A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Blogging, Podcasting, and Screencasting: Eight Characteristics to Attract Devoted Followers (Part I)

Devoted followers stay updated with each new post, podcast, or screencast, eagerly awaiting the next new one. They’re intimately familiar with your content and either comment regularly or regularly return to your site.

Johnson, Tom H. Tech Writer Voices (2009). Articles>Blogging>Podcasting>Screencasting


Blogging, Podcasting, and Screencasting: Eight Characteristics to Attract Devoted Followers (Part II)

Devoted followers stay updated with each new post, podcast, or screencast, eagerly awaiting the next new one. They’re intimately familiar with your content and either comment regularly or regularly return to your site.

Johnson, Tom H. Tech Writer Voices (2009). Articles>Publishing>Blogging>Podcasting


Blogging: A New Role for Technical Communicators

The online transition to web 2.0, with its proliferation of blogs, wikis, podcasts, tweets, and other user-generated content, has posed a question for the state of help content. Should help material concern itself with web 2.0? Do users want to interact and contribute to help content in the same way they contribute and interact with web content? What is the technical writer’s role in relation to new media?

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2009). Articles>TC>Writing>Blogging


Blogging: A Way to Give a Bit More Meaning to Life

I’ve realized that having a blog helps me think more about my professional activities and interactions than I would otherwise. I give them more thought because I think about whether they’re something I can write about.

Gryphon Mountain (2009). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing>Blogging


Blogs and Online Help - Why You Need Both! | User Documentation, Blog Writing Service, Social Media Management

Starting a blog that supplements your online help or user documentation allows you to fill in any information gaps and has the added bonus of all Web 2.0 features.

Bidkar, Prasanna. RightMix Technologies LLP (2012). Articles>Blogging>Online


Blogs and Technical Communication

Blogs are a simple, yet powerful tool and their popularity is rapidly growing. How are blogs affecting the community and technical communication?

Cottrell, Christina. Michigan State University (2003). Articles>Content Management>TC>Blogging


Blogs as Disruptive Tech

Content Management is starting to wrestle with what Clayton Christensen calls The Innovator's Dilemma: the inability of successful companies to adapt to a new, disruptive technology.

Hiler, John. Web Crimson (2002). Articles>Content Management>Technology>Blogging


Blogs on the Side

Blogging as a trend has gained enormous popularity with the simplification of automated self-publishing systems, such as Blogger at www.blogger.com, or MT at www.moveabletype.org. Blogging as a way of life is also gathering adherents at a rapid pace.

Young, Lisa. MetroVoice (2003). Articles>Publishing>Online>Blogging


Blogs: The Fast Track to Getting Global Awareness

“We need to get global awareness fast,” says your CEO. “Make it happen.” When faced with the need to rapidly increase your organization’s visibility around the world, there are some daunting and expensive challenges, particularly if your company does not have a local presence in the countries it is targeting. Hiring local public relations and marketing communication talent, translating collateral into local languages and identifying and getting into both formal and informal business networks are just a few of these challenges.

Albrycht, Elizabeth. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing>Blogging


Blogs: Viral, Targeted, Fast, Informative--And Becoming Critical

The world of blogging, also known as the blogosphere, is wild, highly viral, uncensored and unedited. It is also the newest and most critical tool in a business communicator's toolbox. Why? Because with blogs, communicators can quickly, regularly and easily deliver a variety of information to a highly targeted audience. A good blog will create a more personal relationship with customers and influencers by showing that the company is listening and responding to what they have to say.

Cohen, Ephraim. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Online>Blogging


Building an Accessible Blog   (members only)

The accessibility of blogs is generally determined by the accessibility knowledge of the blogger and the accessibility of the software that is used to create the blog (Shelly & Pezely 2008). While I can't help with the latter, I can give you some tips to enhance your accessibility knowledge. Here are some things to keep in mind when you write a blog. I'll start with two things that should sound familiar.

Roberts, Linda Enders. Intercom (2011). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Blogging


Building Trust in a Corporate Blog

Writing a professional blog—whether you do it under your own name as Tom does, or under a company’s banner as I do—is about building a brand. By brand I mean the personality that you want to project. Just as companies have brands in the marketplace, individuals have brands in the professional communities they inhabit. Companies and individuals want people to feel comfortable interacting with them. Building trust in the brand is the key. The process of building trust is mostly the same for corporate blogs and for individual blogs.

Kunz, Lawrence D. I'd Rather Be Writing (2011). Articles>Business Communication>Blogging


Business Blogs: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

How should we evaluate the corporate blogs that do exist? Laura and I have come up with this list of criteria that we think the best corporate blogs should have. This might change as we start working through the list as we, like you, may learn a few things about what can and should be done with corporate blogs.

Fuller, Liz. Business and Blogging (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Blogging


CEO Blogs: Polish Them Up Please

CEO Blogs should be vastly superior to any other run of the mill blogs on the web. But in many cases, they're worse. Discover 10 common errors made by CEO bloggers and how to correct them. Plus, a link to a wiki-compiled list of current CEO blogs.

