Conference Connections

I’m still tweaking my presentation for the Technical Communications UK conference, Thursday morning is looming larger and larger in my view so I’m distracting myself with considering the other good things that happen at conferences. For me people are the primary reason for attending a conference. Don’t get me wrong, the value can be measured by the quality of the speakers and the information provided, but that tends to be transitory, so it’s the connections you make that count in the longer term. I’m lucky that I’ve met some of the people I know through this blog, and I’m hoping to add to that tally this week. Part of me did consider trying to organise a little “meetup” of bloggers …

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One Minute

My current role is changing a bit, with some additional responsibilities being added, specifically around line management. As such, I’ve been reading The One Minute Manager and have to admit it’s given me a lot to think about. The basic principles are to instill any team members or staff with a simple structure in which they can operate by breaking down the main management tasks of praise, reprimand and goal settings, into one minute activities. The one minute goal setting helps set, review, clarify and agree on (SMART) goals. One minute praising and recognition makes sure you are rewarding people as soon as you spot a behaviour you want to encourage, which in turn help set the expectation of how …

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Technical Communication UK Conference

Technical Communication UK 22nd-24th September 2009 http://www.technicalcommunicationuk.com Technical Communication UK is the new annual conference that aims to meet the needs of technical communicators, their managers and clients, from every corner of the industry. The conference is hosted by the ISTC, and run in partnership with X-pubs. Technical Communication UK runs on 23rd and 24th September 2009, with pre-conference workshops on 22nd September. It will deliver more than 30 sessions over the three days, with presentations, workshops, case studies, and hands-on product demonstrations from experts in their field. Let me know if you are coming along, as I’d hate to be sitting in the bar on my own on the Wednesday evening!

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Why I joined the ISTC

In their own words, the ISTC is: the largest UK body representing professional communicators and information designers I joined the ISTC a couple of years ago. They’ve been on my radar for a while now, but to be honest I’ve never been sure of what the benefits have been, nor have I found much need to be a member of a professional body. So what does the ISTC offer members? Well the ISTC website states that: the ISTC offers opportunities to exchange views and information with other professional communicators. Members enjoy discounts, news, training events, networking and recognition of professional status including the use of FISTC or MISTC (for suitably qualified people). OK, so you can now refer to me …

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Spring forward

A small reminder to everyone in the UK to remember to put your clocks forward by one hour tonight. Officially you should do this at 1am but making sure your alarm clock is done before you go to sleep is probably all you need worry about until tomorrow. It’s yet another sign, alongside the buds on the cherry blossom I can see from the window as I type this blog post, that spring is coming. And that means, once again, the war against our garden begins. Yes yes, we should’ve been out there already but in a trend similar to last year, every weekend we find ourselves at home and with free time, it’s been raining. We do keep saying …

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Where would you live?

I’m off out tonight to have a few drinks with an ex-colleague who is about to head to Merika, for life (well for a while at least). He’s sold up, got his paperwork in order and he, his lovely wife and their still new son will fly over to Texas and setup a home and life there. It’s an intriguing thought, leaving the UK permanently and one I’ve toyed with a few times. Some times I think it would have to be an English speaking country with Australia and the USA being the main candidates, with Canada not far behind, but occasionally I harbour desires of heading somewhere completely alien to me, where I don’t know the language or culture …

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Cherryleaf Survey

Cherryleaf will soon be publishing the results of their recent survey of Documentation Managers* and, having skimmed through a preview, the main thing that leaps out at me is that the field of Technical Communications in the UK remains as diverse as ever in many respects, yet completely the same in others, and none of that is a huge surprise. Whilst we all may use different tools and approaches to our work, we all feel under the same constraints of time and resource. However the results do throw up a couple of issues and, as one of the participants of the survey, I thought I’d expand a little on one of those. The survey hints at two issues: “The documentation …

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Why the internet is wonderful

Gather one, gather all, let me tell you a story, let me regale you with a simple yet powerful tale of the wonders achieved when the internet and compassion of (wo)man join in harmonious union. OK, maybe not. But I do have an excellent example of how this interwoven online life we lead is actually a good thing… bear with me though, as this covers many tangents. It all started with an RSS feed… [cue wibbly wobbly dream sequence] wibbly wobbly wibbly wobbly [cut to dashingly handsome man, idly checking his RSS feeds]

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pipeline

Join Pipeline – I’ve been following this idea for a while now, they are trying to setup a discount card for fuel in the UK. They need more subscribers to get the ball rolling, so if you have a car, you should head over and sign up.

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen Blimey, it’s been ages since I wrote a book review. This was passed to me by my Mum, and was quickly added to the book pile for taking on holiday. The story is simple enough, a rich man from Yemen wants to introduce salmon fishing to his local area. He has millions to spend and uses his contacts in the UK to get some assistance from a government fisheries agency. Told via emails, diary extracts and interview notes, the story flips from view to view, but mainly follows a middle-aged fishery scientist as the project to get salmon to the Yemen takes him on a personal journey. The story unfolds nicely, although it’s pretty straightforward …

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