A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Bilingual Team Writing: How One Company Is Meeting the Demands of Simultaneous Software and Documentation Release in Multiple Languages   (PDF)

A company decides to release its software and documentation simultaneously in markets with different languages. For the documentation team, the traditional model of 'write and translate' does not work any longer. A bilingual writing team collaborates to produce a handbook in two languages at the same time.

Duffy, Gerald J. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Documentation>Localization>Collaboration


Bilingual Team Writing: Planning a Project   (PDF)

A two-person bilingual writing team enabled a software application development group to produce on-line documentation and a user guide simultaneously in two languages. Team writing in an international environment requires detailed planning, constant monitoring, and continuous communication in order to succeed.

MacKay, Brenda. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Project Management>Localization>Collaboration


Boost Your LinkedIn Profile with Recommendations   (members only)

Whenever someone writes a recommendation, the honoree always has the opportunity to accept, decline, or edit the recommendation before it gets posted to their LinkedIn page. So you needn't worry about what a connection might say; you always have the chance to change it or simply not post it.

Maggiani, Rich. Intercom (2011). Articles>Social Networking>Collaboration


Boundary Objects as Rhetorical Exigence: Knowledge Mapping and Interdisciplinary Cooperation at the Los Alamos National Laboratory   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article uses qualitative material gathered at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to construct a model of the rhetorical activity that occurs at the boundaries between diverse communities of practice working on complex sociotechnical systems. The authors reinterpret the notion of the boundary object current in science studies as a rhetorical construct that can foster cooperation and communication among the diverse members of heterogeneous working groups. The knowledge maps constructed by team members at LANL in their work on technical systems are boundary objects that can replace the demarcation exigence that so often leads to agonistic rhetorical boundary work with an integrative exigence. The integrative exigence realized by the boundary object of the knowledge map can help create a temporary trading zone characterized by rhetorical relations of symmetry and mutual understanding. In such cases, boundary work can become an effort involving integration and understanding rather than contest, controversy, and demarcation.

Wilson, Greg and Carl G. Herndl. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2007). Articles>Scientific Communication>Collaboration>Rhetoric



Brainstorming is an individual or group process for generating alternative ideas or solutions for a specific topic. Good brainstorming focuses on the quantity and creativity of ideas: the quality of ideas is much less important than the sheer quantity. After ideas are generated, they are often grouped into categories and prioritized for subsequent research or application.

Usability Body of Knowledge (2007). Articles>Usability>Methods>Collaboration


Breaking Down the Silos: Usability Practitioners Meet Marketing Researchers

I often find that client companies keep two disciplines locked up in separate silos—usability research within IT and marketing research within the Marketing Services department. This can have a serious impact on the sharing of information relating to customer experience.

Kozatch, David. UXmatters (2008). Articles>Usability>Marketing>Collaboration


Breaking the Ice With SIN SIG

SIN stands for Shy, Inactive, or New. I admit that it wasn't my original idea--I appropriated the name and concept from another organization.

Miller, Elisa K. Tieline (2006). Articles>Collaboration>Management


Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Decentralizing a Doc Group   (PDF)

Re-engineering — a word that strikes fear into the hearts of middle-management. Our company was hit by reengineering fever in 1995–6, and word came down that we were to break up our comfortable little documentation group and distribute the writers among product development teams. We did it, and we did it right. In this paper, we · Review the thinking and planning that went into the conversion of a 30-person, centralized, corporatewide documentation group into a decentralized, loosely affiliated community of technical writers. · Describe the implementation of our plans and some of the pitfalls we encountered and overcame. · Share an evaluation of the success of the reorganization, and some tips that we learned along the way.

Kove, Jennifer and David Drexler. STC Proceedings (1998). Presentations>Management>Collaboration


Bridging the Gap Between Creative and Technical Types

Does a gap between those considered creative types and those considered technical types really exist, or is it just a perception we've fostered?

Torok, Karen. Hanson (2001). Design>Project Management>Collaboration


Bring Workplace Assessment Into Business Communication Classrooms: a Proposal to Better Prepare Students for Professional Workplaces   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

To help students better understand and be better prepared for professional workplaces, the author suggests that business communication teachers examine and learn from workplace assessment methods. Throughout the article, the author discusses the rationale behind this proposal, reviews relevant literature, reports interview findings on workplace assessment, and compares classroom and workplace practices to suggest areas where we can meaningfully bridge the two.

Yu, Han. Business Communication Quarterly (2010). Articles>Education>Collaboration>Assessment


Bringing Practitioners into Programs

Four presentations about how to connect academic programs with workplace practitioners in technical communication.

Barker, Thomas, David Dayton, Elizabeth O. (Betsy) Smith and Tracy Bridgeford. CPTSC (2005). Presentations>Education>Collaboration>Workplace


Bringing Social Media to the Writing Classroom: Classroom Salon   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article introduces a new IText technology called Classroom Salon. The goal of Classroom Salon is to bring some of the benefits of social media—the expression of personal identity and community—to writing classrooms. It provides Facebook-like features to writing classes, where students can form social networks as annotators within the drafts of their peers. The authors discuss how the technology seeks to capture qualities of historical salons, which also built communities around texts. They also discuss the central features of the Classroom Salon system, how the system changes the dynamics of the writing classroom, current efforts to evaluate it, and future directions.

Kaufer, David S., Ananda Gunawardena, Aaron Tan and Alexander Cheek. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2011). Articles>Education>Social Networking>Collaboration


Bubba Awards: Recognition on a Shoestring   (PDF)

This paper is an explanation of a low-cost and high-fun method used by the Lone Star Chapter to recognize officers and committee managers for their work during the past year.

