Technical Writing

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  • Brand me a surrogate

    A Tech Writer's World
    7 Aug 2012 | 2:40 pm
    Surrogate advertising is a fascinating form of marketing. It conveys a specific brand or product but appears to be for an entirely different brand or product. In other words, it's a form of "guerrilla" or "Trojan horse" communication, because it very carefully hides the intended message within a larger message designed to distract the viewer.Corporations often engage in surrogate advertising because it's illegal for them to advertise their product directly.One example of surrogate advertising is Russian Standard, makers of a popular vodka in that country. They branched out into a completely…
  • The part of the brain you should listen to when writing

    I'd Rather Be Writing
    Tom Johnson
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:01 am
    In This is your brain on writing, Carl Zimmer writes: A novelist scrawling away in a notebook in seclusion may not seem to have much in common with an NBA player doing a reverse layup on a basketball court before a screaming crowd. But if you could peer inside their heads, you might see some striking similarities in how their brains were churning. The article caught my attention because, actually, I love basketball. I play it a couple of times a week, though not as much as I used to. I tell myself I’m getting older now (I’m 38), so I’m not as good anymore. But I still play it…
  • The Doc Particle

    A Tech Writer's World
    20 Sep 2012 | 2:51 am
    Never has something so small attracted so much attention. In July of this year, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, claimed to have discovered the oddly named Higgs-boson particle. (And it only cost them $10 billion to find it.)  This tiny particle is also known as the God Particle because it could explain why things exist.  Discovery of the Higgs-boson particle helps prove the existence of something even more bizarre: the Higgs field. This is an invisible force field which covers the entire universe, allowing subatomic particles to…
  • Free ebooks from Scriptorium

    Core Dump 2.0
    Keith
    17 Jul 2014 | 4:09 pm
    As well as offering various content strategy services, Scriptorium Publishing have been publishing a series of books about aspects of technical communication. Several of these are now available as free ebooks in EPUB format. You can download copies of Technical Writing 101, DITA Style Guide and a couple of others. Print versions are available for some of the editions through Amazon and other vendors. Kudos to Scriptorium for making these available for free.
  • Unlocking Your Career Combination

    A Tech Writer's World
    24 Mar 2014 | 4:19 pm
    Combination locks come in all shapes and sizes, from padlocks to electronic security alarm keypads. But the one thing they have in common is that you must select or enter a series of numbers or letters to unlock them. It is this specific combination of alpha-numeric characters which makes each lock unique.Technical communication can also be viewed as a unique combination; specifically, a combination of:business writerinterviewer editor business analystinformation architecttechnical illustrator product testerinstructor andindexer just to name a few. As with a lock, it is this specific…
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    ffeathers

  • Hobbies and pastimes of technical writers everywhere

    Sarah Maddox
    26 Jul 2014 | 9:30 pm
    Hallo fellow techcomm folks! Do you have a hobby? Mine is fairly pedestrian. I like to go walking in the bush. It blows away the cobwebs. Well, actually, I often have to blow away the cobwebs myself. They festoon the pathways in the early morning. It’s best to keep your mouth closed when strolling in the Australian bush, or you’ll find yourself spitting spiders. Sometimes a bird pops out and does something interesting, and I blog about it. Of a dark winter’s eve I can perchance be found tickling the ivories. Perhaps significantly, other members of the household are usually to be…
  • How to build a map using a spreadsheet and JavaScript

    Sarah Maddox
    12 Jul 2014 | 9:08 pm
    This week I published a post on the Google Geo Developers Blog describing the building blocks of Tech Comm on a Map. That post assumes some knowledge of the Google Maps JavaScript API, so I’ve decided to write a top-up post with a little more detail. Tech Comm on a Map puts technical communication titbits (societies, groups, businesses and conferences) onto an interactive map, together with the data and functionality provided by Google Maps. You can grab a copy of the code from GitHub. The most relevant bits are the HTML that defines the web page (index.html) and the JavaScript that…
  • Documentation that developers need to do their jobs

    Sarah Maddox
    4 Jul 2014 | 6:59 pm
    A fellow technical writer asked me this week about the documentation that developers need to do their jobs. He was thinking not of the guides people need when they want to integrate their systems with another organisation’s systems, but rather the internal guides developers may write for themselves about their projects and tools. That’s a very good question. I’ve thought about it over the last couple of days, and pulled together a list of the types of developer-focused documentation I’ve come across. If you have any to add, please do! The list is confined to documents…
  • How to stop your map from jumping around when info windows open – Google Maps JavaScript API

    Sarah Maddox
    21 Jun 2014 | 11:02 pm
    By default when an info window pops up on a map created with the Google Maps JavaScript API, the map pans automatically to ensure that the entire content of the info window is visible. If your map has a large number of markers that provide info windows on hover, this auto-panning can be quite disturbing for the user. TL;DR: To disable the automatic movement of the map, set disableAutoPan to true in the properties on infoWindowOptions. See the documentation. The automatic movement of the map, called auto-panning, can be very useful in some situations. It’s good to make sure people can…
  • Tech Comm on a Map now includes businesses and groups

    Sarah Maddox
    8 Jun 2014 | 12:14 am
    A month ago I announced my project called “Tech Comm on a Map”. The idea is to help us see what’s happening in the world of technical communication around the globe. Tech Comm on a Map puts tech comm titbits onto an interactive map, together with the data and functionality provided by Google Maps. When first announced, the map included data types for conferences, societies, and a grab-bag called “other“, which currently contains a couple of historically-interesting morsels. Now I’ve added two more data types: businesses for commercial organisations…
 
