TechWhirler Recap for July 1 (1867)

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

Independence Day in the US on Monday, while our friends in Canada celebrate Canada Day today, the gang at TechWhirl will be taking a welcome break from the daily grind, waiting for fireworks and trying to remember the words to the Star-Spangled Banner.

Some of us may also be considering the other facets of Independence like the independence from captive employment. Or, the financial independence that comes from finding a new job, moving up the ranks, or starting a new career. July on TechWhirl focuses Career Decisions and Transitions. This month also marks the start for our Special Writers Unit with Jacquie Samuels’ article, “Going from Zero to Superhero” on Tuesday, July 5.

However, before we jump off into the always hot world of job search – we wanted to take one final look back at June (and a little of May) and our focus on social media and technical communications. We got back into the publishing game with Geoff Hart’s Two Part Series, Taking Advantage of Social Media (Part I, | Part 2, back in May and were off to the races. From there, a quick epic on the Communications Cycle:

· The New Communications Cycle Part 1: Know Your Audience … and How They Consume and Create Content (

· Part 2: Consumption is a Two-Way Street (

· Part 3: Analyzing and Updating Content with the 3Rs (

And then some trend analysis of one of the oldest and most active email list discussion groups for technical communicators to help us make sense of our fast-changing field with “Top 5 Trends in Technical Writing” ( Finally, we tied together our look at social media, and our current focus on careers with “Presenting Your Portfolio in the Digital Age”.

The fates seemed to converge, as we learned to apply what we’ve learned about social media, balancing the views of thoughtful and respected guest bloggers stating their opinions with presenting opposing views of equally thoughtful and respected leaders from STC (full disclosure, also a sponsor). Our conclusion? It’s not about right or wrong but attitude online, and both Robert and Kathryn showed the best kind of attitude and that it was possible to disagree, without being disagreeable.

So as we close the “book” on this one – or perhaps turn off the screen? –Now it’s time to dust off those resumes, dig out those great samples, and figure out your next career move. The SWU is ready to go, are you?

Some of that Social Media Stuff:

Are you are Facebook Friend? Would you like to be – no charge – more fun than a mouthful of pop rocks |

Want all this TechWhirl goodness 140 characters @ a time |

What You’re Talking About

Quick shout outs to our Tech Writers and their discussions:

o The very hot “Anyone can write – just look at the job descriptions” topic seems pretty timely considering the upcoming month of content on TechWhirl!

o John Posada started another interesting thread on writing for consumer level knowledge bases when he asked for thoughts on “Uninstall Instructions for Consumer-level Readers.”

o Di’s question on using an “Edge effect on cropped screenshots?” has prompted a diverse range of opinions on effects, and on the use of screenshots in the first place.

In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

· New: “Presenting Your Professional Portfolio in the Digital Age” |

· Classic: “Humor: New Publications Guidelines” by Tom Murrell |

· Poll Question: What’s your opinion of the economy when it comes to searching for a new job?

· TechWhirl membership survey closed – a very special thank you to everyone who participated

Upcoming Events & Articles

· New: “Going from Zero to Superhero” by Jacquie Samuels

· Classic: “What Can We Learn from Other Functional Areas?” by David Stewart

· Poll question: What is your ideal job?


We want to send a very special “thank you” to sponsors. Without them, we’d have no boom in our fireworks. (their ads are on the right, click on them, buy stuff, take a class or join – ya dig?)

Platinum: ComponentOne, Madcap, Adobe

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

Silver: Vancouver Island University

> So, if you’re not in the US, do you have July 4th as well?

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