Influential? Me?

One of the reasons I started this blog was as a way of exploring my thoughts about our profession, from specific issues to wider themes. It’s only been going a few years, but I’ve learned a lot since then both writing here, and reading the thoughts of other bloggers in this industry. I live and work in Scotland, far from the thriving centre of capitalism that is London and the surrounding areas, M4 corridor and the like. There aren’t all that many Technical Communicators in this neck of the woods so blogging helps me keep up to speed with the latest trends, and with fellow technical communicators. I don’t really have much other motive than that, to be honest, so …

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Purchase Ponderings

File this in the “idle window shopping for stuff I don’t need” category. BUT. If can anyone see any gaps or improvements to the following (and yes, I am largely going with Apple because it is easy to setup and I have no desire to hack, configure or otherwise spend ages of my time to get the thing working), please let me know. You might save me a lot of money. Not that I’m gonna be spending anything on any of this, no no, that’d be silly and I have more important items to buy soon, like a bed, that kind of thing. This is purely and utterly an academic exercise, a small indulgementation if you will to keep me …

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Remembering the basics

What do you call your documents? What is the first thing you do when you start writing? What is the last? All these things that you do without thinking about, the basic automation that your brain easily handles, over and over again, these things are, to you, so basic as to be forgettable. You don’t tell anyone else to do them (they must know, right?) and you probably don’t remember where you learned how to do them. You bulid your own mental checklist and that takes care of that. Need to provide a PDF of a document for someone? No problem, generate it this way, name it in this manner to keep it sensible and consistent and put it THERE …

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And then I forgot his name..

Friday night, beer, an ex-colleague. He remembers me, I can’t for the life of me remember his name. In my happy drunk state I just flat out said that I’d forgotten his name, I don’t think he was offended or at the very least he was polite enough not to show that he was. Turns out he has a very memorable name (one of those forenames that is more normally a surname). Shame on me. Still, Friday night was a good laugh, good food, good company, good beer and I even managed to get the last train home so was a good Saturday morning with only a little bit of fuzzy hangoverness to take care of (a can of Irn …

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Movie splurge

Dear reader, there is some risk of spoilers if you keep reading. So, if you want to your forthcoming viewing of Inception or Toy Story 3 to be sans spoiler, stop reading now. I’m now going to continue writing and presume that at least one person is still reading. It’s a vain hope but a familiar one. Inception first then. The mind-bending thriller directed by Christopher Nolan, featuring the new Robert de Niro (except he’s not really new now, is he) Leonardo di Caprio. It’s a story about people who can influence and enter dreams (by and large) and has lots of levels and is really confusing. Except it isn’t. Well I didn’t find it all that confusing, and in …

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Just write

Just write, they say. Once you get into the habit it’ll just flow, they say. It doesn’t matter what you write, just that you write, they say. They are starting to grate. They are starting to annoy and irk and leave me breathless and angry and incapable and pathetically unable to think about anything else except that I need to write but can’t start to write until my head is clear of them and no matter what I do they are in there, yakking away, spewing forth their tips, sharing the habits they’ve spent years cultivating and which they expect me to just adopt without the realisation that if I could do that I would’ve already so saying it over …

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What don’t we know?

It’s a simple enough question really, and one I’m trying to answer at the moment, how do we know what we don’t know? Part of the work I’m doing with our Information Pyramid (which I’ve mentioned here before) is to try and map the content we do have into some sensible groupings. That will allows to see where there are gaps within the content set we already have, for example if group A has a whitepaper and data sheet, but group B only has a whitepaper, but it still doesn’t tell us what we don’t know. The obvious answer is to ask our audience, which we do, but there comes a point that even they don’t know what they need …

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Always with the music

For a while now I’ve been toying with attending a certain rather well known music festival. Highlights on TV are one thing but there isn’t anything quite like experiencing the atmosphere of these things first hand. This is also the reason that, unless there is an extremely good reason, ever attend a gig at the S.E.C.C. as it lacks one of the key components of live music, atmosphere. I’ve pre-registered myself and will wait the day when tickets go on sale so i can, finally, haul my ass to Glastonbury. I’m hoping that we’ll have sold the house by then! Music is an important part of my life, always has been, and one thing I am already considering for when …

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How rude

There is one thing I haven’t done here for quite a while. It’s rather remiss of me so please accept my apologies. Quite simply, I wanted to say thank you. To you. Yes YOU. Thank you for visiting this blog, and more importantly, thank you for coming back and visiting again. A lot of the ideas I talk about here are made better by your comments, and I continue to find blogging to be a useful way to work through some of the thoughts and random ponderings that float around in my head. I tend, like many, to do most of my blog reading through RSS and I know that making the effort to comment on a blog is something …

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Square root of 1

So we’ve switched Estate Agents, and taken a different approach with the price. Fingers crossed it gets us a result although, on the news yesterday it was announced that the housing market has slowed again so I guess we will just have to wait and see. Life continues, of course, and last night I was at the Klaxons gig in King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow. It’s a small, sweaty venue and when the band finally decided to come on stage it was a fairly short if manic gig. Good stuff indeed. Hopefully this weekend (if I can fathom my way to the bottom of the Odeon online booking system) I’m off out for sushi and to catch Inception …

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