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    The Content Wrangler

  • Information Development World Pre-Conference Workshops

    Trey DeGrassi
    14 Jul 2014 | 8:53 am
    At Information Development World, we have nine Pre-Conference Workshops on Wednesday, October 22, covering a variety of topics related to creating exceptional customer experiences. Workshop size is limited to encourage deeper exploration and maximum time for discussion. All workshops run from 9:00am until 5:00pm with morning and afternoon breaks, as well as a lunch break. All workshops cost $500. Content Strategy in a Day Rahel Anne Bailie, Content Strategist, Owner, Intentional Design Content is only as smart as the content strategy behind it. What happens in the analysis phase informs…
  • 7 Original Ways to Use Tumblr for Content Marketing

    Rohan Ayyar
    8 Jul 2014 | 8:22 am
    By Rohan Ayyar One of the relatively newer social media platforms (Tumblr was founded in 2007), Tumblr has seen some spectacular growth in the last couple of years. With about 189 million blogs hosted on Tumblr, 93 million new posts every single day, and about 42% of the entire domestic traffic of the United States visiting Tumblr blogs, it is well and truly a force to reckon with. If Tumblr’s usagestatistics are impressive, its user statistics are even more so. The omnipresent Neil Patel points out on QuickSprout that 65% of Tumblr users have a college degree, with 56% having some sort of…
  • To Reach A Global Audience, Consider Writing For Computers First, Humans Second

    Scott Abel
    3 Jul 2014 | 6:35 am
    By Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler Scott Abel Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers do not live in the United States. This important fact is not lost upon American business executives, especially those looking for new ways to increase corporate revenues. That’s why many US firms have their sights set on emerging international markets. They’re developing partnerships and setting up shop in nations around the globe. It’s an exciting time. The opportunities are many. But, in a global economy, getting the right content to the right people at the right time in the right format and…
  • What Books Should Every Content Strategist Read?

    Scott Abel
    27 Jun 2014 | 6:00 am
    Help us make the list of books that you believe every content strategist should read. Vote for your favorites (already on the list) and add your suggestions. Content Strategy Books Content Strategy Books Scott Abel | 22 items | 2082 views What books should every content strategist read? Source: http://thecontentwrangler.com/2014/06/27/what-books-should-every-content-strategist-read/ Follow List Embed List Share 1. The Language of Content Strategy The Language of Content Strategy is the gateway to a language that describes the world of content strategy. Co-produced by Scott Abel and Rahel Anne…
  • Content Marketing Institute Acquires Intelligent Content Conference (ICC)

    Scott Abel
    26 Jun 2014 | 5:00 am
    Content Marketing Institute (CMI) today announced the acquisition of Intelligent Content Conference (ICC), founded by The Rockley Group and co-produced with The Content Wrangler. The Intelligent Content Conference is the largest event in North America focused on helping organizations deliver the right content, to the right audience, anywhere, anytime, on any device. “With the amount of content produced today, more efficient ways to handle structured content, content reuse and intelligent content is critical. Breaking down silos and aligning strategy and marketing teams is necessary for…
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    I Came, I Saw, I Learned...

  • Writing & Grammar: Responses to the Interruptions Challenge

    Kevin Siegel
    27 Jul 2014 | 6:45 pm
    by Jennie Ruby    The answers that follow the guidelines set forth in my article from a few weeks ago are brought to you by Geri Moran. It is very tedious, in my opinion, to type on a flat screen. The blog--even after the extensive upgrade we purchased last quarter--was still slow to load on mobile devices. The most widely accessible option, according to the magazine, is still the print version. The company that provides the fastest downloads is still XYZ. Norman, who arrived at the classroom before the computers were turned on, noticed the change in temperature…
  • Technical Communications: Online Versus Paper

    Kevin Siegel
    27 Jul 2014 | 4:50 pm
    by Tony Self   What is more effective, a print document or an online document? It wasn't all that long ago that print documents would definitely have been voted more effective, especially considering the poor quality of computer monitors and slow internet speeds. (Remember trying to pull up a document on a modem?) Given the speed of today's internet and mobile device support, print documents are likely going the way of the dinosaur. Online documents have several advantages to their print counterparts. For instance, eBooks reflow to fit the user's device (think about…
  • Adobe Captivate 8: Geolocation

    Kevin Siegel
    23 Jul 2014 | 7:26 am
    by Kevin Siegel    You can create an eLearning lesson that changes dependent upon where your learners are physically located. For instance, you can create a Captivate project for learners who live in the United States or Australia. While much of the course content is relevant to both Americans and Australians, thanks to Captivate's geolocation feature, learners in both countries will see unique, location-specific, information while taking the same course. The first step to adding geolocation features to a project is creating the project as you normally would. In the…
  • Adobe Captivate 8: Changing the Size of Responsive Layouts

    Kevin Siegel
    16 Jul 2014 | 2:04 pm
    by Kevin Siegel    As far as I'm concerned, the hottest new feature you'll find in Adobe Captivate 8 is the ability to create responsive eLearning. As I taught you a few weeks ago, by choosing File > New > Responsive Project, you can basically create and work on multiple screen sizes (called break points) in one project. When you publish the responsive project, the learner will automatically be served the break point appropriate for the device they're using.   If you've spent any time creating Responsive Projects, you've probably noticed…
  • Writing & Grammar: Pardon the Interruption

    Kevin Siegel
    14 Jul 2014 | 4:52 pm
    by Jennie Ruby    You can interrupt a sentence four different ways--with dashes, parentheses, commas, or no punctuation at all. Dashes actually emphasize the interruption, like this: One of the best things about the previous two versions--the versions before the company was taken over by XYX, Inc.--was the user interface. Parentheses de-emphasize the interruption: The correspondence between the codes (see Table 2) is nearly one-to-one. Commas indicate an interruption that is not essential to the meaning of the sentence:  The new interface, we all agree, is much easier to…
 
