Ho Ho HOLIDAY!!

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The festive season is upon us, cards have been posted, presents have been bought, and in a couple of hours I’ll head home, leaving work behind until early January. 2012 has been an interesting year. We started the year with a challenge, one of making the information we produce ‘findable’. Cutting across more than 20,000 topics of information, it was always going to be a big project, particularly as we still needed to keep up with product development. As the year draws to a close the final pieces of this mammoth project are falling into place and should, fingers crossed, be launched in the first couple of weeks in January. From my viewpoint, it’s been an excellent example of giving …

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The Death of Tradition

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Job titles are one thing, but what do you actually do? Are you a ‘traditional’ Technical Author or a modern technical communications professional? Is there a difference? I think there is, I think there is a distinction between the two although I’m not quite sure where that line is drawn and, as with most things in this multi-discipline profession of ours, the line is probably blurry and not all that straight. For me the line separates what I consider the old and the new, the line between traditional technical writing and the modern day technical communicator, and I think the distinction is largely around the approaches each type of professional take when it comes to managing content. I realise this may seem …

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ISTC West of Scotland Area Group meeting

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The next ISTC West of Scotland area group meeting in Glasgow will take place on Thursday 16th February 2012, from 7.30 pm onwards. Come along to talk about latest news and trends in communication, or just to meet other communication professionals. The event is free and open to anyone interested in technical communication, such as technical authors, information architects, internal communication professionals, report writers, marketing writers, web content writers and graphic designers. Venue: Waxy O’Connors pub, 44 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1DH. Please make your way to McTurk’s Room on the middle level. If you plan to attend, please sign up for the event at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2743613221 to help us anticipate attendance numbers. Please forward this message on to your colleagues or …

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ISTC Area Group meeting – West of Scotland

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Thursday 13th October, from 7.30pm, in Waxy O’Connors pub. The next ISTC technical communicators’ meeting in Glasgow will take place on Thursday 13th October 2011, from 7.30 pm onwards. I will be presenting a report from the Technical Communication UK 2011 conference. Come along to talk about latest news and trends in communication, or just to meet other communication professionals. The event is free and open to anyone interested in technical communication, such as technical authors, information architects, internal communication professionals, report writers, marketing writers, web content writers and graphic designers. Venue: Waxy O’Connors pub, 44 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1DH. Please make your way to McTurk’s Room on the middle level.

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Next West of Scotland Area Group meeting

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The next ISTC technical communicators’ meeting in Glasgow will take place on Thursday 13th October 2011, from 7.30 pm onwards. As it’s happening just after the conference, I will be presenting a (short) report from the Technical Communication UK 2011 conference. Come along to talk about latest news and trends in communication, or just to meet other communication professionals. The event is free and open to anyone interested in technical communication, such as technical authors, information architects, internal communication professionals, report writers, marketing writers, web content writers and graphic designers. Venue: Waxy O’Connors pub, 44 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1DH. Please make your way to McTurk’s Room on the middle level.

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Where is everyone?

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The attendance at last nights ISTC Area Group meeting in the West of Scotland was poor, and as it seems to fluctuate quite dramatically at times (we went from four people to ten and back again in the space of three meetings) I’m trying to figure out why. Is it apathy? Laziness? Lack of awareness? Or perhaps people are unclear of the benefits of turning up? If you are a member of the ISTC, and on the mailing list (or perhaps you are following the ISTC on Twitter?), then you will receive notifications of the area group meetings. But what if you aren’t a member? How do we attract… scratch that, how do we FIND people who may want to …

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ISTC West of Scotland Area Group meeting

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The next ISTC West of Scotland area group meeting in Glasgow will take place on Thursday 9th June 2011, from 7.30 pm onwards. Come along to talk about latest news and trends in communication, or just to meet other communication professionals. The event is free and open to anyone interested in technical communication, such as technical authors, information architects, internal communication professionals, report writers, marketing writers, web content writers and graphic designers. Venue: Waxy O’Connors pub, 44 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1DH. Please make your way to McTurk’s Room on the middle level. Please forward this message on to your colleagues or anyone else who may be interested. For more information, contact westscotland_areagroup@istc.org.uk.

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Do you do PR?

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I’m writing this whilst it is still fairly fresh (and only addled by a couple, ok ok, three pints of Guinness)… At the ISTC West of Scotland Area Group meeting last night talk turned to the fairly common topic of “no-one knows what we do”. There was some chat about the value we can bring but, frequently, documentation is still seen as a “tick in the box”, a necessary evil or, even worse, an apathetic acceptance even though no-one else in the company quite knows why we exist other than the fact that we do. I had made a point earlier about selling ourselves, marketing our services and capabilities and once again it seems obvious that, and I acknowledge that …

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