A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Albing, Bill

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An Almost Final Farewell to Desktop Word Processing

The era of desktop publishing is over, and I must bid Microsoft Word and several other desktop applications good-bye. In case you think I'm singling out Microsoft, it's not just MS Word, but also OpenOffice, GoogleOffice, or any application that makes what we used to call 'documents'. Nowadays, I'm simply using a wiki for collaborative information sharing and a blog for online reporting.

Albing, Bill. Carolina Communique (2007). Articles>Word Processing>Online>Wikis


Authoring Content in XML

XML authoring is the latest mode of electronic communication of content. XML is about freedom: freeing the content, freeing the author.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Writing>XML


Automating Documentation Generation

The advent of automatic generation tools, that could automatically generate the information was a major step in the creation of more accurate documentation and it held the promise of saving time and money.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Documentation



In the same way that the word 'truthiness' is not a real word but is gaining usage in our culture, so the word 'connectfulness' offers us in the professional arena a way to express an important aspect of our work. Just as truthiness says more than accuracy and is friendlier than truthfulness, so connectfulness says more than networked and is friendlier and more inclusive than connectedness.

Albing, Bill. Carolina Communique (2006). Articles>Content Management>Collaboration


Course Management Tools Review

This is a summary of open source tools for what is variously called: * distance learning * course management product or system * learning management system * virtual classroom

Albing, Bill, Frances Wirth and Rick Sapir. KeyContent.org (2005). Resources>Education>Online


Developing a Personal Tagline

Part of professional development involves recognizing your strengths and learning how to express it to others. It is a helpful exercise to develop a tagline for yourself, in the same way that professionals in a previous generation were encouraged to develop a mission statement. With shortening attention spans, today's professional needs only a few-word tagline to fit in the sound bite of management's smaller time slots. Beyond what Chris Benz would call shameless self-promotion, having a personal tagline keeps your career development focused and on track.

Albing, Bill. Carolina Communique (2007). Careers>Business Communication>Workflow


The Documentation Elephant

As technical communicators grapple with the changing processes and tools within which they work, we are seeing a gradual but dramatic evolution of technical writers into content developers.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Documentation


The Documentation Elephant

As technical writers, we work more online than ever before. We are beginning to work with documentation in a new way, so that we can repurpose content and free it from the restrictions imposed by any particular delivery mechanism. We no longer solely create paper-publishable documents. We do not, as yet, have a good word for what we do; we do not have a single word or phrase that summarizes the effort or the deliverables. Nor can we use any single existing lexicon because the concepts are new. This difficulty is a natural consequence of the inter-networked world in which we work, where information is delivered multiple ways for diverse audiences. But let us look at the phrases currently growing in popular usage that refer to this effort.

Albing, Bill, Michelle Corbin, and Ann-Marie Grissino. Carolina Communique (2004). Articles>Documentation>Online


Documenting in N Dimensions

It is commonplace to find information through the Web, but the use of the Web for technical communication is still uncommon. What the competition entries made me realize is that in this networked world, the places where we find information are no longer one or two dimensional. Communication is no longer simply about words on a page (or on a screen). Technical information is now accessed through a multidimensional cyberspace.

Albing, Bill. Carolina Communique (2004). Articles>Documentation>Online


Documenting in N-Dimensional Space

As technical communicators, we are being challenged with how to structure information in a multiple dimensional space made possible with Web technology.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2005). Articles>Documentation>Information Design


Getting Started in Technical Communication

A lot of people think you need a credential to break into the field of technical communication. You don’t need one to get started. This might change in the future with the STC pursuing the offering of a certification.