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    I'd Rather Be Writing

  • Book Review: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

    Tom Johnson
    27 Jul 2014 | 9:27 am
    I don’t often review fiction on this site because I made a decision long ago to brand this site as being specifically about tech comm. But a couple of recent posts by my blogging friends (Neil Kaplan and Sarah Maddox) remind me that it’s good to show more than one side of a person. I wouldn’t want you to think that my sole interest and passion in life is technical writing. I have a lot of other interests and thoughts. I would hope that regular readers of my blog might welcome some “off topic” posts that show more sides of me. When I have the time to sit down and…
  • Writing documentation in an interactive world: Some thoughts on using easyDITA and OxygenXML

    Tom Johnson
    25 Jul 2014 | 12:32 am
    Since moving to DITA, I’ve tried to settle on best practices and determine the authoring method that works best for me. I started out using OxygenXML, which is one of the most popular DITA editors. I like OxygenXML because it’s easy to work with the code. OxygenXML knows when to show you a list of all possible elements or values you can insert in your topic at any time. For example, if you type <note type=", the editor prompts you with values you can choose from. Did you know there were so many note type options with DITA? But the challenge with any DITA text editor, whether…
  • The part of the brain you should listen to when writing

    Tom Johnson
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:01 am
    In This is your brain on writing, Carl Zimmer writes: A novelist scrawling away in a notebook in seclusion may not seem to have much in common with an NBA player doing a reverse layup on a basketball court before a screaming crowd. But if you could peer inside their heads, you might see some striking similarities in how their brains were churning. The article caught my attention because, actually, I love basketball. I play it a couple of times a week, though not as much as I used to. I tell myself I’m getting older now (I’m 38), so I’m not as good anymore. But I still play it…
  • Content Re-use is so much better with DITA (and esp. with OxygenXML)

    Tom Johnson
    29 Jun 2014 | 8:41 pm
    After my last post on content re-use strategies with Confluence, I realized that while you can do re-use with Confluence, you have to rely on so many third-party plugins, the whole solution tends to feel cobbled together with string and glue. While I initially thought Confluence would simplify authoring and allow me to focus more on content, the primitive re-use capabilities actually make help authoring more tedious and time consuming. The real deal-killer with Confluence is managing access control. The paradigm is that all content is on one site, grouped into different spaces. If you only…
  • Strategies for content re-use in Confluence

    Tom Johnson
    24 Jun 2014 | 8:15 am
    I’ve been knee-deep in Atlassian Confluence lately, analyzing the best way to re-use content. In this post, I’ll describe a fictitious scenario that resembles an advanced content re-use situation and then explore various strategies for re-use. The scenario Suppose you’re creating a bicycle manual for a Trek 7.3 FX (which happens to be the exact bike I recently bought). There’s a 7.1 FX and 7.2 FX model for the Trek bike, which you’re also creating online manuals for. Additionally, the parts are also pushed into another brand entirely: Gary Fisher. The parts…
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    Scriptorium Publishing

  • Planning your content strategy pilot project

    Alan Pringle
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:45 am
    Your content strategy is approved. Your tools are in place. Now it’s time to crank up—your pilot project, that is. Consider these tips when mapping out your content strategy pilot project. Your pilot project is a proof of concept—not perfection … Continue reading → The post Planning your content strategy pilot project appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
  • Webcast: The many facets of content strategy

    Sarah O'Keefe
    16 Jul 2014 | 6:12 am
    In this webcast recording, Sarah O’Keefe discusses the future of content strategy. The purpose of content strategy is to support your organization’s business goals. Content strategists need to understand how content across the organization—marketing, technical, and more—contributes to the overall … Continue reading → The post Webcast: The many facets of content strategy appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
  • Managing DITA projects (premium)

    Alan Pringle
    10 Jul 2014 | 10:19 pm
    A DITA implementation isn’t merely a matter of picking tools. Several factors, including wrangling the different groups affected by an implementation, are critical to successfully managing DITA projects. Note: This post assumes you have already done a content strategy analysis, … Continue reading → The post Managing DITA projects (premium) appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
  • Keys to content strategy: consultants

    Sarah O'Keefe
    8 Jul 2014 | 6:30 am
    Are you thinking about engaging a content strategy consultant? Here are some thoughts on successful content strategy consulting relationships. Over at easyDITA, Stephen Morse wrote a great post about determining whether you need a DITA consultant: A consultant can help … Continue reading → The post Keys to content strategy: consultants appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
  • Keys to content strategy: aligning expectations

    Sarah O'Keefe
    24 Jun 2014 | 5:30 am
    An effective content strategy requires participation (preferably enthusiastic) from a diverse array of people. When you are communicating with executives, IT specialists, marketing writers, translation coordinators, and more, recognize that each participant (including you) begins with a certain set of … Continue reading → The post Keys to content strategy: aligning expectations appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.
 
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    CyberText Newsletter

  • Really helpful user assistance… NOT!

    Rhonda
    27 Jul 2014 | 2:30 pm
    I was on a car rental website and came across these inclusions, each with a friendly little ‘i’ for information icon. So I clicked on the one for ‘Additional Liability Insurance’ to see what it meant, and got this gem: <headdesk>  Filed under: User experience
  • Apostrophe abuse

    Rhonda
    27 Jul 2014 | 1:52 am
    Seen at my local shopping centre… There’s ONE apostrophe on this sticker — there should be three — and it’s not even in the right place! How can they get it SO wrong? (And if you’re not sure where all the apostrophes all go, it should read: “This is not my boyfriend’s car… it’s my Dad’s”. Also, instead of abbreviating “boyfriend” to “b’friend” to save space it would have been better to abbreviate “is not’ to “isn’t”, but I guess they didn’t know where to…
  • Word: Auto aligning header/footer info in portrait and landscape pages

    Rhonda
    24 Jul 2014 | 2:30 pm
    I didn’t know you could do this!! Not until I read this article, anyway. One of the annoyances with earlier versions of Word was what happened to left-, centre-, and right-aligned text in headers and footers when you inserted a landscape section. The workaround that many people used to control the placement was borderless tables in the headers/footers combined with ‘AutoFit to Widow’. Well, you don’t have to anymore! It seems this ‘new’ feature has been around since Word 2007, but I must have missed it. Here’s how to set up a test document to show you…
  • Worst ‘char char’ ever?

