TechWhirl Recap for September 30

six monthsThis week’s update is supported by Platinum sponsor Adobe & RoboHelp 9 |

Six Month Summary

Connie and I have owned TechWhirl for six complete months tomorrow morning.  Yes, if you do the math we bought it on April Fools Day.  Given personalities involved, we actually decided to not tell anyone until April 2 just so everyone would believe us.

In the last six months, we redesigned the website twice – judging by the numbers most of you will only notice one change; did our first event, 2011 STC Summit – we’re an online company but failed to think about having a computer at our booth; and assembled a great group of writers and thanks to Twitter found them a great name – the Special Writers Unit.  We are proud that, as of now, we’ve kept 100% of our sponsors and we’re sincerely appreciative of their patience and willingness to work with us.  And finally, as of Wednesday, TechWhirl is not just about writing anymore.

We’re pleased with the progress but there’s a lot more on our to-do list.  By all accounts, we’re publishing some great content, which is really helping technical communicators around the world, but we can do more.  For our magazine, we want to increase not only our long-form writing on topics of interest but also work toward becoming the leader in technical communication news.  At the moment, we’re not entirely certain of what form it will take – it may be a combination of short articles and three- to four- minute audio updates since it’s far easier to read press releases than rework them into original content.

Our plans for new website aren’t over either.  We currently have a new website under development that should go live in the next couple weeks.  In fact, if our plans work out we’ll release at least two, possibly three new sites for technical communicators before 2012.  Why?  Because our mission is to provide high quality resources for technical communicators and there’s some stuff missing.

A sincere thank you to everyone reading this and for those who are sponsoring our work.  We truly appreciate it and can’t wait to provide even more over the next six months.

The gang @ TechWhirl

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What You’re Talking About

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

  • Kevin McLaughlin wonders “What would replace Webhelp?” and worries that security vulnerabilities and the plethora of browsers will make future delivery MUCH more complicated Whirlers responded with varied opinions and creating output with a variety of tools and on how various browsers handle Webhelp’s key features of TOC, search and indexing.
  • New word usage issues from Greg Brown on “Comprise vs Consists Of” and Tony Chung, who wants to “Bellow about below.” We love word usage debates (as long as they’re tech comm related) because they generate heat AND light…
  • Becky Edmondson is ready to take her act on the road somewhere and asks “second acts for technical writers?” Sage advice from many Whirlers that runs the gamut from following a path of self-discovery, to specific career ideas embodied in what we like to call the Tech Comm Ecosystem—related, overlapping fields that require use of some of our best skill sets… BA, UA, KM, and various other alphabet soups….

In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl 

  • New: “Tips and Tricks: Documenting a Constantly Changing UI” Trilogy
  • New: Inside TechWhirl Podcast |

Upcoming Articles 

  • New:  “Usability and User Experience, related but different” by Silvia Zimmermann, President, UPA
  • New:  “What you should consider in planning mobile help projects for field personnel,” by Laura McNeilly
  • Classic:  “Seven Deadly Sins of Tech Writing Burnout” by Liz Russell
  • Poll Question:  Do you read the manuals for your mobile devices?


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their support.  We recommend buying something from each and every one of them.  Heck, buy two of each, you never know when a reserve will be necessary.

Platinum A: Adobe

Platinum B: ComponentOne, Madcap

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


12 years ago

Good post. enjoyed the podcast

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