A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Podcast Metrics: A Panel Discussion

There are a number of approaches to getting meaningful data from podcast usage, each with their own advantages and drawbacks.

Federico, John, Dave van Dyke and Alex Laats. Podcast Academy (2006). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Podcasting


Podcasting Your Lectures 101: Editing

One of the most important aspects of editing is file management. Editing is a “destructive” process that often can’t be undone if you’ve made a mistake. As a result, you want to keep an original, unedited version of your audio file backed up and untouched.

Watrall, Ethan. Prof Hacker (2009). Articles>Education>Audio>Podcasting


Podcasting Your Lectures 101: Recording

There are lots of reasons why you might want to podcast your lectures. You might be teaching an online class or providing supplementary lecture material for students in one of your regular (face-to-face) classes. Or, even better, maybe you are embracing the open courseware movement, and making your course material available to people both inside and outside of your university – regardless of whether they are actually enrolled in the class.

Watrall, Ethan. Prof Hacker (2009). Articles>Education>Audio>Podcasting


The Problem with Speaking Conversationally in Video Tutorials

This week while watching TV I’ve been listening closely to the voices (separating them from the visuals on the screen). Actors aren’t soft-spoken, reserved people. Actors inflect all over the voice spectrum. They have a lot of energy and drama in their voices.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2008). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting


Producing for the Ear

'Writing for the ear' is an effective way of making content engaging and interesting. Examples of this are audio-based sentence structure, writing around audio clips, making informed word choices and creating a narrative arc for your podcast. Listeners, who are often occupied with other things while listening, need audio and content that transports them to another state of mind. With this in mind, Bond explains techniques and provides examples of how podcasters can anticipate what their audience expects to hear, and how they meet listener expectations while still providing something new.

Bond, Stacy. Podcast Academy (2006). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Podcasting


Production Design for Dialogue Recording

Bad audio will certainly sink an otherwise good project! That being said, let's look at how other Departments can help the Sound Department improve the quality of the recorded dialogue.

Ginsburg, Fred. Equipment Emporium (2006). Articles>Multimedia>Audio


Recontextualizing Writing   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

What roles does writing play in larger communications also involving physically discrete but related texts of other media? How may the properties of what we normally consider writing be modified in such communications? The intermedial context of much workplace writing has been largely overlooked. This study of an insurance company's communication department describes how (a) three written products served as parts of larger messages in multiple media campaigns, (b) an attempt to combine composing processes for print and video failed, and (c) conflicting generic and stylistic properties of other media caused an intermedial graft to fail. The author's study shows that in the right circumstances, a multiple media "overtext" can override some of the rules that govern what and how one communicates in an individual medium. When a written text is involved, its nature may change as it forms symbiotic relationships with texts of other media.

Cross, Geoffrey A. JBC (1994). Articles>Communication>Video>Audio


Recording the Spoken Word: Expert Tips on Producing Voice-Overs

Opportunities for voice-over (v/o) production have increased dramatically for project studios, mimicking the DIY paradigm shift that continues to rock the music industry. Increasingly, clients needing v/o talent and related audio services are bypassing bigger studios to hire more cost-efficient producers for everything from commercials to interactive voice response (IVR) systems.

Norton, Perry Anne. Electronic Musician (2007). Articles>Multimedia>Audio


A Report from the STC Special Needs Committee: The Nature of Deafness   (PDF)

Deaf persons are not a monolithic group. Persons born deaf or who become deaf before learning the language of their environment (prelingual deafness) have a significant educational challenge as well as a communication challenge. Other deaf persons have a communication challenge. Deaf persons may be divided into five categories. For the purposes of this paper the categories are prelingual deafness, prelingual hard-of-hearing, postlingual deafness, postlingual hard-of-hearing, and presbyacusis. (oldage deafness) Each of these categories are discussed in detail including the characteristics of persons within the categories, and the nature of the problems they encounter.

Malcolm, Andrew. STC Proceedings (2001). Design>Accessibility>TC>Audio


Riding the Tide of Technical Communications Consulting

Lyn Worthen presented to the STC Intermountain chapter tonight on running your own business as a technical communications consultant. She covers almost everything you need to know as a consultant, including rates, billing, contracts, marketing, taxes, business structures, hours, salary, tools, locations, niche services, portfolios, client communications, and more.

Worthen, Lyn. Tech Writer Voices (2010). Presentations>Consulting>Podcasts>Audio


Selection and Use of Lavalier Microphones

Hiding a microphone under clothing requires a great deal of attention to detail. Not only must the mic be hidden from view, but you must also contend with the problems of clothing noise.

Ginsburg, Fred. Equipment Emporium (2006). Articles>Multimedia>Audio


Sennheiser Wireless Lavalier Microphones

Discusses how to use Sennheiser EW112P(A) Wireless Lavalier Microphones to ensure high-quality audio in video multimedia projects.

Tesdell, Ramsey and Zach Paskiet. Studio for New Media (2004). Articles>Documentation>Multimedia>Audio


The Sheer Audacity: Get More, in Less Time

Gives a few pointers on how to give your podcast a more professional sound in addition to a number of easy-to-follow procedures for more complex functions. Though aimed at the beginner and intermediate Audacity user, anyone who wants to save time by using Audacity will find the tips and tricks useful.