    Rhonda
    23 Jul 2014 | 2:30 pm
    Back in Word 2000 or Word 2003, ‘char char’ got added to style names. I still don’t know why or how. But with Word 2007 and later, they seem to be gone — mostly. However, occasionally I see one in the wild (possibly brought in by copy/pasting from another organization’s document?) This one would be one of the worst I’ve seen in a long time — it has 233 characters in it, including what look to be Thai characters (where did THEY come from?). You can only see the last part of the style name in the image below; the full text in the style name is:…
  • Natural synthetic? Really?

    Rhonda
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:30 pm
    Spotted in the local hardware store: Perhaps they meant ‘natural-looking synthetic grass mat’? But ‘natural synthetic’? It’s either natural or it’s synthetic — it can’t be both as these words are antonyms of each other. On the side it at least says ‘lifelike’, but then says ‘soft & natural’. Natural-looking and natural-feeling it may be, but ‘natural’ it’s not.Filed under: Word Usage
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    A Tech Writer's World

  • 17 Jul 2014 | 8:31 am

    17 Jul 2014 | 8:31 am
    Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us is remarkable exposé on the food industry written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Moss. The processed food industry is a monster, with over a trillion dollars a year in sales. Sugar, salt and fat are together more addictive than any one of these ingredients alone. Moss describes in great detail how the food industry systematically manipulates these three ingredients to get consumers hooked on their products. As a result, many North Americans are obese and have multiple health problems, including an increase in the occurrence of diabetes…
  • Join my army

    24 Jun 2014 | 6:33 am
    I have an endless fascination with the military. The idea of a select group of strong, well-trained, disciplined individuals united together for common purpose is deeply engrossing. It is the ultimate example of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, for no man (or woman) is an army.The military is so vast that in most countries it is broken up into separate parts or divisions, typically:regular armynavyair forcemarinesspecial forces, andcoast guardHowever, even all these enormous parts (and all their many respective divisions and subgroups) must work together as a single unit. A…
  • Unlocking Your Career Combination

    24 Mar 2014 | 4:19 pm
    Combination locks come in all shapes and sizes, from padlocks to electronic security alarm keypads. But the one thing they have in common is that you must select or enter a series of numbers or letters to unlock them. It is this specific combination of alpha-numeric characters which makes each lock unique.Technical communication can also be viewed as a unique combination; specifically, a combination of:business writerinterviewer editor business analystinformation architecttechnical illustrator product testerinstructor andindexer just to name a few. As with a lock, it is this specific…
  • The Doc Particle

    20 Sep 2012 | 2:51 am
    Never has something so small attracted so much attention. In July of this year, scientists at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, claimed to have discovered the oddly named Higgs-boson particle. (And it only cost them $10 billion to find it.)  This tiny particle is also known as the God Particle because it could explain why things exist.  Discovery of the Higgs-boson particle helps prove the existence of something even more bizarre: the Higgs field. This is an invisible force field which covers the entire universe, allowing subatomic particles to…
  • Brand me a surrogate

    7 Aug 2012 | 2:40 pm
    Surrogate advertising is a fascinating form of marketing. It conveys a specific brand or product but appears to be for an entirely different brand or product. In other words, it's a form of "guerrilla" or "Trojan horse" communication, because it very carefully hides the intended message within a larger message designed to distract the viewer.Corporations often engage in surrogate advertising because it's illegal for them to advertise their product directly.One example of surrogate advertising is Russian Standard, makers of a popular vodka in that country. They branched out into a completely…
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    Cherryleaf Blog for Technical Authors & Content Strategists

  • Technical communication as a brand – The CEO and the technical communicator

    Ellis Pratt
    21 Jul 2014 | 11:38 pm
    Since I wrote the post on Technical communication as a brand, we’ve been working on an idea we had for promoting the profession. The end result is another story, another free graphic novel... [[ For the full article, see http://www.cherryleaf.com/blog.htm]]
  • How we record videos for our online training courses

    Ellis Pratt
    18 Jul 2014 | 5:59 am
    We’re just starting to record the video inserts for a new online training course we’re developing. As I’ll presenting at the TCUK 2014 conference on on this topic, I thought... [[ For the full article, see http://www.cherryleaf.com/blog.htm]]
  • The “Word Crimes” song – does grammar matter?

    Ellis Pratt
    15 Jul 2014 | 11:04 pm
    “Wierd Al” Yankovic’s song about English grammar is actually quite good, and it will appeal to many Technical Authors. It’s important that someone’s message is... [[ For the full article, see http://www.cherryleaf.com/blog.htm]]
  • Ted Nelson on the future of text

    Ellis Pratt
    15 Jul 2014 | 1:44 am
    Mike Atherton, Lead Instructor at General Assembly London, tweeted a link to a 2011interview with Ted Nelson on the future of text, document abstraction and transclusion. Ted Nelson is one of the... [[ For the full article, see http://www.cherryleaf.com/blog.htm]]
  • Email and Website – now fixed

    Ellis Pratt
    14 Jul 2014 | 6:59 am
    The Cherryleaf website and our email system were down this morning (14 July 14), due to an ICANN/DNS renewal issue. Apologies if you sent us an email and it bounced back. [[ For the full article, see http://www.cherryleaf.com/blog.htm]]
 
