TechWhirl: Technical Communications Recap for March 31, 2012

This week’s update on technical communications and the TechWhirl community is supported by Platinum sponsor Madcap & their Ultimate Communications Suite, MadPak |

The old saying March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, apparently doesn’t hold true in technical communications. TechWhirl finishes up the month of March with a great set of articles on translation and globalization, more valuable recaps from WritersUA 2012, and some interesting news items (well, on the news front it was more like a lamb, but we figure it’s end of quarter quiet period for lots of companies.)

Our guest contributions from Bernard Aschwanden of Publishing Smarter, and Val Swisher of Content Rules focused on choosing a translation vendor and making content global-ready. Even if you’re not actively involved in a translation project, these two features have loads of valuable insight for your job as a technical communicator.  Cheryl Voloshin is back this week with a new humor piece on translating corporate speak, so if you take a little fun with your coffee, this one’s for you.

As we move into April, we hope to avoid too many showers, but at the same time, we know that technical communications is going through a lot of transition and growth in new directions.  We’ll begin a two-month focus on “Reframing the Community,” looking at the evolving technical communications framework—what still works, and what changes are being wrought in collaboration, user experience, social media and more that are already changing how we view ourselves and our profession.  We start things off on Monday, with one of the most insightful commentaries you’ll ever read on a New Tech Comm Doctrine, guest-authored by Mark Baker of Analecta Communications and the blogger behind Every Page is Page One.  Mark’s piece is part of our continuing series on Integrated Technical Communications (ITC), which is sponsored by Adobe, and we’re thrilled to have him join the ranks of amazing guest contributors on TechWhirl.


Enjoy your weekend.

-the gang at TechWhirl


In Case You Missed it: This Week  @ TechWhirl

New features and articles on

Tech Comm News:

Technical Communications: What You’re Talking About

A quick shout out to our Technical Writers and their discussions in our email discussion group:

  • Cindy Daoust, another Techwhirler back from a multi-year hiatus, is looking for “Help with fake names issue.” The list responded quickly with a whole variety of creative ways to come up with fake names, including a website that automatically generates Elf names.  Good advice on avoiding celebrity, and branded IP (Does Michael and Minerva Muridae count?).
  • Rebecca Hopkins wants to hear about experiences where “Training and documentation teams play well together?” Whirlers report that bringing the two teams together happens more often than perhaps in the past, but the teams success is varied, usually based on leadership and corporate culture.

Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl:


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their support.

Platinum: Adobe Systems Incorporated

Gold: ComponentOne Software, Madcap Software

Silver: Society for Technical Communication (STC), Vancouver Island University


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