Franklin, Jerry. Podcast Academy (2006). Articles>Documentation>Audio>Podcasts


Skype for Interviews

A 112-slide presentation on techniques for using Skype for high-quality recordings of audio interviews.

Kaye, Doug and Paul Figgiani. SlideShare (2009). Presentations>Interviewing>Teleconferencing>Audio


Software Environments for Technical Writing

Starting with the development of Caterpillar Fundamental English in the 1970's, industry has made several attempts to formalize and standardize the writing process, both to promote consistency and quality for the reader and to improve the possibilities for automatic text processing (e.g. translation to other languages). In this presentation, I will review the work we have done at the Language Technologies Institute on a software environment for automatic document checking, specifically to address the issue of how such environments can be productive (and hence useful) for the technical writer.

Nyberg, Eric. EServer (1998). Presentations>Lectures>Streaming>Audio


Solving the Corporate Dilemma

Uses several case studies of corporate podcasting to help illustrate the important points management should consider when deciding how they can best use podcasting. It is often difficult for companies to interest and capture their audience; it is crucial therefore to create compelling--and in some cases exclusive--content.

Geoghegan, Michael. Podcast Academy (2006). Articles>Management>Audio>Podcasting


Speech-Enable Web Applications Using RDC with Voice Toolkit

Speech applications have come to be in demand with many applications, which can sound daunting to developers who have never before made provisions for speech. Don't put it off, though, believing that it means a massive rewriting of your current offerings. It is now possible to enhance current Web applications, or develop new ones, with the Voice Toolkit and Reusable Dialog Components. Learn to construct successful voice apps, and without a big learning curve.

Dhanakshirur, Girish. IBM (2005). Articles>Web Design>User Interface>Audio


The Ears Have It: Podcasting in the Enterprise and Out   (PDF)

Podcasting is more than a platform for reviews or polemic. It's also a powerful tool within the enterprise for training, for marketing, and for documentation. Imagine being able to carry product information or supplementary material with you and not have to worry about stacks of paper? You can do that with a podcast.

DMN Communications (2008). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Podcasting


The Perfect Voice — Professional or Authentic?

One trend I think we’ll see more and more is the decrease of professional voiceover actors in screencasts when those voiceover actors are merely reading a script they don’t understand. As an example, watch some of the tutorials at lynda.com. The narrators may not be professional voiceover actors, but they are subject matter experts. You can tell they’re not just saying words they don’t understand. They’re narrating and showing intricate parts of the screen at the same time. They’re describing processes and tips with the right articulation and inflection that shows they understand the software. I’m willing to bet most users would trade a professional voice for an authentic voice.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Professionalism


Three Low-Cost Microphones for Screencasting

Uses Audacity to compare three microphones. It shows the progressive improvements achieved by using a USB microphone and a larger desktop microphone. The microphones are: 1) analog Altec Lansing, 2) Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000, 3) Samson C01U.

Bower, Tim. ShowMeDo (2009). Articles>Multimedia>Screencasts>Audio


Traceability, Reproducibility, Compatibility - Quality Control Elements in Audio Information Transfer   (PDF)

In transfer from one medium to another or one format to another, the target format may be able to hold more information or less information than the original. According to the purpose of the transfer, a selection offeatures may be made as a minimum requirement for transfer. Awareness of Traceability, Reproducibility and Compatibility will ensure the fulfilment of these requirements. The dedicated transfer station approach using calibrated equipment is contrasted with the use of diagnostic signals for use with transfer stations of any standard. The advantages and disadvantages of the respective approaches are mentioed, in particular as regards long term storage. The background for creating diagnostic signalsfor transfer of mechanical recordings is discussed in depth.

Brock-Nannestad, George. STC Proceedings (1998). Design>Multimedia>Streaming>Audio


Transcripts on the Web: Getting People to Your Podcasts and Videos

It's easy and relatively inexpensive for website developers to provide transcripts for multimedia. It many cases transcripts are required by law to provide access to information for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Transcripts are an SEO silver bullet for audio and video, and bring more people to your podcast, videos, and website.

Henry, Shawn Lawton. uiAccess (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Audio


Trying to Find a Theater Stage/Voice for an Impossible Situation

In listening to my voice in the screencasts, it’s clear that I still have a lot to learn. I’m not even close to the personal, conversational-sounding audio voice that I want to achieve. It sounds like I’m reading a script. It’s slow and dull. My teammates recommended that I read a little faster, that I add more inflection and maybe even switch to an outline rather than read a script. I agree, but it’s hard to do that. It’s hard to develop that personal voice.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasting


Up-To-Date Replay Facilities for Obsolete Mechanical Recording Formats   (PDF)

Obsolete mechanical formats forma major part of archives’ holdings, Once a format has passed into obsolescence, there is virtually no commercial development in replay facilities, and the system as such dies. The paper discusses the fundamental principles of mechanical recording and replay as well as the latest constructions for replaying historical discs and cylinders - commercial and non-commercial. An Aaliendum gives simple instructions to the archive having only an occasional need to replay historical formats.

Brock-Nannestad, George. STC Proceedings (1998). Articles>Multimedia>Online>Audio


Using Customized Sounds Effectively

Learn about the advantages of, as well as common tools for creating customizable sounds.

Microsoft (2002). Design>Accessibility>Software>Audio



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