Why everything is changing

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I’ve agreed to present at this years ISTC conference, and my topic will be blogging and technical communications. It’s a nice topic title, vague enough that I can stretch it in many ways, but specific enough that it has some natural constraints.

I’ll write up some of my thoughts here, naturally, but it’s interesting that I’m starting to see how other areas of the online world, the Web 2.0 vision of the future, are coming into play.

Case in point: Rhonda Bracey blogs about the presentation Tony Self gave, based on an article he wrote titled What if Readers Can’t Read? which I’d already read, and linked to in my monthly newsletter column for the ISTC. The premise of which is:

The fundamental shift away from traditional forms of written communication (books and documents) to new media (e-mail, social networking, collaboration spaces) is something that we as technical communicators should be attuned to. The shift is not just from paper to online media… the shift is also away from top-down, autocratic communication structures to democratic, peer-to-peer structures.

It’s an excellent, thought provoking article, whether you agree or disagree, and it’s made all the more powerful by some of the videos that Tony showed during his presentation, videos to which Rhonda has kindly provided links.

One of the videos is referenced heavily in Tony’s article so I thought I’d show it here as it’s quite a powerful message and something that should be shaping our thinking in the years to come.

Without blogging, I wouldn’t have come across this and this is a perfect example of why blogging can be so powerful, however you do need to be part of this online conversation to be able to catch these snippets.