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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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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So that was TCUK12

It’s been a few days since I got home after the Technical Communications Conference this year, and I’ve been digesting and mulling over some of the ideas and thoughts gathered from the speakers and conversations. The conference was in a new location, Newcastle, and that brought a different feel to the event. Hard to put my finger on it but it felt a little more business like, or maybe just a little less social? Not sure, and as ever my experience will be different from others. Something that hasn’t changed was the value. It remains an excellent opportunity to learn from your peers, industry experts, and if nothing else it’s great to hear that we are doing the right things …

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TCUK10 – quick guide

This is an update to a previously published post. Not all of the sessions are scheduled yet, so I’ll update this as and when but, if you are wanting a quick print out of the session to, for example, convince your boss to splash some cash, then hopefully this PDF will do the trick: Technical Communications Conference 2010. (Note: a similar PDF is also available from the conference website but I think mine is prettier :p)

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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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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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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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