013

We bid a not-so-fond farewell to March this week, and look forward to a busy and content-filled April, which we’ll happily bring to you in Tech Writer This Week. Job hunting and portfolio hints, using games and brainstorming to develop content strategy, and commentary on outsourcing, and what user experience designers do that precipitates some lively debate.

 technical communication poll - recurring questions

Technical Communication Poll: Recurring and Vital Conversations on Technical Writing

Over the course of 20 years, TechWhirlers have debated, questioned and conversed more than 450,000 times on a whole host of topics, most of which are actually related to technical writing and technical communication. That’s a lot of conversation, and we are proud to have hosted it since 1993. Since big anniversaries are usually a good time for reflection and recollection, our new technical communication poll asks you, our talkative TechWhirlers to tell us which of those subjects for debate are important and should continue to swirl..

 MadCap Flare 9

TechWhirl Fast 5: MadCap Flare 9 & MadWorld 2013

Tracking down MadCap product evangelists Mike Hamilton and Jennifer White for a sit down is no mean feat. TechWhirl’s Al Martine and Connie Giordano managed to catch up with the two for a Fast 5 session that covered the new release of MadCap Flare, and the upcoming MadWorld Conference in San Diego.

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