Being Social

I’ve written about social media before, and given presentations on Blogging and the wider use of social media as part of our professional toolbox. But that was mostly with a view to how these new technologies could be used to provide a better service to our customers. So what does social media mean to me, as a professional? Personally, away from Technical Communications, I’ve been involved and actively using various forms of social media for over a decade. It’s very much something I take for granted and expect to be able to communicate with people in a variety of ways. However, because I’ve been using this stuff for so long, I tend to fall prey to the curse of knowledge …

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Home is…

It’s over six months since I moved into my flat, and it’s only now starting to feel like home. For a while I was using the old sofa (old as in age, and as in ‘pre-divorce’) but I now have my own sofa and chairs. I have art on the walls, bookcases, lamps and, once I get a couple of plants and some curtain-like things it will really start to feel like mine. Except it’s not mine, it’s rented. But aside from that… it’s mine. Right? I’m still scouring shops for a coffee table, and think I might need a rug to really pull things together but I’m in no rush. I’ve been reasonably smart with my purchases, determined not …

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The slow road to content strategy

I’m always wary of buzzwords and industry fads, and will always take, primarily, a business focused view on any new theory (or strategy) that I hear about until I fully understand its real life application. Such is the case with Content Strategy. It’s something I’ve talked about on here before (under the guise of Information Strategy) but whilst I’ve a good idea of how it could benefit our company, I’ve struggled to get buy-in. Whilst Content Strategy discussions go well, everyone thinks that a coherent and consistent set of content is a good thing, where we seem to struggle is getting commitment to getting the actual work done to bring things into line. The high level Content Audit I completed …

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Roll on the holidays

For various historical and religious reasons, none of which I pay much heed to, I will be on holiday from this Friday through to Tuesday the 3rd of May. Given that it’s only costing me three days from my holiday allowance, then it’s almost like a free holiday. Part of that time will involve a trip to Skye, which I’m really looking forward to as I’ve never been that far north on the west coast of Scotland. My camera is primed, the USB stick of moosick is full (8GB of very random tuneage), and Kirsty and I are really looking forward to it. After that it will be a lazy time for the most part, a well deserved break and …

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Saturday sunshine

A quiet moment on a sunny evening. I sat in my chair by the window, opened a book and as the sun started to set behind the hills reached down to flick on the lamp. On the table an ice cold beer glistened in the light, music wafted over from the far side of my living room. A snapshot of a moment which I’ve imagined for some time now. It’s the little things, isn’t it. Life is good.

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Piece by piece

Part way through April and the discussions and planning over the past few months look like they are, slowly, starting to come together. The plans are ambitious, not only are we restructuring our information offering to make things easier to find, we are also attempting to change the way we document our product. Moving us away from a set of information that covers “here is what our development kit can do”, to content that says “this is what our product does and how you can extend or modify it”. In one way it’s a subtle shift, but the ramifications are still unfolding. One area in particular will be interesting, namely that we will be asking “why that way?” a lot …

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Faithless

I’m getting too old for the kind of gig I was at last night. Too old to be on the main floor, arms raised, head back, jumping up and down in the midst of a writhing, sweary, ecstatic group of people all determined to give Faithless a little bit of payback for all the fun they’ve given us. The place was packed, rammed to the rafters, there was no space anywhere so everyone just got on with things. Those that barged through had no choice, there were no angry exchanges, just bouncing, grinning, enthusiasm all round. Epic. Was the word I used on Twitter last night and it still feels right. Maybe it was because I had no choice but …

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ISTC website

It’s official. I’m now the webmaster for the ISTC. Before I start talking about my plans and ideas for the ISTC website, I thought I’d give you all a bit of background as to why I’m reasonably well qualified to be taking this on. It all starts about 16 years ago… I joined a small software company in the West of Scotland as a “Technical Administrator” and, as well as writing some user documentation, I was sent on a course to learn HTML and then charged with creating the company website, the first version of which is still available via the Internet Archive (search for ‘crossaig.co.uk’) and was launched in September 1996. Since then, I’ve created websites for charity organisations, …

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