Technical Communication UK Conference

Technical Communication UK 22nd-24th September 2009 http://www.technicalcommunicationuk.com Technical Communication UK is the new annual conference that aims to meet the needs of technical communicators, their managers and clients, from every corner of the industry. The conference is hosted by the ISTC, and run in partnership with X-pubs. Technical Communication UK runs on 23rd and 24th September 2009, with pre-conference workshops on 22nd September. It will deliver more than 30 sessions over the three days, with presentations, workshops, case studies, and hands-on product demonstrations from experts in their field. Let me know if you are coming along, as I’d hate to be sitting in the bar on my own on the Wednesday evening!

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Censorship

I’ve been writing this blog for quite a while, so I must admit that I’m surprised that this is the first time I’ve found myself in my current position. Perhaps it’s because I tend not to make inflammatory statements (aside from that post about the Bible being a work of fiction written by the Devil, obv) but I’ve never had to censor any comments before. Luckily I have a Comment Posting Policy which states: I reserve the exclusive right to moderate all comments posted on my site, including but not limited to… deleting comments that contain offensive language. Repeated use of abusive and offensive language will be deleted and banned. So, said comment is gone, forever banished to the land …

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It's hard

Listening to the news on the way to work this morning, some chav sounding lassie from some London suburb or other was bemoaning the fact that she found it hard not to bunk off school. Yes, that’s right. She wasn’t finding it hard to attend school just hard not to bunk off at least once a week. She said she had once “even” been arrested whilst bunking off which didn’t reflect well on her school, or her parents but it was just really hard not to bunk off. I’m guessing peer pressure is probably the reason but that’s just a symptom of the underlying disease I’ve touched on this theme before, several years ago, and whilst part of my reaction …

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What do you write?

I’m currently pushing a business case to allow me to hire a new member for our team. The premise is that, particularly with our product set, there will always be areas of technical content that need writing but that with an additional member we can start to create other forms of content. Which begs the question, what other forms of content can we create? One thing I would like to get my team more involved with, both to give them a wider view of the product and to help the rest of the R&D team better understand why we build what we build, is in the creation of our Business Requirement Documents (BRDs). These documents drive the product features, setting …

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I am not a morning person

It’s 10am on Sunday morning, I pick up my water bottle, a small towel and head out the door. I arrive at an almost empty gym and start to warm up. My body resists, my mind suggests that going back to bed might be a better idea and by and large the next hour or so is a bit of a struggle. This is not a new feeling. When I first started jogging there were sessions on a Wednesday evening, and a Sunday morning. Once I got over the initial shock of doing any form of regular exercise I was soon bounding along during the Wednesday evening sessions. Sunday mornings were horrid. I used to think that it was maybe …

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Ill Communication

Twitter is changing. Whilst the technology is the same, the way it is being used (or perhaps the way I use it?) has been slowly evolving. Evolution is a good thing, but that does mean that I now find myself evolving how I use and interact with Twitter. Maybe I need to slim down my followers list and remove those that are only making noise. I include those who have endless conversations between themselves, for me that’s just noise. Hashtags present another issue, whilst they can be useful they are now used in other ways which add to the noise. I’m worried that I’m actually considering the categorisation of some Twitter posts as “types of noise”, but maybe that is …

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Conferences

I’ve mentioned before that I’ll be attending, and presenting at, the Technical Communication Conference this year, but as the programme is now full I’ve been trying to pick my way through which sessions to attend. I think I’ve got it sussed. Wednesday Kicking off with the keynote from Peter Anghelides (who recently re-tweeted me on Twitter!). Session 1 – Matthew Ellison – Pattern language for information architecture As we delve into providing more of our information online, understanding how best to structure the information is key. Session 2 – Kim Schrantz-Berquist – If you can write an article, you can write anything! I have a long term goal to get my team to a position to allow them to write …

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Day in the life

Woke up, fell out of bed, Dragged a comb across my head; If only the second line were true. My day has a routine, I doubt very much that this is an usual fact. I mean I’d imagine most people do pretty much what I do every day. Actually that’s probably not true. Most people in the western world perhaps and at this point I’ll pause to consider how lucky I am and how much I take my comfortable life for granted. *pauses* The alarm clicks and the radio wakens me from my slumber. I still use an alarm clock beside my bed as I like to see the time. I have tried using my phone in the past and …

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The Slick Blade

His muscles strain as he tenses against the movement beneath him. His grip remains firm as he shifts his weight slightly, fully immobilising the writhing mass that twitches at his feet. He looks down with impunity, almost with a sense of pity but he knows what must be done. He has trained a long time for this and is wary of his mentor standing off to onside, quietly observing him and taking in every action, every pause, each calculated pass of the blade. He reaches down and the blade catches in the sunlight. Freeze frame as suddenly the moment is here and he can see everything, feel everything, sense everything. The gentle breeze that caresses the long grass into soft …

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The white stuff

I have white stuff all over my hands. I really should wash it off. I would’ve washed it off earlier after the first time, but I knew I’d be doing it again so, you know, what’s the point? It’s like showering before going to the gym. Actually that’s a bad example as there are some people who really should do that, either that or they’ve been in the gym a looooonng time, phouew! Looking down at my hands, the white stuff gives me a sense of achievement. Not a large one, but hey size doesn’t matter, right? Anyway, whilst I will need to do it a third time, I guess that’ll wait until tomorrow. Best go wash my hands. Thankfully …

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