TechWhirl’s 5 Most Popular Articles for the First Half of 2013

As of this posting, 188 days have come and gone in 2013 and by many accounts it’s been a good first half. In the year that the STC turns 60 and we turn 20, technical communication is very much evolving. More and more technical communicators are being asked to do more than write tech pubs – they’re being asked to maintain blogs, help with product development and become communication generalists. The conversations and interests are changing with these job roles. Sure, we’re still doing documentation but we’re also doing so much more.

In fact, the top five new magazine articles listed below, other than Yehoshua’s Yahoo! article, do not rank at the top of the full ist of visited pages for the same period.  That list would be Writing Software Requirements Specifications, What is Technical Writing, (Yahoo!), Understanding Graphic File Formats and our Content Management Systems Portal.  These top pages are as much as a sign of our expanded range of content (content for those doing research via a search engine) as it is a sign of more and more professionals needing a wider range of information.

But, today we’re ranking the Top Magazine Articles on TechWhirl published between January and July 1. Our top five provided a glimpse behind the scenes at Yahoo!, talked about the trends in 2013, introduced a new Users’ Advocate, asked if one could be an agile writer on a team that wasn’t, and helped shine light on the black box that is content management systems.

Honorable mention in our top articles goes out to Craig Cardimon and his work on Tech Writer This Week. If we totaled the views for Craig’s weekly feature throughout the same time period it would rank number one.

These articles didn’t write themselves; far from it.  We take a minute to share our sincere and heartfelt appreciation to the very special writers who write with us every day. They’re the oil in the TechWhirl engine. If you’ve enjoyed the following articles, it’s because of their time, talent and efforts.

And now, without further ado … our top five for 2013/2

No 1 – Yahoo! CEO Bans Technical Writers from Working at Office

The CEO of Yahoo! recently upset a lot of people when she announced that employees would no longer be allowed to work from home, and that all returning employees were going to be put on rotating babysitting duty. However, the public outcry seems to have ignored one of the more puzzling details – technical writers are officially exempt from this new work requirement.

No 2 – A Vision of 2013: Five Technical Communication Trends

It’s time to reset the GPS to identify and track the technical communication trends that will shape what we do and how we do it in 2013. We’ve compiled this list–UX, mobile, responsive design, branding and globalization–through our experience, by noting trends on our email discussion group, and by monitoring the community at large.

No 3 – Types of Content Management Systems Explained (CMS, DMS, CCMS, ECMS, and others)

After the first twenty times you ran across the terms "CMS" or "content management system," you probably jumped to a conclusion about what people mean by it. Or you search for the term online and get a list of one of the types. In all likelihood, the list you retrieve on a search engine won’t include many examples of the kind of content management system you may need to manage technical content for your organization.

No 4 – 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.

No 5 – Users’ Advocate: Where Have All the Users Gone?

As I begin my stewardship of the Users’ Advocate column, I think it is important to begin by asking, where have all the users gone? Thirty years ago, tech comm had a more or less captive audience. If users wanted information on your product, they looked at the manual. They didn’t have much choice. Today, when the user has a question or encounters a problem with your product, the first thing they do is to Google it.

Got an idea for an article or want to join our very Special Writers Unit? Contact us.

Onto H2!

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