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    Communications from DMN

  • Creating an editorial calendar for your blog

    DMN Communications
    24 Jul 2014 | 6:56 am
    Last week, Scott gave a short talk about the whys and hows of creating an editorial calendar for your blog to a Meetup group to which he belongs in Auckland. Scott’s posted the slides and notes to his talk to Slideshare. Here are the slides for the talk: Creating an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog from Scott Nesbitt And here are the notes: Creating an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog – Notes from Scott Nesbitt
  • Going from writing to speaking

    Scott Nesbitt
    15 Jul 2014 | 7:03 am
    This post first appeared, in a slightly different form, here. Whether earned or not, many writers (technical or otherwise) have a reputation for not being good speakers or presenters. The stereotype is that people become writers so they don’t have to interact with others. They can just lock themselves away and pound on their keyboards to their heart’s content. I think that stereotype is unjustified. Sure, there are a number of those in our ranks who are introverts (I’m definitely one of them). But we all have something to teach or share. We all have a story to tell. A great…
  • Jumping into The Elements of Content Strategy

    DMN Communications
    2 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    Note: This post first appeared, in a slightly different form, here. Content strategy. The planning, development, and management of content—written or in other media. It sounds like one in the long line of buzzwords that seem to assail us daily. And, in the eyes (and hands) of some, it is. But content strategy is more than that. Content strategy can also be an indispensable tool for anyone who writes for a living — especially anyone who writes in the corporate sector. yes, that includes technical communicators. Many people either don’t know what content strategy is, or they…
  • Productivity techniques for writers (of all stripes)

    DMN Communications
    10 Apr 2014 | 7:44 am
    In February, Scott gave a talk about productivity techniques for bloggers to a Meetup group to which he belongs in Auckland. While the talk was aimed at bloggers, writers of all stripes can use these techniques to become more productive. After a period of (more than) a bit of procrastination, Scott’s finally posted the slides and notes to his talk to Slideshare. Here are the slides for the talk: Reaching Done – Slides from Scott Nesbitt And here are the notes: Reaching Done – Presentation Notes from Scott Nesbitt Thoughts? As always, your comments are welcome.
  • Open Help Conference 2014 announced

    Scott Nesbitt
    25 Mar 2014 | 7:05 am
    Once again, Shaun McCance is running the Open Help Conference, an event that: brings together leaders in open source documentation and support, as well as people from across the technical communications industry who are interested in community-based help. This year’s edition of the conference takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 14 and 15. On top of that, the conference is hosting documentation sprints for open source projects from June 16 to June 18. If you’re interested in running a sprint at the conference, contact Shaun. If you’re interested or involved in writing…
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    Core Dump 2.0

  • SpaceX Falcon 9 ocean landing video

    Keith
    23 Jul 2014 | 2:24 am
    Here’s video of the SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage landing in the ocean after the last launch. Good video this time, but they need wipers for the camera lens. I can’t wait to see them bring one back to the Cape.
  • One small step

    Keith
    20 Jul 2014 | 10:35 am
    July 20, 1969.
  • Free ebooks from Scriptorium

    Keith
    17 Jul 2014 | 4:09 pm
    As well as offering various content strategy services, Scriptorium Publishing have been publishing a series of books about aspects of technical communication. Several of these are now available as free ebooks in EPUB format. You can download copies of Technical Writing 101, DITA Style Guide and a couple of others. Print versions are available for some of the editions through Amazon and other vendors. Kudos to Scriptorium for making these available for free.
  • Been there, done that

    Keith
    15 Jul 2014 | 2:28 am
    In Why I hate negotiating my telecom package, Rob Carrick describes the annual ordeal of trying to shave a few dollars off his cable bill by spending hours online with a cable company customer retention representative. Honestly, I could have written that article – it’s uncanny how his experiences mirror mine. If you enjoy buying new cars and setting up mortgages at the bank, then you’ll love negotiating your cable, Internet or smartphone package. Me, I dislike the tedious back and forth, the posturing over what can and can’t be offered and the obvious agenda of trying to get…
  • Digital First Aid Kit

    Keith
    14 Jul 2014 | 2:29 am
    It’s nasty out there: malware, trojans, botnets, drive-by phishing sites, viruses – and that’s just the stuff from the bad guys. (The good guys, NSA, CSIS, etc. deserve a separate post). The Electronic Frontier Foundation and a group of NGOs have created a Digital First Aid Kit to help you cope with all the nastiness. The Digital First Aid Kit includes a secure communications layer, as well as sections on hacked accounts, DoS, seizure of devices and malware attacks on your site and network. You can modify and share the kit, downloading it from github, where it carries a…
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    Tech Writer News (Elephant)

  • Translatable but Debatable – נפגעי חרדה

    17 Jul 2014 | 3:34 pm
    I once worked with a fellow who was hard of hearing, and he said that the cause was trauma. For a while, I thought he was like Tommy, the pinball wizard who was struck deaf, dumb, and blind because he witnessed a terrible event. Then I realized that trauma can also refer to a damaging physical blow, or even a damagingly loud noise.Read more...
  • Translatable But Debatable - הרי and הלא

    17 Jun 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Take for example this well-known sentence: וכל המרבה לספר ביציאת מצרים, הרי זה משובח The Hagaddah at chabad.org translates it \"and everyone who discusses the exodus from Egypt at length is praiseworthy.\" The הרי doesn\'t survive translation.  And a case could be made that it’s a mere expletive in the sentence, nothing to worry about.  But I think that it helps balance the short ending of the sentence against the long subject.Read more...
  • Translatable but Debatable - Tsara Tsrura

