Say Thank You

Reading time: 3 mins

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,…

Information is not a commodity

Reading time: 3 mins

The modern day technical writer, in fact I think we’ll go with technical communicator for this on, has a myriad of tools at their disposal. Be they authoring tools, publishing formats, or ways to collaborate, we are spoiled for choice. I can write content and make it available to the world in mere minutes if…

Partridges and Pear trees

Reading time: 2 mins

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…

Censored

Reading time: 2 mins

Have you noticed anything different here? Maybe not, but those of you who have been reading for a while (thank you!) may have noticed that I’ve been managing to post here a couple of times a week recently. Don’t worry if you didn’t notice, there is no test at the end. I’ve been pushing myself…

The Death of Tradition

Reading time: 3 mins

Job titles are one thing, but what do you actually do? Are you a ‘traditional’ Technical Author or a modern technical communications professional? Is there a difference? I think there is, I think there is a distinction between the two although I’m not quite sure where that line is drawn and, as with most things…

Content Strategy is easy

Reading time: 2 mins

Why are we still banging on about Content Strategy? Is it really that hard? A strategy shouldn’t be that tricky to formulate, especially as it’s concerning an area of expertise for many us, after all it’s only content, right? It’s not like it’s something new that none of us know anything about? So why is…

What is your job title?

Reading time: 2 mins

In the past I’ve held the following positions: Technical Administrator Technical Writer Documentation Specialist Technical Communications Manager Publications Team Leader The first three have similarities as they were all grounded in the production of technical documentation. The latter two are essentially the same thing, leading a team of technical writers producing technical information. None of…

The single customer view

Reading time: 6 mins

I just found this sitting in my drafts folder. The company name has changed (we are now Kana Software) but the premise is the same. Interestingly, the parallels between our thoughts on customer service and the thoughts in tech comms of better integration within a support system (providing information as part of call deflection) are…

The Five Year Plan

Reading time: 2 mins

It’s a common question during interviews, “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”. At that point some people will talk of how they want to have progressed in their career, have learned and expand their role, be able to look back with a sense of achievement and look forward in a clear direction….

Finding Ada

Reading time: 2 mins

This should be easy. I work in a software company, I’ve only ever worked in software companies so, in honour of Ada Lovelace Day (what do you mean, who?) I should be able to join in “sharing stories of women — whether engineers, scientists, technologists or mathematicians — who have inspired you to become who you are…

Finding Ada

Reading time: 2 mins

This should be easy. I work in a software company, I’ve only ever worked in software companies so, in honour of Ada Lovelace Day (what do you mean, who?) I should be able to join in “sharing stories of women — whether engineers, scientists, technologists or mathematicians — who have inspired you to become who you are…

On pedantry

Reading time: 2 mins

I start this blog post with an admission and an apology. Admission: I am a manager, I don’t spend a lot (any) of my time writing technical content these days. Apology: One of my weakest areas is in the intricacies and ‘correctness’ of grammar. * That said, there is one thing that continues to frustrate…

What do we want?

Reading time: 2 mins

At TCUK12 this year, I chatted with several people about authoring tools. Vendors, other technical writers, managers, I asked the same two questions, again and again. What authoring application do you use, and why do you use it? The answers were illuminating, interesting and always useful. There are many, many options out there, catering to…

Working globally

Reading time: < 1 min

The big picture is coming together. Development teams in seven different locations round the world, contracted technical writers in some locations, none in others and a product line that is merging… why that all sounds like a challenge! I’m still in discussion about how we will gather information from disparate teams using different processes (some…

Two into one

Reading time: 2 mins

What happens when one company acquires another? How do you merge departments, working practices, content? That’s the challenge that lies ahead for me as my company was recently acquired by Kana Software. We are still in the midst of integration planning, figuring out how to take the best parts of both product sets forward, and…