Work

Amongst the many internet trends - the commercialisation of happiness, the quasi-religion of productivity approaches - there is one phrase that makes my toes curl and my blood start to simmer. "Do what you love." It's a distillation of a thought first offered by Confucius "Choose a job you love, and you will never have

If I wasn’t doing this

What would I be doing? When people ask me, if you could do anything, what job would you do? Well, I tend to flippantly respond by saying that I'd be a Zookeeper. Part of me believes that. The part that loves animals, that finds them fascinating and would love to spend more time around them. Part of

Insomnia

I've had insomnia on and off for years but in the last year or so it's started to occur more frequently. I'm starting to figure it out though and it's definitely work related. It seems that, during periods of high stress, my insomnia kicks in. Beyond that I'm a bit hazy about why I wake

Everything Changes

A new year, a fresh challenge. I've been working in the Technical Communications field my entire career. From those first days, stumbling my way around FrameMaker 4 with only a vague idea of what I should be doing (and largely using the FrameMaker User Guide as a sample of both approach and layout) to my

Going Global

One of the challenges the team will face this year is how to coordinate the creation of product documentation with geographically dispersed teams, across different product lines. At present we have engineering teams in Glasgow, Belfast, Limerick, Jakarta, Sunnyvale CA, and Bedford NH, building four products and maintaining five other legacy applications. Currently we have six technical

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

Going Paid

Yes, I know, first world problems and all that, shut up... With the news that Instagram can now start selling my photos, something I didn't agree to when I signed up, I've been looking at what services I use the most and wondering if I might be better to switch all my online/digital actions to

Stop the conversations

In the New Year we are instituting a No Talking rule in my office. If anyone has a question, they have to write it down and pass it to a colleague who will then write down their response. This should cut down on the amount of chatter and conversation that, obviously, is having a huge

A New Normal

I'm currently cruising high in the sky above the USA, on my way from San Francisco to Boston. It's part of a whistle stop tour of two of our offices here which have teams of software engineers, architects and product managers (no technical writers though) that are building part of the product we will be

Everything is too much

For the last few months, the team have been rebuilding and restructure our content. We've ditched the idea of 'guides' for now (although we will revisit those early next year) and after a lot of hard work we are starting to build out new groupings of content. The process has involved a lot of analysis,

Stealth Mode

I don't know about you but I'm getting fed up trying to make everyone realise the value of what we do. Technical Communicators of the world unite! Why is it so darn hard? Isn't it obvious? We live in a so-called "information age" after all, so why is it such a struggle to get the