Partridges and Pear trees

Here in the UK, there is no escaping the fact that Christmas is approaching. On TV the adverts have started, the store shelves are being stocked, and in the office talk is turning to who might make a fool of themselves at the Christmas party. It’s also about this time of year I start dropping hints in the hope that I don’t end up with yet another reindeer sweater… So, in keeping with the Christmas spirit of giving, and to save you all some time and effort, here’s a few suggestions that you could, perhaps, print out and leave sitting around for a loved one to happen upon, or email to a sibling with a subject line of “Buy me …

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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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TCUK – Call for Papers

Call for Papers for TCUK 12 Dear reader, You are an intelligent person, have you ever considered sharing your knowledge with others? Perhaps doing a short presentation at an industry conference? Regardless of your experience, or industry, the Technical Communications UK conference wants you! New speakers and experienced speakers – all welcome Regardless of whether you want to present for the first time or you are a seasoned conference speaker, we want to hear from you. We don’t mind if you are new to technical communication or if you have worked in this field for ever, if you have something to say to other technical communicators thenTCUK 2012┬áis your chance to say it. Industry sectors Technical communicators work across a …

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Conference chatter

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things…” It’s that time of year again, with the UA Conference currently underway (see what people are saying about it on Twitter) and the Technical Communication UK conference just around the corner. We are lucky enough to be able to get to such events, even though we still need to pick and choose due to budget constraints and, once again, the multi-stream approach of TCUK makes it easier to justify. Looking at the programme for this year, there are always two sessions of interest, sometimes three. As ever, and this is something I’ve commented on before, the benefits of attending conferences go above and beyond attendance at the sessions. …

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5 years time

Where do you want to be in 5 years time? Hands up everyone who has been asked that in an interview at some point (now quick, put your hand back down or your colleagues will start to stare..). Having been in my current job for just over 3.5 years, I thought it would be interesting to look back at where I started and ahead to where I want to be, and it was at that point I realised I have a problem (well, I have many, but I’m not discussing those here, thank you very much). The thing is, I’m not entirely sure where I want to be in 5 years time, all I know is that I don’t want …

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See you in September?

Are you in the UK? Are you attending the Technical Communication conference in September? If not, you really should, it’s looking like it will be an excellent conference. The conference website is starting to gear up as well, and has posted some short interviews with some of the speakers, including yours truly. They should give you a flavour of what to expect at the sessions, many of which I’m hoping to be able to attend as well. I’d imagine planning the sessions is one of the harder jobs when organising a conference, making sure there isn’t too much overlap and the programme this year seems to have a good balance. Certainly I think there is only one overlap with a …

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Dance Your Way to Psychic Sex

Dance Your Way to Psychic Sex by Alice Turing Every now and then I end up reading a book that takes me by surprise. It’s not always a huge surprise, sometimes that surprise sneaks up on me part way through the book with the realisation that I’m really enjoying it, and sometimes that surprise waits until the end to reveal itself as I realise I’m disappointed that the book has ended. Dance Your Way to Psychic Sex is one of those books. I’m lucky enough to know the author who very kindly sent me a copy of this, her second book. She’s had no joy in finding a publisher for it in the UK (it’s been published in Germany already) …

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ISTC Community website

As has been mentioned elsewhere, I’m currently planning to build a community website for the ISTC and thought it time to get you all a heads up and ask for some help. The idea for the website was borne from the members panel that Rachel Potts ran last year, which cited “reducing the feeling of isolation” as an important benefit of being a member of the ISTC. It will also help to promote and publicise the ISTC and hopefully become a valued resource for technical communicators in the UK. As such the new website will compliment the current ISTC website, and has two main aims: – to encourage a sense of community amongst members, enabling all members to contribute and …

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ISTC & Community

Over the coming month or so, I’ll be casting around for opinion and insight from you, my lovely readers, particularly if you are based in the UK and especially if you are a member of the ISTC member. Why? I hear you ask. It’s because I’m planning, designing, and building, a community focussed extension to the website (or sub-website, or side-website or.. well that bit has still to be agreed). I’m still figuring out how best to collate the information and requirements for such a website, and where would be best to hold those collaborative conversations that will be required throughout the build and test phase of the website. I’ll announce things here as well as the ISTC mailing list …

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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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