I am excited!

Reading time: < 1 min

This evening I’m flying down to East Midlands airport and from there I’ll be making my way to Mickelover Hotel (near Derby) where I’m attending, and speaking at, the Technical Communications conference. I’ve not done much public speaking with my last outing being a couple of years ago at a similar, smaller, conference and that…

New Manager: How soon is *not* too soon to start changing things?

Reading time: 2 mins

I recently received an email which asked: Since my career seems to be following a path broadly similar to yours … I’d love to know what your experience was and any lessons learned. Specifically Mark, who sent the email, asked a few questions: How do you take over as manager for a group of technical…

Cherryleaf Survey

Reading time: 2 mins

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…

Writer River is back!

Reading time: < 1 min

I dropped Tom an email about Writer River last week, and he alluded to some of the issues he mentions in his post in his reply. Little did I know that Writer River was soon to be hacked! I love the idea behind the website though, so it’s good to see Tom is still keen…

Consideration Layer Model

Reading time: 3 mins

As a technical writer, every decision you make is influenced by several discrete things, considerations for either the audience of the information, the process you’ll need to follow to collate and verify the information, and so on. Every decision requires such considerations but is it possible to model these? Some background first; I don’t revisit…

Muji Manifesto

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Can’t recall where I saw this but it struck a chord so I grabbed the main tenets with a view to expounding on them at a later date. However, as simplicity suggests, I really don’t need to bother. Because there is complexity in purity. Elegance in plainness. Intricacy in streamlining. Richness in reduction. Depth in…

What’s in store for 2008?

Reading time: 2 mins

Back after a couple of weeks of merriment, over-eating and general lazing about. Hopefully the festive season was as good to you as it was to me. But enough looking back, this time of year is all about looking forward. So what is coming up in the next 12 months? Well, I’m hoping to start…

DITA is not the answer

Reading time: 3 mins

Single sourcing is good, I’m sure most of us can agree on that, but I’ve recently been wondering if perhaps DITA isn’t quite good enough? The thing is, I’ve been looking at DITA as a solution for our single sources needs for a while now. I’ve attended conferences, read whitepapers, listened to vendors and everything…

This is not a video

Reading time: 2 mins

As I mentioned previously, the opening presentation at TICAD was by Adobe and featured their vision of the future of Technical Communications and information development. Apparently that future includes video. Video has been available to many for a few years now, yet it is never really the main focus of a documentation team. Tom has…

A word of advice

Reading time: < 1 min

Many years ago, when I was just starting out in Technical Communications, my boss at the time gave me a piece of advice. Every now and then it pops back into my head and, as well as allowing me a small smile, reminds me to do just what he suggested. His advice was one word….

Do you RSS?

Reading time: < 1 min

Over the past year or so, as I’ve started to struggle to keep up-to-date with the multitude of websites that interest me, I’ve increasingly turned to RSS feeds to help me manage the load. With that in mind, I’ve been compiling a list of Technical Communications feeds that I find interesting. Some are by Technical…

Briefly…

Reading time: 2 mins

… no we didn’t win the Lottery, but if we had, I’d have a year long “see the world” holiday (and I mean real world, not “luxury hotel” world.. well ok, a few luxury hotels..), then distribute as much of the money as I could, leaving enough for Louise and I to live off without…

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Searching for focus

Reading time: 2 mins

I’ve hit an unexpected problem with this blog, one which I didn’t think I’d hit for quite a while, if at all. I can’t seem to find a focus. Now, considering that this blog has the breadth of topics that the umbrella of “Technical Communications” covers that really shouldn’t be possible. But that isn’t really…

Skill Set

Reading time: 2 mins

Without meaning to I seem to have taken some inspiration from this post, whilst I’m not directly offering a counterpoint, it’s worth a read. ~ Every trade or profession has a skill set, a unique set of talents that make one role different from another. For most people in the IT industry we all have…

Handling Information Laziness

Reading time: 3 mins

Like most people, I ‘fell’ into the world of Technical Communications. I didn’t choose this career, and like many I didn’t study anything that remotely involved writing. But then, who really knows what they want to be when they are choosing what to study at university. So, after spending a few years learning about Electronic…