TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for November 16, 2012

This week’s update on technical communication and the TechWhirl community is supported by Platinum sponsor Madcap & their Ultimate Communications Suite, MadPak |

Several current threads on the TechWhirl email discussion list discuss areas aligned with but separate from technical communication—quality assurance and business analysis in particular.  I always find those discussions fascinating. They continue to affirm my belief that the best approach to a successful technical communication career is to think in broader, more holistic, and yes, more strategic terms.  Focusing too exclusively on technical writing or information design has always seemed to be a career-limiting decision. More importantly, I think it speaks to the organization-limiting effects of silos.

Most large organizations (and lots of medium and small ones for that matter), tend towards information silos, but they also tend toward functional silos as well.—which limits opportunities for innovation, tipping points or new business channels—the stuff of which HBR case studies are made. Using our lens of helping society and tech comm, we can take advantage of the opportunity to explore what’s beyond our tradition borders, and use our natural skills and abilities in ways that eliminate both the information and functional silos.

While you enjoy reading all the great content we have to offer this week on TechWhirl, take a few minutes to add to or start discussion thread, or post your thoughts about the silo-busting effects of helping society and tech comm. We love hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

-The gang at TechWhirl

  Tech Writer This Week for November 15, 2012Yes we’re all still recovering from what seemed to be an endless election cycle in the U.S. Which, doesn’t stop tech comm, content strategy and UX pundits from working hard to bring useful and enlightening commentary to tech writers and content masters of all stripes. Closets, ghost writing, boring consistency, fencing, and the importance of touch all have a place Tech Writer This Week..
 helping society and technical communication Technical Communication Poll: Benefits of VolunteeringVolunteering is usually considered to be the biggest component in helping society, so we’ve decided to survey one final aspect of volunteerism—the benefits we look for in choosing a volunteer opportunity. After looking at the challenges in volunteering technical communication expertise, and the types of organizations technical communicators choose to volunteer with, we were curious to know why you choose to volunteer.
 working with DITA Working With DITA: The Perspective from LavaConMy most technical day of the LavaCon 2012 conference occurred on the final morning when I focused on working with DITA by attending two sessions: “Migrating to DITA: How Automated Conversion Works and Why it Matters” (with Patrick Baker of Stilo International) and “Collaboration and Instantiation: Engineering Content in DITA XML” (with Cheri Mullins, of Mullins Consulting, discussing her work at AMD).
  Book Review: Content Strategy 101 by Sarah O’Keefe and Alan PringleSarah S. O’Keefe and Alan S. Pringle of Scriptorium Publishing tried a fascinating experiment in putting together their latest book, “Content Strategy 101.” They crowd-sourced the development, seeking commentary, feedback on the structure and content, and reviews from a wide range of content and technical communication professionals via the website. Jacquie Samuels, a content strategy veteran, and Roger Renteria, a graduate of tech comm studies read the book at the website and offer their perspectives in this “mini-crowd-sourced” review.

Technical Communication News

Tech Comm Jobs

  • Technical Communication Job Summary November 10, 2012

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