TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for March 15, 2013

technical communication recapHaving survived International Pi Day without a cataclysm of calories, it’s now time to beware the Ides of March. Over here at TechWhirl it means the end to another week of interesting content, features and reviews, and a little history for our weekly technical communication recap.

I did a little time traveling and on the Ides of March in 2003, TechWhirlers were talking about the The odds of finding work through job ads and technical skills vs. writing skills (again). And back in 1993, the Ides found those earliest TechWhirlers talking about Online documentation, problems using. Anybody notice anything familiar here?

Right here in 2013, Yehoshua Paul takes a look at whether and how the skills required for technical writing and training overlap.  Rachel Houghton reviews MadCap Flare 9, and Craig Cardimon curates some fascinating posts from content strategy and user experience as well as technical communications in Tech Writer This Week.

So enjoy the present and the past, and if I were you, Ide have a piece of pi….

Have a great weekend!

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

 Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for March 14, 2013

Tech Writer This Week brings you commentary on big subjects (not those second level headings or bullet points, but the BIG subjects) this week: fear, creativity, confidence, awkwardness, simplicity, and the screw up. All tied together in a nice neat package of stuff from around the web. We start off with Technical Communication and fear.

 madcap flare 9

MadCap Flare 9: Enhancements Make it Worth the Upgrade

My employer’s products require user assistance that covers both the traditional and the trending, so the tools I use to provide product documentation have to be versatile. I’ve been using MadCap Flare since 2009, so I was thrilled to be invited to participate in reviewing the release of Flare 9. The enhancements they’ve made to MadCap Flare 9 fit my needs for traditional PDF/print outputs, while supporting our needs as we transition to HTML 5. Here are just a few of my thoughts on making the leap to Flare 9.


Multiple and Emerging Roles in Technical Communication: Training

Starting sometime in the early 20th century, technical writers were tree killers who wrote printed manuals about how to do things. The advent of the digital age has brought about several big changes in the field: technical writers are now “technical communicators,” proliferation of digital outputs has reduced tree killing, and the traditional technical writing profession has expanded to include many new roles. One of these emerging roles is that of the trainer.

Technical Communication News:

Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl:


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