TechWhirl Launches Pre-Post Certification Program

In an effort to improve the quality, quantity and relevance of technical communications community discussions, TechWhirl today announces the launch of its intensive five-phase certification program, Forum/List Open Posting Professional, which is open to members of the TechWhirl email discussion list, readers of Tech Writer Today, and other members of the technical communications community.

“The Forum/List Open Posting Professional certification allows the public to see the importance of technical communications forum contributions that are perfectly formatted and structured,” notes Connie Giordano, List Moderator and Cat Herder for TechWhirl (formerly known as Techwr-l). “With nearly two decades of research and relevant online data to analyze, TechWhirl is in a unique position to be able to offer a comprehensive training and certification program that gives technical writers the recognition they richly deserve for contributing to online communities 24/7/365.”

The five-phase program allows participants to train in the mechanics, protocol and culture of community posting at their own pace with belt recognition for completion of each stage, and the right to append Forum/List Open Posting Professional to their signature lines, resumes and business cards:

Safety Belt:

Professionals at the first level of Forum/List Open Posting Professional certification have mastered the use of Reply All, BCC and Forward, and have accumulated a minimum of five postings in each category within the first 12 months of participation.
Tool Belt: Professionals who successfully complete the second level of Forum/List Open Posting Professional have demonstrated the ability to create flame wars over tools from the most innocent posting, and can provide evidence of mastery in at least three writing or publishing tools that are no longer supported by any vendor anywhere.
Fan Belt:

To successfully achieve the third level of Forum/List Open Posting Professional, professionals must show mastery of the techniques of introducing syntax, spelling and formatting questions to the online community without benefit of prior research.  Evidence of at least one reply suggesting “check the archives” is required to attain this level.

While technically not a “belt” this level of Forum/List Open Posting Professional certification recognizes wide ranging achievements by professionals who can successfully steer a post off-topic, insult non-technical communications professions, and avoid being moderated or suspended by the artful use of insincere apologies or bribes.
Championship Belt:

The highest level of Forum/List Open Posting Professional certification provides well-deserved recognition to professionals with many years of experience in online communities with an emphasis on at least two of the following:

  • Stretching a topic thread to at least six months’ worth of posts with ten percent or more devoted to “Me too” posts.
  • Introducing the same topic with the same content on at least one other forum or community
  • Public announcement of displeasure at the community prior to unsubscribing and re-subscribing under another name and email address.


“I am looking forward to becoming a certified Forum/List Open Posting Professional,” said Al Martine, List Administrator and Head of Janitorial Services for TechWhirl. “This certification proves to the industry and the larger online community that technical writers have what it takes to be a Forum/List Open Posting Professional. It’s a designation I’ll be proud to put on my resume.”

Giordano and Martine also announced that the Forum/List Open Posting Professional certification program will be administered in conjunction with the Institute of Mid-Atlantic Affidavits and Forum-Originated Open Letters.  Applications are being accepted now for the inaugural class of Forum/List Open Posting Professionals, which is expected to graduate on December 22, 2012.

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