TechWhirl Tech Writer Recap for December 2, 2011

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

TechWhirl HeadquartersWhat season does December represent for you?  Is it your time to celebrate in a religious ceremony?  Or, if your are not of the religious bent, this is also a time to celebrate the idea of world peace and the goodness in humanity that is sometimes missed in day-to-day life?  Maybe the “holiday season” doesn’t represent anything other than some much-needed downtime and a chance to reflect on the year that has almost passed and plan for the year to come.  However, for some November and December is just a frustrating time when 99% of the world is off on vacation at them moment when they are really needed.

For us at TechWhirl, December 2011 represents all of the above.  Records suggest this is a big month for religion, we love the idea of world peace, our team just cleared through a pretty busy November, and it’s time to plan the next quarter.  Oh, and a few things are moving at a glacial pace thanks to a huge stack of “out of office” replies and the always welcome, let’s talk about it after the holidays comments.  Our wish list for our readers is a long one as are our plans for 2012.

So now that we started the sharing, it’s your turn.  This is only fair, no?  The week of December 12th to the 16th will be “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas Week” on our jolly little site.  We want to know your list to Santa and for the effort; we’re prepared to publish it.  Note, we’re mostly talking about Tech Comm \ Professional wishes here.   What do you want from Santa?  Is it a new dolly, a brand new shiny Tech Comm Help Suite under the tree, or just to rank higher than the 10th page in Google for a search other than your name?

Send us your Tech Writer wish list for the holidays and we’ll publish them.

The friendly folks here at TechWhirl haven’t fully embraced the silly season just yet.  Oh no, we’re still pushing forward in developing our Technical Communication News Division thanks to the tireless effort of Craig “The Duct-Tape Writer Nessman” Cardimon who along with the home staff have been searching the ‘Net for all the Tech Comm News that’s fit to print.

Got a Tech Comm news item that you want published?  Got our Submit Tech Comm News, Tips and Stories Page to submit.

We’re still not done providing information on how to manage projects during the holidays.  Look for Connie Giordano’s new piece “Getting Started on Managing (and Measuring) Interdepartmental Tech Comm Requests” for some good recommendations on how to start managing your department’s Tech Comm requests.  As an extra holiday treat, there will even be a couple templates under this article’s tree.

Next up on our project list?  Time to go refill our glasses with eggnog and find some mistletoe.  It can’t be all work and no play now, can it?  Have a great weekend and we hope to see those Santa wish lists soon.

The gang @ TechWhirl,

The jolliest bunch of elves since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye.

Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl:

What You’re Talking About

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

  • John Allred is returning to the tech comm world and wants good advice on “Finding Agencies.”  Always a great bunch to get job hunting advice from, whirlers have since recommended subscribing to job site aggregator, checking with Jack Molisani’s (of LavaCon fame) Prospring Staffing, getting visible on LinkedIn, and researching the staffing agencies in the local area.
  • Nancy Allison discovered that the “Document Properties Greyed Out in Acrobat Pro” and quickly found her answer from the ever alert and resourceful whirlers.  Richard Combs alerted her to the fact that enabling commenting in Acrobat Pro automatically restricts other features, and provided some practical advice about when to enable commenting in a review cycle.
  • Kalpana Thakar needs to find the names of screenshots in a 500-page document. A quick post to the list to get help “identifying embedded screen shot names in Framemaker,” and the answers, while not necessarily ideal, proved that it’s possible to retrieve the graphic files themselves with Mif2Go and with Word.

In Case You Missed it: This Week  @ TechWhirl

Tech Comm News


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their support.  All their stuff makes great stocking stuffers.

Platinum A: Adobe Systems Incorporated

Platinum B: ComponentOne Software, Madcap Software

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

> yes, we reworked the quote since we are a family-friendly site