TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for May 24, 2013

technical communication recap for May 24Memorial Day in the US represents the unofficial start to summer, so chances are that very few of you will read this… until sometime next week. Or maybe you will, if you have nothing to do while stuck in an afternoon metroplex exodus or security lines at the airport.  Today’s technical communication recap for May 24, focuses on questions and answers.

Enjoy Fiona Hanington’s debut as a member of the TechWhirl SWU, Can I Be an Agile Technical Communicator When My Team Is Not? (Hint, her answer is yes, with lots of good how-to advice). Stake out your territory in the three-way debate (that would be Tom Johnson, Sarah O’Keefe and Mark Baker) by voting and posting a comment to this week’s poll which asks whether structured authoring and web content delivery can co-exist. And Roger Renteria has an answer for anyone looking for ways to improve their use of tables and graphs, with his STC Summit Summary.

And you can close out your week by seeing what everyone else has to say about tech comm, content strategy, user experience, and customer experience management by way of Craig Cardimon’s Tech Writer This Week.  Some of those folks like to ask and answer their own questions, but it’s always fascinating and educational.

Take a few minutes to complete the Adobe WYSWYG survey.  Then safe travels as you enjoy the holiday here in the US. And just enjoy your weekend no matter where you are.

-Connie and the gang at TechWhirl

 Tech Writer This Week

Tech Writer This Week for May 23, 2013

I enjoy working in technical communication, so why not stretch my skills a bit for marcom? There must be more to this than I thought, because Sarah O’Keefe ( is hosting a webcast on the Cold War between techcomm and marcom. I signed up because a good writer should be able to tackle any kind of writing. Then I went looking for more tech comm and related goodness for Tech Writer This Week. I found lots…

 Structured Authoring for the Web Poll

Technical Communication Poll: Can Structured Authoring and Web Content Delivery Co-exist?

Three of the most respected names in technical communication, —Tom Johnson (I’d Rather Be Writing), Sarah O’Keefe (Scriptorium), and Mark Baker (Every Page is Page One) – have been having a spirited online discussion over the role of structured authoring and the World Wide Web. Now mind you, it’s been is a very respectful disagreement with each of them acknowledging each other’s insightful comments along the way. Essentially, their arguments boil down to the choice of one little word: Or, And or For… inserted between structured authoring and web content delivery.

 Summit Summary

Summit Summary: Jean-luc Doumont on Conveying Messages with Graphs

Ever want to learn how to make better graphs? Check out a Jean-luc Doumont presentation sometime. In this STC Summit presentation, based on his book “Trees, Maps, and Theorems, about ‘effective communication for rational minds'”, he discussed how to choose the right graph and optimize the display to send the right kind of message.


Can I Be an Agile Technical Communicator When My Team Is Not?

I work for Ericsson, a large multi-national company, and we’re in the process of moving the software development framework in our business units to what is known as Agile development. Some units are there already. Others, like ours, are just starting to look into it. I don’t know exactly when my team will make the transition, but I recently went through some training and was inspired to begin the journey towards being an Agile technical communicator.

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