Albing, Bill. Ideas in the Making (2010). Careers>TC>Advice


Health Risk Communication

With government getting more involved with healthcare and organizations collecting information about the risks of some diseases, there is a plethora of information about heath risk that must be made accessible to the general public.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Risk Communication>Biomedical>Civic


The Impact of Social Media on Technical Communication

In this podcast, I talk with Bill Albing, founder of KeyContent.org, about the impact of social media on technical communication. Bill talks about different ways social media helps audiences interconnect and interact. Good social media technologies enable professionals to collaborate easily, without being encumbered by complicated technology or even burdened by managing and filtering feeds. Bill explains that the web is more than just a venue for publication -- it's a medium that allows people to interconnect and work/collaborate with information. This is the direction we're moving towards, and technical communicators are starting to integrate social media, such as user forums, directly into their help.

Albing, Bill and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>TC>Community Building>Online


Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals

Advances have been made to provide that information online to the point where electronic access to the information involves nothing more futuristic than a laptop computer and access to a database.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Documentation>Interactive>Online


Issues in Technical Writing

Now it is very important to recognize the vital role of a technical writer and services expected to provide to justify the requirements of this profession. Since technical writer is a sub category of technical communication, that involves other categories involved in documentation, like content writer, software configuration manager, technical editor, information designer and many more.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2005). Articles>TC>Communication>Technical Writing


Judgment Day in STC Competition Land

Yes, today was the last day for us judges (for the STC Carolina Chapter competition) to have our evaluation forms submitted. I got my forms in just in time and our team leader is probably glad that’s over with. I’m done with judging.

Albing, Bill. (2011). Articles>Collaboration>Community Building>STC


Key Content: Developing a Personal Tagline

It is a helpful exercise to develop a tagline for yourself, in the same way that professionals in a previous generation were encouraged to develop a mission statement. With shortening attention spans, today's professional needs only a few-word tagline to fit in the sound bite of management's smaller time slots.

Albing, Bill. Carolina Communique (2007). Careers>Portfolios>Workplace>Collaboration



Topics on technical communication written by experts in the field and posted online.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org. Resources>Documentation


The Limits of Content Management Systems

The promise of content management systems as presently implemented in large corporations will never be fulfilled.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Content Management


Meaningful Microcontent

Microcontent refers to small, granular, and possibly representative (that can provide a summary of or a navigation to a larger set of information) bits of information, typically available on the Web. An example in the domain of journalism might be headlines and news summaries, small bits of content that can be used on a front page of the news with links to more in-depth articles. The definition has grown in scope as much as in its application.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2006). Articles>Documentation>Content Management>Technical Writing


Nanotechnology: Implications for Transforming Communication

The implications for transforming communication due to the development of nanotechnology is summarized.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Communication>Technology


Next Generation Microsoft Online Help

Just as clothing styles change, and fall's fashion is different from summer's, so Microsoft presents it's new fall's fashion of online help to a fashion-consious entourage of software companies always eager to follow Microsoft's lead.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2004). Articles>Documentation>Online>Help


Process Pieces and Tools in Content Development

As long as we are working with people, there will be clogs in the flow of information. As long as we are working for corporations, the bottom line will be money. With the dependence on computers and information in accessible and digital form, there is still a challenge in getting meaningful information. The tools, as advanced and automated as they are, will not fix all our problems. But we have to work with what we have, and automate as much of the production and maintenance of our content as possible.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2006). Articles>Content Management


Review: Review of 'Podcasting Solutions: Complete Guide to Podcasting'

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Podcasting Solutions: A Complete Guide to Podcasting by Michael W. Goeghegan and Dan Klass. I was able to digest the material quickly. The frustrating thing for me was that the title just didn't seem to fit the approachable and practical content that made the book such a treasure. For example, the subtitle 'A Complete Guide' is a bit overstated, because it is not a compendium but a getting starting guide. Especially as time goes by and the field progresses, and more techniques and tools are developed, this book will become more out of date.

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2006). Articles>Reviews>Multimedia>Podcasting


Review: Review of "User Interface Design for Programmers"

This is ostensibly a review of Joel Spolsky's book "User Interface Design for Programmers" by way of a comparison with Jef Raskin's "The Humane Interface."

Albing, Bill. KeyContent.org (2005). Articles>Reviews



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