    17 May 2014 | 10:19 pm
    Troubles have always been with us, but it’s Rabbi Shmuel Hanagid — the eleventh-century scholar, poet, and Chief Vizier of Grenada — whom the dictionary credits with reporting he worked his way through an occurrence of tsara tsrura, “trouble in a bundle.” Read more...
  • Translatable But Debatable — Mas'eer (מסעיר)

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:30 pm
    The Targemni website gives “exciting, sensational” as its definition. Morfix, on the other hand, says “inflaming, inciteful.”  Read more...
  • Israel and the US moving ahead on banking information exchange agreement

    20 Mar 2014 | 12:52 am
    (Reposted with permission from Rachel Berger, Director of Employment at Nefesh B\\\'Nefesh) Israeli business newspaper, Globes, has recently reported that the Ministry of Finance is in late-stage talks with the US Department of the Treasury on a reciprocal agreement to transfer information concerning foreign resident bank accounts. Under U.S. tax law, U.S. persons (including American citizens living abroad) are required to report and pay taxes on income from all sources. Israel decided to seek an agreement with the US, under which the Israeli banks would have no contact with the IRS, but…
 
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    EServer TC Library: Recent Additions

  • The SEO of Responsive Web Design

    22 Jul 2014 | 9:08 am
    Will Critchlow announced back in November that Distilled's blog was updated with a new responsive design, but it occurred to me recently that we never went into the specifics of why responsive web design is so great. Responsive design has been a hot topic in online marketing for the past few months, but is it really going to become an industry standard? Short answer: yep. Kledzik, Kristina
  • Letter to a Young Writer

    22 Jul 2014 | 9:07 am
    With the influx of summer interns, I've been considering the best way to train a budding technical writer. What essential principles must a new writer grasp to be successful? And how can I provide a valuable learning experience while getting my own work done? The Carolina Communique first came to mind. Some of the best writers and editors in our field have been providing sage advice for over a decade. Loring, Sheila
  • How Not to Be a Wallflower

    22 Jul 2014 | 9:06 am
    For those of us in the field of technical writing who didn't come at this from a computer science background (raise your hand if you’re an English major), we’re often introduced to unfamiliar technologies and terminology at the start of a project. It’s understandable then that we'd want to keep quiet and stay on the sidelines until we better understand what the developers are discussing. I’d like to suggest that doing so will lengthen the ramp-up time, and... Davidson, Ben
  • Top 5 Meeting Places for Technical Writers

    22 Jul 2014 | 9:05 am
    Technical writers in the Triangle are really fortunate to have a good variety of places to meet for discussion, networking, or work sessions. Here are my top five meeting places for tech writers in Raleigh. Saunders, Lindsay K.
  • An Open Letter to Millennials Seeking Creative Positions

    22 Jul 2014 | 8:56 am
    Dear recently graduated Millennial: Congratulations on your graduation! I understand you’re ready to conquer the world of advertising. I want to get to know you. You may be exactly what we need. Before you begin your conquest, let me introduce myself and offer up a few pointers. Schrader, Lyn
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    I Came, I Saw, I Learned...

  • Writing & Grammar: Responses to the Interruptions Challenge

    Kevin Siegel
    27 Jul 2014 | 6:45 pm
    by Jennie Ruby    The answers that follow the guidelines set forth in my article from a few weeks ago are brought to you by Geri Moran. It is very tedious, in my opinion, to type on a flat screen. The blog--even after the extensive upgrade we purchased last quarter--was still slow to load on mobile devices. The most widely accessible option, according to the magazine, is still the print version. The company that provides the fastest downloads is still XYZ. Norman, who arrived at the classroom before the computers were turned on, noticed the change in temperature right away. A more…
  • Technical Communications: Online Versus Paper

    Kevin Siegel
    27 Jul 2014 | 4:50 pm
    by Tony Self   What is more effective, a print document or an online document? It wasn't all that long ago that print documents would definitely have been voted more effective, especially considering the poor quality of computer monitors and slow internet speeds. (Remember trying to pull up a document on a modem?) Given the speed of today's internet and mobile device support, print documents are likely going the way of the dinosaur. Online documents have several advantages to their print counterparts. For instance, eBooks reflow to fit the user's device (think about how…
  • Adobe Captivate 8: Geolocation

    Kevin Siegel
    23 Jul 2014 | 7:26 am
    by Kevin Siegel    You can create an eLearning lesson that changes dependent upon where your learners are physically located. For instance, you can create a Captivate project for learners who live in the United States or Australia. While much of the course content is relevant to both Americans and Australians, thanks to Captivate's geolocation feature, learners in both countries will see unique, location-specific, information while taking the same course. The first step to adding geolocation features to a project is creating the project as you normally would. In the example that…
  • Adobe Captivate 8: Changing the Size of Responsive Layouts

    Kevin Siegel
    16 Jul 2014 | 2:04 pm
    by Kevin Siegel    As far as I'm concerned, the hottest new feature you'll find in Adobe Captivate 8 is the ability to create responsive eLearning. As I taught you a few weeks ago, by choosing File > New > Responsive Project, you can basically create and work on multiple screen sizes (called break points) in one project. When you publish the responsive project, the learner will automatically be served the break point appropriate for the device they're using.   If you've spent any time creating Responsive Projects, you've probably noticed that there are…
  • Writing & Grammar: Pardon the Interruption

    Kevin Siegel
    14 Jul 2014 | 4:52 pm
    by Jennie Ruby    You can interrupt a sentence four different ways--with dashes, parentheses, commas, or no punctuation at all. Dashes actually emphasize the interruption, like this: One of the best things about the previous two versions--the versions before the company was taken over by XYX, Inc.--was the user interface. Parentheses de-emphasize the interruption: The correspondence between the codes (see Table 2) is nearly one-to-one. Commas indicate an interruption that is not essential to the meaning of the sentence:  The new interface, we all agree, is much easier to use. Interruptions…
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    ProgrammingFree

