TechWhirler Recap for July 22, 2011

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

It’s time for this week’s update and judging by the thermometer around here – it’ll be the hottest one so far. (Yes, we fought the urge to use an exclamation point, aka period with a long line over it, aka oh, uh, we can’t think of another aka and that was last week’s discussion topic anyway).

Now, onto the often reviewed, sometimes kicked-out and occasionally commented on – TechWhirler Update. This week brought to you in full color and with air conditioning.

Normally, us TechWhirlers are good-time rock ‘en rollers who want peace, luv and a warm puppy. See, we’re the ones who drone on about the virtues of collaboration, working together and positive reinforcement in the workplace. But not this week. This week, it’s black hat time with soon-to-be-famous SWU writer Cheryl Volshin’s instant classic Top 10 Ways to a Terrible Workplace (

Originally, we thought she was submitting ideas to us on how to build TechWhirl as an organization, but later figured out that she was using irony rather than being literal. Who knows, maybe that’s why one of us got ourselves thrown out of the Technical Writer Forum on LinkedIn. Before you ask, no, we don’t know why.

Now, back to our commentary: The darn article would have been super uber funny (instead of merely uber funny) if sadly it wasn’t so true for many people and companies out there today. While we can’t do much about your work situation, we can provide ideas for an escape route.

One such escape route would be scoring the interview through a killer cover letter (and resume). To help with that process, our classic article for this week is by Tom Murrell Get More Interviews with a T-Letter ( It’ll help structure your writing to meet the needs of the interviewer and get you from the long list to the short list in the candidate pool. This way, when you do get that next job you can either: a) flee your current work environment; or b) get the chance to be the terrible boss you always wanted to be’ or c) what did we miss? oh yeah, become a great boss.

We have another full week of career month left. What’s on tap? A nice little article on how to get into Technical Writing and some other goodies that are a surprise.

Have a great weekend!


The friendly and sometimes moderated folks @ TechWhirl.

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What You’re Talking About

Quick shout outs to our Tech Writers and their discussions:

  • The “How to Talk to SME’s” discussion is still going strong after more than a week, with some excellent if somewhat facetious advice from Eddy Skau and John Garrison
  • David Harrison is looking for answers to the question “Is Adobe InDesign good for ‘write-once-use-many’?” and the ability to handle structured authoring.
  • Wendy Lewis found some answers to her issues with “Adobe X Commenting” to support her controlled review process—the features are available, but in different locations than previous versions.

In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

  • New: ‘Top 10 Ways to a Terrible Workplace” by Cheryl Voloshin
  • Classic: “Get More Interviews with a T-Letter” by Tom Murrell
  • Poll question: Most important quality in a manager |

Upcoming Events & Articles

  • New: “Sliding into Technical Writing” by Craig Cardimon
  • Classic: “Establishing Yourself as a Contractor” by Bruce Byfield
  • Poll question: What factors are most important when moving into contracting/freelancing?


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

Silver: Vancouver Island University

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