Always learning

Next week the first of two new recruits joins our team. Both are graduates and whilst neither graduated from a Technical Writing based course they both have a good mix of skills, coming to the position through different routes. It’ll be a challenge for them, and a challenge for us, to integrate them to the team smoothly and successfully. I’m sure they will both do well, but to give them the best chance I’m preparing a few weeks of training for them, in various aspects of the job. I’m trying to anticipate what they need to know, and when they need to know it, and whilst I’m very wary of letting my own experience get in the way it does …

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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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What is our value?

a.k.a Knowing when to stop Hey, here’s a good reason for more technical writers to start blogging, it’ll cut down on the vast amounts of prose, rhetoric and general bile that seems to be clogging up some of the mailing lists to which I am subscribed. Now, I’ve covered this topic before, but it seems my glib suggestion of “When X replies to a thread you can safely start deleting emails from it?” might actually be of use. When I first came across such mailing lists I quickly learned just how many pedants and procrastinators our profession has, and whilst I’m keen to be grammatically correct there comes a point where the value of said conversations becomes zero. As I’ve …

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Recently Read

Almost halfway through the year and I’m still finding new technical communications blogs. If you have recently started blogging about this wonderous profession of ours do let me know. On with the last findings. Web 2.0 and Truth Sarah O’Keefe presented at the recent X-Pubs conference on Web 2.0 and Truth. It’s an interesting read, including three quick points which speak volumes as to where the future of our profession may lie. 1. Document publishing needs to accelerate. 2. Online documents should allow for comments and discussion. 3. The documentation needs to be explicit about product limitations and workarounds. 14 Widespread Myths about Technical Writing An intriguing look at our profession, Tom challenges some of the myths about technical writing …

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Hi there

A quick welcome to anyone visiting from the ISTC Communicator magazine. I feel a little spoiled getting two mentions in subsequent pages (10 & 12 if you are wondering) but I’m not really complaining. Over the past year or so I’ve definitely got the feeling that the ISTC is changing, and it certainly feels like a more modern and dynamic organisation than it has seemed to be in the past. Perhaps that’s natural, but it’s amazing how little things like a redesign magazine and newsletter, and hopefully a new design for the website, can refocus the energies of those involved. Anyway, thanks for dropping by, there are plenty of links and opinions to be found in the archives (scroll down …

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