TechWhirl Tech Writer Recap for December 30, 2011

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

From the Desk of the Editor

It’s the last weekly recap of 2011, and what a year it’s been.  Since taking over TechWhirl in April, we made a lot of changes, on the back end and to what you see, and we are gratified at the response.  A whole crew of dedicated volunteers joined the ranks of the Special Writers Unit, delivering more than 100 new articles, and lots of fodder for continuing discussions.  The email discussion list welcomed back a few old friends and a number of new ones, and the threads show why the original is still the best in tech comm discussions. Our sponsors have shown tremendous faith and support for our vision to become the go-to spot for all things technical communications.

All in all, 2011 has been a tremendous year of change and growth for us and the TechWhirl community.  If you’re not quite sure about that, Keith Soltys’ new article on E-book Formats is just one example of the kind of information the magazine provides.  Then check out the Top 11 Tech Writer Today Articles of 2011.  And, if you’re not sure about the value of the discussion list, we invite you to take a look at Best Tips & Tricks from the Discussion List, which covers some great ideas gleaned from just a few of the hundreds of threads that posted during 2011.

We have a lot to be thankful for, and resolve to live up to the support and confidence you’ve placed in us and to surpass these achievements in 2012.  And we look forward to seeing you participating on the list, reading the magazine, and attending technical communications events next year.

– The gang at TechWhirl


In Case You Missed it: This Week  @ TechWhirl

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Tech Comm News:

What You’re Talking About

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

  • Ann Waterhouse is “Fishing for a new documentation title” for a package of materials that combines materials from two other packages.  Responses from Whirlers suggest that sometimes we make things harder on ourselves than they need to be.  A simple description such as “Documentation Package” may do the trick, when the component documents speak for themselves.
  • Lee Fisher provided a link to “the Hadoop comic” developed by Maneesh Varshney as an experiment in documenting computer science topics using the medium of comics. A number of Whirlers have reviewed it and provided comments on how effective the medium could be.  Feel free to take a look at the comic and add to the discussion (link:


Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl:


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their support.  Make a resolution to visit their sites and buy their stuff.

Platinum A: Adobe Systems Incorporated

Platinum B: Madcap Software, ComponentOne Software

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

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