'But I don't know anyone is a common response when I give people the advice to build their professional networks. What they really mean is 'I don't know anyone who can give me a job.' This protest and response is missing the point. Networking is not justabout finding work. It's about building a professional network of peers who keep in touch on a professional level, who can help each other out from time to time, share pertinent information, and keeping your mind in shape.
Thousands of message boards for individual companies have emerged over the last few years, creating a window on what some employees feel but never say publicly. Often the view through this window is rather ugly.
Interuniversity partnerships are widely encouraged as a way for public universities to pool increasingly scarce resources, to minimize duplication of academic programs, and to cooperate rather than compete. Joint programs in technical communication have not been widely studied, but they seem especially logical for several reasons.
A collaborative knowledge space would provide great value to the usability community. In particular it would: Help define the field and give it a presence that provides professionals and the public with a single source for theoretical, practical and speculative information about usability; encourage the integration of research and practice; invite colleagues in related fields to participate and share their perspectives; serve as a platform to advance our understanding of collaboration and knowledge management tools. Most of the tools needed to implement a collaborative knowledge space are already available and there are a number of related activities already underway that could feed into this project. It would be a great deal of work but I believe it would also yield a great deal of benefit.
There are countless usability blogs, message boards and listservers. But to my knowledge, no one has attempted to integrate all this information into a single, collaborative knowledge space. I believe that creating such a knowledge space would be of immense benefit to the usability profession and would be a wonderful platform on which to refine our understanding of social computing and knowledge management.
In partial answer to the many questions that have been raised about the definition and location of technical writing programs, a random sample of full-time teachers of professional writing was conducted. The results indicate that those located in English departments do not receive the respect and support they need. Those located in other departments are significantly more satisfied. Some strategies for improving the situation are suggested.
The article alerts technical communicators to wiki technology, an emerging new medium that allows dispersed groups to create shared content via collaborative editing and different-time communication. Wiki-based collaborative content creation enables new communication practices and thereby challenges several assumptions of existing media choice theories.
Teams, like individuals, go through various developmental stages. Understanding these stages enables a team leader to know if the team is developing normally. Although the team leader’s role and level of involvement vary from stage to stage, there are strategies that the leader can use to spur the team’s growth at each stage.
Not only baby showers, but board rooms and caucuses are subject to missed invitations and can result in missed meetings, failed agreements, inaction, or incorrect action. The question is why did this, and more generally, why does this happen? And what can be done to prevent it from happening in the future?
The non-writer who takes over the documentation can act like a bull in a China closet, copying and pasting from Word, mixing styles, not understanding the setup, basically wrecking the consistency, the bullet levels, the formatting. If you see the documentation later and find that the client has added steps without numbers, included text that breaks every rule in the style guide, won’t that be unnerving? Yes, it will make you want to jump out the window.
Welcome to the Center for the Study of Group Processes. We're located in the Sociology Department at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. This site offers access to information about the Center, as well as group processes research, researchers, and events at Iowa and around the country.
Talking to a CEO about usability can be wonderful or terrifying. The difference between raging success and total failure comes down to understanding exactly what the CEO needs to know and then adjusting your usability message to fit. This article explains how to understand various contexts, and in turn, how to position your usability message.
Open source development works because of remote collaboration; developers working together despite physical distance. With mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships, in-house developers are struggling with the same issues open source developers have addressed. Mark Murphy explains some of the challenges of remote collaboration.
Historically India attracted a lot of Western attention due to its different and complex culture, its spiritual philosophy and rich natural resources. Obviously, this attraction had both positive and negative effects. However, during the many centuries of colonization the country tried to safeguard its unique cultures and value systems. Nowadays, India as a country with a booming economy and a relatively stable democratic system looks even more promising to the West. All this explains the growing stream of foreign tourists, business people and researchers.
Technical communication practices have been changed dramatically by the increasingly ubiquitous nature of digital technologies. Yet, while those who work in the profession have been living through this dramatic change, our academic discipline has been moving at a slower pace, at times appearing quite unsure about how to proceed. This article focuses on the following three areas of opportunity for change in our discipline in relation to digital technologies: access and expectations, scholarship and community building, and accountability and partnering.
The Chapter Development Stem offers sessions for all conference participants, not just the STC leadership. We have broadened the scope of the stem to create room for some new and innovative topics that compliment our traditional mix of chapter-related sessions. So take a look at what we have to offer and think about how you can include several Chapter Development sessions in your conference plans.
Chapter seminars help members by providing current technical communication information, significant additional chapter funding, recruitment of new members, and a proving ground for new leaders. Seminars need a definite organization and leaders need clearly defined responsibilities and authorities. Seminars must provide useful relevant information, either focused or diverse, delivered effectively by skilled speakers. Seminars are not expanded monthly meetings; they must be quiet properly equipped pleasant facilities. Seminar finances must be balanced to provide the desired surplus, or the sting of lost funds will linger long after the sweet success of a stimulating program is forgotten.
This is the recording of the presentation from the Catalyze Community monthly webcast featuring Charlie Kreitzberg on December 13, 2007. Charlie spoke on "Web 2 and You - How Web 2.0 Will Catapult Business Analysts and Usability Professionals into Center Stage" which examined his models for understanding Web 2.0 and explored the vast opportunities for professionals who define and design new software and websites.
You may only get one opportunity in a home visit and good planning and preparation is important. Here are some tips and hints from recent home site visits in both China and Taiwan.
Numerous surveys across a diverse range of IT projects have identified that the lack of support from senior management (project sponsorship) is one of the biggest causes of project failure. This briefing explores the need for a project sponsor, the role they need to play, and how to choose one.
Consumer users have been reaping the benefits of the utility model in cloud computing for years — at the application as a service level. It is developers and IT who are using cloud computing in a transformative way now. IaaS and PaaS allows them to develop, test, deploy and run apps that can scale on enterprise grade technology, all without having to pay the capital expense for the underlying infrastructure. This is creating a new cloud economy and truly represents the democratization of computing.
It's not about what software you use, or how you organize your document, or how big the document is; but about whether the expectations the client has set, have been met. The question is, then, how do we assure we're meeting all the client's expectations? The answer is client buy-in.
During the last few years in projects, I interacted with a lot of clients. All these projects were based offshore, where client interaction was mainly through emails or teleconferences. When you do not work face-to-face with clients, communication is key to win your clients' confidence.