  • Resources that Inspire to learn AngularJS

    13 Jul 2014 | 12:43 am
    I had written a series of tutorials on AngularJS and before I started to learn I needed a bit of inspiration that would push me to spend some time on learning it. There are a lot of tutorials, write ups and interesting articles around the web on AngularJS. Some of them which I came across, really inspired me to go for it and hence I am writing an article here to share the same believing it will inspire or be useful for my readers as well.1. Why use AngularJS instead of jQuery? (StackOverflow)Initially, being used to jQuery, my mind was refusing to learn any other javascript library that…
  • CRUD using Spring MVC 4.0 RESTful Web Services and AngularJS

    2 Jul 2014 | 1:24 pm
    Based on the requests from many readers, I am now presenting an article on how to make CRUD operations using Spring MVC 4.0 RESTFul web services and AngularJS. I had already written few articles on Spring MVC 4.0 RESTFul Web Services in case you are new to this.For the sake of best understanding, I came up with a small task manager AngularJS application powered by Spring MVC 4.0 RESTFul Web Services. With this application, you can list all existing tasks, create a new task, mark completion of an existing task and archive completed tasks. I had tried to keep it very simple as this is not for…
  • AngularJS : Retrieve Multiple Checkbox Selected Options

    27 May 2014 | 5:13 am
    This post explains how to retrieve or bind multiple checkbox selected options from a checkbox list in AngularJS. This functionality of retrieving the values of selected options in a checkbox list is required when you want to perform the same action only once, for the various options selected. For example, if you want to delete all the selected records in a table, you might want to facilitate the users with options to select records to be deleted via checkboxlist and delete all of them at once on clicking a button. Since this functionality is used often in web applications powered by…
  • Spring MVC 4.0: Consuming RESTFul Web Services using RestTemplate

    15 Apr 2014 | 4:49 am
    This article is a continuation of my previous article on Spring MVC 4.0 RESTFul web services. So far I have written two articles on how to create restful web service using Spring MVC 4.0. Last tutorial explained how to create a RESTFul web service in spring that would return user information from mysql table in JSON format. Let us now implement a Spring MVC application that issues web service requests and fetches the response returned by the web service.Articles on Spring MVC RESTFul Web ServicesCRUD using Spring MVC 4.0 RESTful Web Services and AngularJSSpring MVC 4.0 RESTFul Web Services…
  • Spring MVC 4.0 RESTFul Web Service JSON Response with @ResponseBody

    13 Mar 2014 | 10:49 pm
    Article Recognitions*A mention about this article in official spring blog here.Big Link in DzoneThis tutorial is a continuation of my previous tutorial titled Spring MVC 4.0 RESTFul Web Service Simple Example. I explained the basics of how Spring MVC can be used to build RESTFul Web Services with a simple example that returns greeting message in the form of plain text. Let us extend that example to see how to use Spring MVC REST functionality to return json response from server. Articles on Spring MVC RESTFul Web ServicesCRUD using Spring MVC 4.0 RESTful Web Services and AngularJSSpring MVC…
 
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    Wylie Communications, Inc.

  • Start your story with a statistics lead

    Ann Wylie
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Grab reader attention by writing with numbersStumped for a story starter? Try a statistics lead. Yes, writing with numbers can be tough. A bunch of boring figures can make readers’ eyes glaze over wherever you place them.Strength in numbers A startling statistics lead can surprise or challenge your readers. Image by qthomasbowerBut startling statistics — underline the word “startling” — can make a great lead. When writing your next lead, surprise and delight readers with a statistics lead like these, from two intranet stories:Show size and scope.Are you writing about a company,…
  • Time to tweet

    Ann Wylie
    15 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    When will you get the most action on Twitter?Timing is important, says Jakob Nielsen, “the king of usability”: “Once [tweets] scroll off the first screen, they’re essentially 6 feet under.”Time to tweet Download this poster for at-a-glance tips on timing Twitter right.Nielsen’s preferred tweeting time is 9:01 a.m. Pacific, because that encompasses working hours from California to the United Kingdom, where most of his audience members live. He posts a minute after the hour so his tweet will show up above those of people who set their software to post at the top of…
  • Show and tell

    Ann Wylie
    8 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Map out your story on Ann’s roller coaster gridThe best stories show, then tell, then show, then tell, again and again and again. And the best pieces mix up their concrete details with stories, statistics, scenarios and more.How does your story shape up against that standard? To find out, use this grid to map out your story.On it, note which kinds of concrete material you use in and where. This will help you analyze your copy for common problems. For instance:You’ve got 14 statistics and no anecdotes? You might want to go out and find a story. You want to hit several types of concrete…
  • Survey releases, step by step

    Ann Wylie
    1 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    How to organize research storiesIt’s not the survey, silly. Most survey releases fail because they focus on the survey, not on the survey results. Here’s how to organize a successful survey story that focuses on the findings, not on the poll:The results are in The best survey releases focus on the results, not on the survey itself. Download this poster for a step-by-step look at how to organize a successful survey story.The best survey releases focus on the findings, not on the survey itself.Click To Tweet - Powered By CoScheduleI. Lift your survey results off the page in the…
  • How tiny on Twitter?

