Happy New Year

Looking forward is always a good thing, but I’m going to start this year by looking back at the lessons to be learned. Things I will need to improve upon include better planning of work, there is one big project that I will head up that needs to be delivered by September, so I’ll be looking at how to get a better handle on that. One thing I learned last year was to rely more on my colleagues, to look to their strengths to compensate for my weaknesses; attention to detail is something I can struggle with so I’ll be getting some help with that by getting my plans reviewed by a couple of people before I present them to …

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Ho Ho HOLIDAY!!

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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Say Thank You

As some of you will now be aware, I am no longer writing my monthly Blog News column for the ISTC newsletter, InfoPlus+. It actually started life here on this blog, every week (or so) I used to post a list of interesting posts and blogs and for a while there was an overlap but, eventually, I dropped the feature from the blog as the monthly approach gave me a little more scope to collect the best links and yes, I will admit I enjoyed the writing process that went with the column (believe me, it took me longer than you’d think). Alas life continues to challenge my time so after not managing to submit my column for a couple …

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One day I might learn

Like many people, I like to ponder self-improvement, how I will read more books, learn to play the guitar, exercise more and invest in myself more than I have. However it seems that deep down I’m actually not that bothered, that I must be happy enough with where I am in my life at the moment. I know this because I keep on booking events, planning nights out and trips, and leaving myself with little free time to do much of anything. OK, this is a bit of an excuse, I’m sure I COULD spend my free time NOT sitting on the sofa but rest is important too, right? This is a bit of theme with me, all of a …

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TCUK 12

The time has come, so Gordon said, to talk of many things, of slides and chats, and learning facts, and something else that rhymes but I’m rubbish at poetry (with sincere apologies to Lewis Carroll). Enough of that though, what I want to talk about is the Technical Communications Conference 2012 (TCUK12) and why you should go. Disclaimer: I serve on the Council of the ISTC, who organise this event.  Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time a young (ok, middle-aged) man had started a new job and was trying to figure out the best way to improve things and solve some of his problems. The year was 2007. At the time, the young man (oh shut …

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New ISTC Website is live

http://www.istc.org.uk It’s Friday the 13th (still!) what better day to announce that the new ISTC website is going live. I have just updated the domain nameservers to point to the new website. It can take a day or so for these things to propagate through the Internet so it might not appear immediately for everyone. If you experience any problems or spot anything that needs corrected please let me know. I have still to upload all of the InfoPlus and Communicator archives, but aside from that, the rest of the content should be available. http://www.istc.org.uk

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ISTC West of Scotland Area Group meeting

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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One step forward…

Firstly I’ll admit that I’m starting to feel a bit like a fool. I’ve been close to getting the new ISTC website launched for several weeks now, only for an subtle twist or unforeseen working process to scupper my plans. I realise now, of course, that what I should’ve done was revisit the usage models of the website and finessed those first, rather than trying to shoehorn a somewhat antiquated set of processes into what is a fairly standard membership model. Oh well, live and learn. That said, it’s not been the legacy processes that have really slowed me down, “life” hasn’t been particularly helpful either although quite how I’m sitting here in January when I’d hoped to have the …

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Ho ho … ho?

It’s true. I’ve checked the calendar. Twice. It is definitely almost Christmas. Which means it’s almost the end of the year. How did that happen? I’m a bit disappointed that I’ve not yet managed to get the new ISTC website up and running. It’s close, so close, and after a few frustrating weeks of backtracking and replanning part of the implementation (the member database part, quite important that bit!) I now have a clear path forward and will be looking to get it tested (I have volunteers already, more welcomed!) in the next few weeks. Mind you, the past six months have been hectic but well worth it. We’ve grown our team and have a strong plan of action for …

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On not blogging

A product release is imminent. A trip to visit two customers in the US of A. Ongoing complications with the new ISTC website (soon, soon!). Planning for 2012, including a major restructure of our content. Actual writing some documentation (a rare occurrence!). Plus all the usual things that life is wont to throw at us. Maybe look for me on Twitter instead?

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