Streight, Steven. Blogger.com (2005). Articles>Writing>Public Relations>Blogging


Choosing a Blogging Platform

Are you thinking of jumping into the world of blogging? Well, you need a place in which to do it. This post looks at four blogging platforms that you can use to launch your blogging efforts.

Nesbitt, Scott. ScottNesbitt.net (2011). Articles>Blogging>Software


Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

Weblogs (blogs) have been heralded as a new space for collaborative creativity, a medium for breaking free of the constraints of previous forms and allowing authors greater access to flexible publishing methods. This generalization seems extreme: genre studies done by Crowston and Williams (2000) and Shepherd and Watters (1998) lend credence to the notion that weblogs are evolutionary descendents of other visual media, such as newspapers and pamphlets. In this study, we apply content-analytic methods (Bauer, 2000) to a random sample of weblogs as a means of exploring current visual trends within the blogosphere.

Scheidt, Lois Ann and Elijah Wright. Into the Blogosphere (2004). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Blogging


Company Strategies for Blog Content That Avoids Controversy

Companies face a tough challenge – probably the most difficult challenge in the blogging arena – to establish trust with readers. In my previous post on Hiding Controversial Information, I explained the need for companies to address controversy in order to engage readers. If they don’t address it, they abdicate the conversation about these topics to their competitors. However, getting the green light from management to address a controversy or some other negative messaging issue can be difficult, if not impossible.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2012). Articles>Business Communication>Blogging


Content Delivery in the "Blogosphere"

While a few educators have already started using blogs in the classroom, more have focused on the potential of blogging in teaching and learning.

Ferdig, Richard E. and Kaye D. Trammell. T.H.E. Journal (2004). Articles>Web Design>Communication>Blogging


Conversation by Blog: Expanding Personal Technology into the Academic Community   (PDF)

In the last two years, individuals on the Web have begun to maintain personal Web sites which are referred to as Weblogs (blogs). A blog is distinct from other forms of electronic documentation in that it functions as a public, electronic diary, consisting of short, frequently-updated personal reflections and reports of activity. A typical blog is composed of daily entries of no more than a paragraph. Blogs are often accompanied by and supplemented with image galleries, curricula vitae, and archives of past postings. Blogs are also subject to trends: for example, many blogs in December include Christmas wish lists. Like e-mail and unlike other traditional forms of publication, blogs often include a comments feature which allows the reader to engage in discussion with the blog's writer and other readers by directly attaching a posting to the daily or topical entry. Although this approach to Web site design has been widely adopted by technophiles under the age of thirty, it also holds promise as a mechanism for a conversational form of knowledge development that previous technologies have not readily facilitated. This paper outlines the potential expansion of the blog as a venue for professional and philosophical discussion by the visual communication design community and other similar professional groups.

Radzikowska, Milena. University of Alberta (2003). Articles>Writing>Online>Blogging


Corporate Blogging and the Technical Writer   (PDF)

Corporate blogging is rapidly becoming another way for companies to communicate with their customers and increase internal communication. Learn about the advantages and future of blogging and how to get started.

Johnson, Tom H. Intercom (2006). Articles>Business Communication>Writing>Blogging


Corporate Blogging Policies

I wrote in a recent report, that companies should have a blogging policy to provide guidelines for employees who want to have blogs. This primarily relates to employee's personal blogs and lays out the guidelines of what the company expects. As expected, policies will vary greatly depending on company circumstance. Here are a few examples and also, my variation.

Li, Charlene. Socialtext (2006). Articles>Business Communication>Blogging>Policies and Procedures


Corporate Blogs: Front Page Structure

Showing summaries of many articles is more likely to draw in users than providing full articles, which can quickly exhaust reader interest.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2010). Articles>Blogging>Business Communication>Information Design


Corporate Blogs: Measure Their Value!

To date, ROI hasn't been applied to blogs. This is partly due to blogging recent introduction to the marketing mix. Many blogging experts have suggested calculating a blog ROI is impossible. As a professor, I teach students how to tie marketing to the bottom line. Calculating ROI for a blog should be no harder than calculating it for other marketing components. To place ROI measurements in context, you must first understand how blogs fulfill different business objectives.

Cohen, Heidi. ClickZ (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Blogging>Assessment


Corporate Blogs: Minefield or Bonanza?

Blogs are the lifeblood of the "social internet" and with around 60 million blogs currently in existence they provide a large proportion of the content available online. This gives them huge potential as a tool for companies to engage with an audience in a way that hasn't really been possible before, but very few businesses seem to be taking advantage of the phenomenon. Why is that?

Oxer, Jonathan. Internet Vision Technologies (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Blogging


Culture Clash: Journalism and the Communal Ethos of the Blogosphere

In taking the costs of publishing to their near vanishing point, blogging represents one of the most democratic media or media formats in history. As such, traditional print journalism’s natural response has been to embrace the form, encourage it, proliferate it, and to use blogs to fulfill journalism’s mission of informing an electorate and, therefore, bettering democracy. Not quite.

Carroll, Brian. Into the Blogosphere (2004). Articles>Communication>Journalism>Blogging



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