How I use Twitter

In his closing presentation at the recent Technical Communications Conference, RJ Jacquez outlined how he uses Twitter as a way to communicate with the users of his product, and as a way to share ideas with, and learn from, other technical communication professionals. There were several people at TCUK09 that used Twitter throughout the conference, sharing quotes, thoughts and ideas about various presentations and I eded up having a few conversations about why I use Twitter so I thought I’d capture my thinking here. I have two Twitter accounts, one for personal use and one for professional use. The personal account is used for keeping up with people I know in social terms, and most of the messages are chatty, …

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Massive Attack

Monday evening saw me heading into Glasgow, specifically to the O2 Academy, to indulge in some sonic overloading courtesy of Massive Attack, denizens of dub, trip hop and… whatever the kids are calling their brand of electronic noise. I’ve always been a fan and can still remember, as I’m sure many others do, picking up a copy of their first album Blue Lines based on hearing the stunning single Unfinished Sympathy. Listening to it now it still remains fresh and unique, and whilst that has dulled somewhat in more recent offerings, they remain able to pull out something different, keeping them relative when other similar bands of the time have fallen away. I have seen them play live at T …

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Notes from Technical Communications Conference

These are transcribed from my hastily written scrawls throughout the day. Smart Authoring for a Smarter Planet The keynote presentation by Peter Angelhides Set the tone well for bigger thinking about our profession, broadening the scope to the world wide consumption of information and how it can be processed intelligently. Information for your products is useful both for existing users and for future customers. Don’t lock it away, let Google find it and then follow the links back, find other sources, other places where conversations about your product are happening. Information allows this, product usage doesn’t. Everybody’s (not) doing it: is it really OK to keep ignoring document users? by David Farbey “Documentation is an asynchronous conversation” – Ginny Redish …

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Scheduling everything?

My birthday is in a few weeks and, as is the way of things, I’ve been asked for a few suggestions for presents. Apparently “nothing” isn’t an option though, so I did some thinking and googling and as ever came up with a few books that caught my eye. The problem is that I already have 31 books in my “to read” list (which is missing a further 7 or 8 I think) so it seems a little pointless asking for more. But the thing is, I like books. I do like reading I just don’t seem to make the time. So I’m going to try scheduling some time for reading. I already have “get off your arse and go …

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Thoughts on TCUK09*

Having had a few days to process my thoughts about the Technical Communications Conference I can confidently say that it is the best professional conference I have ever attended. I’ll post up specific notes tomorrow, but I wanted to touch on some of the themes that seemed to be driven out of most of the presentations I attended. Now at this point I should make a confession, it’s about the presentation I gave on the Thursday morning (the second day) of the conference. My presentation had a theme, a single word that I was focussing on, so throughout the first day, in all the sessions I attended, I was listening out for that word. That word didn’t appear in one …

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Fatefully conspired against

I have returned from my time in Derby. It has been an eventful and exciting week in many ways and yet, despite my best laid plans, fate decided to remind me of my position in the universe. As I mentioned previously I was travelling down to Derby (Mickleover to be precise) where I was attending a conference at which I was delivering a presentation entitled “Why Blog?” (you can see my slides and notes on my other blog. I’ve presented at something similar once, and considering the topic I was reasonably comfortable with my knowledge of the subject matter. I’ll be writing more about the conference on my other blog, although some of the cognitive psychology stuff will probably fall …

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At the conference

Morning, in a short while I’ll be delivering my presentation, trying to keep everyone awake whilst I waffle on about why blogging is the best thing ever and WHY AREN’T YOU DOING IT?? Or words to that effect… Don’t worry though, dear reader, you can view the presentation and read through some of my notes although without my dulcet tones you’ll only be getting half the ‘experience’ (the best half, granted). Although there is a small chance my session will be recorded so you may yet be able to get the full experience, I’ll confirm that later though (and depends on whether it can be edited as well!). Wish me luck!

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I am excited!

This evening I’m flying down to East Midlands airport and from there I’ll be making my way to Mickelover Hotel (near Derby) where I’m attending, and speaking at, the Technical Communications conference. I’ve not done much public speaking with my last outing being a couple of years ago at a similar, smaller, conference and that seemed to go quite well so I’m fairly confident that I’ll be able to deliver a reasonably good presentation on my topic of choice which is, as it happens, about blogging. I think I’ll be able to handle that, eh? My slot is first thing on Thursday morning of the second day of the conference (graveyard slot much?) so I’ve time to run through it …

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Conference Connections

I’m still tweaking my presentation for the Technical Communications UK conference, Thursday morning is looming larger and larger in my view so I’m distracting myself with considering the other good things that happen at conferences. For me people are the primary reason for attending a conference. Don’t get me wrong, the value can be measured by the quality of the speakers and the information provided, but that tends to be transitory, so it’s the connections you make that count in the longer term. I’m lucky that I’ve met some of the people I know through this blog, and I’m hoping to add to that tally this week. Part of me did consider trying to organise a little “meetup” of bloggers …

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Musings on Manchester

So, that was Manchester eh? I’m just processing some of the photos I took and thinking back over the past couple of days. What sort of impression did Manchester make on me? Hmmmm. Let’s start with the good stuff. The main reason I was there to see Elbow in their last gig for a wee while. Apparently since releasing The Seldom Seen Kid, they’ve played 144 shows so I guess they are due a wee bit of time off. The gig was ace, the M.E.N. Arena was a pretty good venue (unlike the Glasgow equivalent which I despise, the S.E.C.C.) and the band were on top form. As ever Guy Garvey had a good line in banter, and they played …

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