Skinner, Judith N. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Collaboration>Community Building>STC


The Bucket Brigade: A Hands-On Workshop on Mobilizing Communications Resources to Extinguish Company or Client Fires   (PDF)

Technical communicators are accustomed to being thrown into the breech when their employers or clients confront severe business challenges. Rather than rush into the fray, we stand a better chance of tilting the business outcomes in our companies’ or clients’ favor if we remain disciplined under fire. A good way to achieve that discipline is to structure the communications team in a manner best suited to collaborative ventures and then implement those ventures in an orderly process called integrated strategic communication. This workshop begins with a brief explanation of how the Communications Department at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control - Orlando (LMMFC-O) uses integrated strategic communication to defend the company’s existing business base or seek new business in the fiercely competitive defense industry. Workshop participants will work in teams to complete practical hands-on exercises applying the process of integrated strategic communication to scenarios involving pressing business/technical communication challenges.

Voss, Daniel W. and William C. Wiese. STC Proceedings (2001). Careers>Management>Collaboration


Building a Bridge to Europe

Early in April 2001, delegates from the European societies for technical communication met for the first time in Brussels, following a joint invitation by tekom - the German society -- and ISTC - the UK institute. Among the represented societies were CRT (France), FTI (Sweden), ISTC (United Kingdom), STD (Finland), STIC (Netherlands), TECOM (Switzerland) and tekom (Germany and Austria). The most important outcome was the formulation of a joint declaration of intent to found a European-wide 'umbrella' organisation.

Wirtz, Ursula. TC-FORUM (2001). Articles>Collaboration>Regional>Europe


Building a Creative Project Team

I will be blogging about team creativity over the next few weeks, to share ideas and best practices for helping your team achieve their creative peak. Maybe you will find an idea that you can use to help your team work differently. But first, let’s look at the symptoms and causes of team complacency.

Dodia, Susan. Project Coach, The (2009). Articles>Management>Project Management>Collaboration


Building a Project Site   (PDF)

Wilkinson explains how to use a project site to manage a Web site project.

Wilkinson, Theresa A. Intercom (2000). Design>Web Design>Collaboration


Building a Vision of Design Success

A common view of vision is that it's something handed down by a leader to the troops. When a redesign goes awry, the troops complain, 'There was no vision.' But the problem goes deeper than either scenario; the problem is that there was no shared vision.

Wodtke, Christina. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Design>Web Design>Management>Collaboration


Building and Maintaining Student Chapters   (PDF)

Developing a strong student STC chapter is a challenging and rewarding experience. Those of us who are involved in this process can certainly benefit from sharing our ideas in a directed workshop atmosphere. Participants will exchange ideas and formulate working strategies for the development, maintenance, and growth of a student chapter.

Fink, Bonnie L. and William O. Coggin. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Collaboration>Education>STC


Building and Managing Virtual Teams

Chris Nagele’s run Wildbit, creators of hosted Subversion app Beanstalk, for 8 years virtually. He lives in Philadelphia and his team is all over the world. So, he knows a few things about virtual teams and shares them in this article.

Nagele, Chris. Vitamin (2008). Articles>Management>Collaboration>Online


Building Effective Relationships with Engineers   (PDF)

As the cycle times for developing new software technologies continue to shrink, the relationship between those who develop technology and those who write about it becomes ever more a factor in maintaining up-to-date, complete, and accurate documentation. Strong, positive working writerengineer relationships can relieve interdepartmental tensions and reduce the anxiety experienced by both writers and engineers at the end of a release cycle. Too often, differences in personality, communication style, and job requirements become barriers to building strong relationships. By examining our differences, we can explore strategies to improve the writer-engineer relationship.

Dwyer, Ginger K. STC Proceedings (1999). Presentations>Collaboration


Building Relationships Between University Programs and Local STC Chapters   (PDF)

Collaboration between academic programs and STC chapters builds a sense of community and relevance for all participants. Neither academic programs or professional chapters by themselves provide sufficient educational or professional development opportunities. Working together helps inform faculty and students about workplace trends, helps introduce students to their future professional opportunities, and provides chapter members and their companies and organizations with access to up-to-date research and to students before they go on the job market.

Cunningham, Donald H. STC Proceedings (2003). Articles>Collaboration>Industry and Academy>STC


Building Successful Teams in the Midst of Transition

Some people seem to thrive on change. How do they do it? How do they manage change in a way that they not only survive, but also excel? They seem to make change work for them. Here are five essentials on how to take your team through times of transition. One of the most significant essentials for success during transition is teambuilding. Leaders who can challenge, motivate and empower their teams through change are successful.

McKee, Thomas W. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Careers>Management>Collaboration


Building the UX Dreamteam - Part 2

Skills in research, information architecture, interaction design, graphic design and writing define the recognized areas of User Experience design. However, there still remains much to discuss about what makes a UX team dreamy. Each UX Dreamteam has a finely tuned mix of skills and qualities, as varied as the environments in which they operate. Part two will address whether a person has the right ‘hard’ skills and ‘soft’ qualities like communication style, creativity and leadership ability to fit your particular organizational context. We’ll also touch on the quality of an individual’s personality that may or may not complement the others on your team.

Colfelt, Anthony. Boxes and Arrows (2008). Careers>Management>User Experience>Collaboration


Business and Design

As the number of designers interested in owning a seat at the corporate decision-making “table” grows, the number of business strategies advocating design solutions expands as well. Designers keep asking: “how can we convince business owners that investments in design processes are money well spent?” Simultaneously, a number of business publications (most notably Fast Company) are telling corporate decision makers that “design matters.” It’s useful for both sides to view the discussion from each other’s perspective.

Wroblewski, Luke. Functioning Form (2005). Articles>Management>Design>Collaboration



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