    Ann Wylie
    3 Jun 2014 | 10:00 am
    Keep tweets short on this nano-news channelHow many characters work best on Twitter? Syllables per word? What’s the best grade-level average and sentence structure to use for this nano-news channel?Download this poster to target best practices on Twitter.Reach readers online: Get clicked, read and sharedWhen reading on the screen, your audience members suffer physical ailments ranging from double vision to nausea to difficulty thinking. No wonder people avoid reading online!In Catch Your Readers, my two-day Master Class in Portland, Oregon, on July 23-24, you’ll discover how to make…
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    Techpanorma.com

  • [Bug Fixes] Sony Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 Compact and Xperia T2 Ultra Updated to Android 4.4 KitKat

    Happy Raj
    24 Jul 2014 | 11:57 pm
    Unexpectedly Sony has surprised us by rolling Android 4.4.2 update for Xperia Z1 Compact today in form of exclusive 14.4.A.0.108 firmware. Users of Sony’s flagship smartphones, including Sony Xperia Z1, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia T2 Ultra and Xperia Z1 can now avail the official Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. Android 4.4.2 Xperia Z1 Comapct 14.4.A.0.108 firmware update is confirmed in regions Russia, Indonesia, Italy and still seeding to other parts of the world.  According to information on Sony’s Mobile Support pages, the latest firmware from Google offers many special features,…
  • Flipagram App Download for PC – Windows 7/8/Mac – Installation Guide

    Tusshar Rajput
    21 Jul 2014 | 1:14 am
    The Flipagram app lets you create short moments in the form of a video by using the photos from different social media sources. The Flipagram app for Android OS and iOS is made available for free to the users. A School Project? An Office Presentation? Don’t worry, with Flipagram making a video out of your photographs is just a 5 minute task. Read: Download Photo Grid App for PC Windows 7/8 or Mac Creating a video of your images is the best thing to save your memories in motion but it’s not as easy as it looks, one faces a lot of problems while doing it on a computer. But Flipagram, has…
  • Free Download Virtual City Playground Game for PC – Windows 7/8/Mac Computers

    Happy Raj
    21 Jul 2014 | 12:38 am
    Take your city to towering new heights! Now it’s TIME TO GET SMART. City-builders get excited, get ready, fasten your seat belts as the world’s best city builder i.e. Virtual City, just got a BIG makeover –  Virtual City Playground, with the all-new graphics which will make your dream city even more amazing and modern.  Indulge into the endless fun of a new launch pad location, new quests and new buildings, And the most exciting feature- People, pack your bags for a space mission! Walk among the stars and peer down at your beloved city from a gravity-free vantage point. Make your…
  • The Secret Society – Hidden Mystery Game for PC and Mac Computers – Free Download

    Happy Raj
    18 Jul 2014 | 12:39 am
    We’re back with yet another review of one of the most popular free online hidden object game – The Secret Society – Hidden Mystery where you join the Order of Seekers, which is a secret society of people with a unique ability to move inside magic worlds. In The Secret Society you are tasked with investigating your Uncle Richard’s mysterious disappearance, you have also been gifted with your uncle’s special skill of jumping into magic photographs, which act as the hidden object levels in the game. You travel through these photographs in search for clues to solve the…
  • Hellfire: The Summoning Game for Pc(windows 7/8) – Free Download for Mac

    Divya Kalra
    17 Jul 2014 | 11:53 pm
    Bonjour Fellas, Now it’s the time to share with you another amazing adventure game i.e. Hellfire: The Summoning Game, which is available for free on Google Play Store. So if you were in search for its download process, Hellfire: The summoning Cheat codes and other details, then you, my friend, are at the right place. Below are the details, features, Hellfire: The summoing guide and download details just for you. The guide works perfectly on Windows PC and we hope the same at your end too. HellFire: The Summoning Game – Techpanorma.com Features of HellFire The Summoning Game The game…
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    CodenRead

  • 10 tips to protect your Android device

    codeadmin
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:33 am
    Android is the most popular mobile platform in India. One of the major reasons for its popularity is the flexibility it offers in terms of customization and the abundance of third-party apps. Apps can even be side-loaded, bypassing Google’s Play Store app marketplace. However, all this also makes Android vulnerable to security threats and malware. […] The post 10 tips to protect your Android device appeared first on CodenRead.
  • Nokia announces it’s first Android app – Z Launcher

    codeadmin
    26 Jun 2014 | 12:17 am
    From being a mobile phone manufacturer, after selling itself to Microsoft, Nokia is fast developing into a software maker now. Nokia announced it’s first Android app and is calling it Z Launcher. The launcher learns from your using of your smartphone and suggests the top apps to you at the right time. It’s not just […] The post Nokia announces it’s first Android app – Z Launcher appeared first on CodenRead.
  • Microsoft Announced Real-Time Skype Translator

    codeadmin
    29 May 2014 | 5:39 am
    Microsoft had acquired Skype, internet Phone Company for $8.5 billion in the year 2011 and now has unveiled a real-time speech translation tool for it. Let’s discuss about this tech news in detail through this post. Microsoft’s new releases with Satya Nadella Satya Nadella has been appointed as CEO of Microsoft in just 3 months […] The post Microsoft Announced Real-Time Skype Translator appeared first on CodenRead.
  • TrueCaller : Find Contact Details of Unknown Phone Numbers

    codeadmin
    27 May 2014 | 4:30 am
    Whenever we get a call from unknown number, it’s a good idea to find the details of the number. Specially, when I see a list of missed calls from unknown numbers, instead of calling them back immediately, I try to find out who is the caller. One major benefit of this is, I could figure […] The post TrueCaller : Find Contact Details of Unknown Phone Numbers appeared first on CodenRead.
  • Google Maps gets a prominent “Save to Offline” button and many new features

    codeadmin
    26 May 2014 | 11:31 pm
    Google had added the feature to save a map offline, for phones long ago. This is useful when sometimes you do not have connectivity. The feature even though available for a while, was not used as by many people. The main reason being that the option was not visible enough or rather hidden too well […] The post Google Maps gets a prominent “Save to Offline” button and many new features appeared first on CodenRead.
 
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