TechWhirl Recap for October 28, 2011

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This week’s update is supported by Platinum sponsor ComponentOne & their Doc-To-Help Help Authoring Tool.

On the road to LavaCon, we decided to publish a few tech writer horror stories, managed to help answer some questions about the new STC Technical Communicator Certification and kept up with important tech writer freelancing conundrums.  Not too bad for a renegade bunch of technical writers, there when you need us and there’s no one else to write the story …

Congratulations to Lois Patterson and Roger Renteria, who won the opportunity to hang out with the TechWhirl crew and do a little reporting from the LavaCon Conference this year.  Lois and Roger will join Al, Connie, and Jackie Samuels (SWU veteran) to cover the big happening in Austin, Nov 13-16.  A fabulous schedule of keynotes, seminars and vendor doings surrounding the trends in digital media and content strategies will keep all five of us hopping.  If you can’t make it to the Lone Star State, TechWhirl is the next best thing to being there, so add what you’re looking to hear, watch or read in the comments and we’ll do our best to bring it to you.

Many of us can relate to the heroes of our first ever Tech Writer Horror Stories week.  This week our writers gave us great stories (fiction we hope) of projects gone astray, technology evolving before we know it, and projects that literally steal years off our lives.  Halloween ain’t (go ahead and flame us for the bad grammar, go on, you know you want to) over just yet, so stop by on Monday for a summary and a podcast from the SWU Playhouse as we render these tales for the airwaves.

We wrapped up our month of Networking Tools and Strategies with Mike McCallister’s look at the conundrum facing the freelance tech writer – what to charge, from the perspective of presenters at the International Freelancers’ Day online conference.

Similar to those big box retail stores, we’re already planning for that quick stretch from November to January.  In addition to a packed week of coverage at LavaCon, November and December on TechWhirl will take a look at managing projects during the holiday season, and the stuff (tools, trends, and even toys) we really want from Santa.

A sincere thank you to everyone coming to our site, and those who are helping make it the best online resource for Technical Writers on the net, we certainly appreciate it.

From the whole ghoulish gang @ TechWhirl,

Have a great weekend!

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What You’re Talking About

A quick What you talkin’ ‘bout to our Tech Writers and their discussions in our email discussion group:

  • And the heat goes on… the STC certification debate has taken some interesting digressions this week. It’s morphed into 11 threads ranging from the original topic and issues, to proper usage of “to coin a phrase”, and a debate on wages/salary for tech writers.
  • It’s a class reunion of sorts… after the reappearance of Andrew Plato, a few other departed veterans have returned with questions. Robert Williams dropped in to ask about “Arbortext Alternatives – MIL-STD 40051 XML Tech Manuals.” Kari Gulbrandsen returned after a long hiatus to get input on “CMMI process documentation.”

In Case You Missed it: This Week  @ TechWhirl


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their support.  Without them we’d be on a highway to [think Halloween]…

Platinum A: Adobe Systems Incorporated

Platinum B: ComponentOne, Madcap

Gold: Society for Technical Communication (STC), EC Software, Vancouver Island University


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