A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The End of Solution Sales

The hardest thing about B2B selling today is that customers don’t need you the way they used to. In recent decades sales reps have become adept at discovering customers’ needs and selling them “solutions”—generally, complex combinations of products and services. This worked because customers didn’t know how to solve their own problems, even though they often had a good understanding of what their problems were. But now, owing to increasingly sophisticated procurement teams and purchasing consultants armed with troves of data, companies can readily define solutions for themselves.

Adamson, Brent, Matthew Dixon and Nicholas Toman. Harvard Business Review (2012). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing>E Commerce


Think Like a Five-Year Old

Most children go through a phase in which everything in their surrounding environment is met with simple question: "Why?" I would contend that those of us in the social space could better help our clients if we all thought a little more like a five-year old.

O'Connor, T.J. New Marketing Labs (2010). Articles>Social Networking>Marketing>Usability


Top Five Tips for Maximising Social Media Presence

Social media has never been so prevalent. Everywhere we turn, we see the constant reference to social media. So it's little surprise that an understanding to social media is a must for every type of organisation and the key element to success is content - targeted and constant. It's all about your knowledge and experience in an industry and simply providing information. But social media is no different to traditional marketing and communications activities and getting back to basics will help ensure your organisation maximises its social media presence. The following 5 tips will help you maximise your social media presence.

Savage, Claire. Webcredible (2010). Articles>Social Networking>Marketing>Business Communication


Trends in Online Advertising

Regular web users will almost certainly be aware of an increasing amount of ‘invasive’ advertising appearing online. A variety of methods are now being used to make online advertising almost unavoidable for the user.

Farrell, Tom. Frontend Infocentre (2001). Articles>Web Design>Marketing>Usability


Twelve Roles Essential to the Future of Content Marketing

What’s the future of content? It’s a question that my friend Lee Odden (author of “Optimize“) has recently been asking on his blog. CMI has also been digging into this important area, both as a content marketing agency and from a hype and positioning perspective. So critical is the changing nature of the content marketing industry, that we have officially altered our editorial strategy because of it.

Pulizzi, Joe. Content Marketing (2013). Careers>Web Design>Marketing


Twenty-Four Ways to Increase Traffic to a Technical or Micro Niche Blog

Making money from technical blogs is an inexact science. What works for one blog, can fail in another. I’ve launched over 200 websites since 1998 (mostly ecommerce) and about 30 blogs (technical). If your blog has a technical slant, for example, its target audience is technical writers, analysts, IT architects, or others technical areas, then experiment with these techniques to increase your traffic.

I Heart Technical Writing (2010). Articles>Web Design>Marketing


The Two-Headed Coin: Usability and Market Research   (PDF)

Tracks the importance of usability and market research by following a typical project through each stage of development.

Bunker, Gary. Intercom (2006). Articles>Usability>Marketing


Understanding the Persuasive Flow

Wiggly, distracting, or poorly placed ads irritate users. Worse, they teach site visitors to ignore whole sections of layout. Yet some online ads work. They capture visitors visually, and present an engaging hook. They get visitors to click. Even, at times, from the home page. So what's the difference?

Michaels, Mary M. UI Design Newsletter (2007). Articles>Web Design>Marketing>Persuasive Design


Usability and Branding: How to Make or Break Usability Conventions to Create Brand Identity

It has long been acknowledged in the study of usability, that the usability of a product affects the associated brand identity. While study of usability is universal to any product design, it has sprung up with the advent of the world wide web. It is becoming more important of individuals and institutions to establish a strong on-line identity for themselves or their products.

Content Matters (2006). Articles>Web Design>Marketing>Usability


Usability and Online Branding

Improving ‘brand experience’ online is not normally regarded as the primary goal of a usability strategy. In some circles usability and branding would even be seen as mutually exclusive, based on the assumption that successful branding relies on ever more garish visual design and an extensive use of animation, audio streaming, or whatever the latest cutting-edge technology might happen to be.

Farrell, Tom. Frontend Infocentre (2001). Design>Web Design>Marketing>Usability


Usability Perspective on Banner Ads

I recently have read a lot about the use of banner ads. My short answer is that they don't work. They might be useful for branding and image campaigns but they are not usable and users don't like them at all.

Rhodes, John S. WebWord (1999). Design>Web Design>Marketing>Usability



Usarchy is een weblog met eigen artikelen over usability (gebruikersvriendelijkheid) en online marketing. Usarchy gaat vaak over gemiste online marketing kansen. Dit is waar usability de degens kruist met online marketing projecten. En dat is waar maar al te vaak usability verliest, de gebruiker verliest, en daardoor de efficiëntie van online marketing verliest.

Timmerman, Ruben. Usarchy. (Dutch) Resources>Business Communication>Marketing>Blogs


Use of Cognitive Tricks in Web Advertising

Web advertisers resort to many unethical approaches (in my personal opinion) under the pretext of creativity. Let us learn about it.

Katre, Dinesh S. Journal of HCI Vistas (2006). Articles>Web Design>Marketing>Cognitive Psychology


Use Your Website to Pre-Qualify Customers

Not only should your website be clear on what your company delivers, it should also indicate what you do not deliver. Below are some tips for achieving this clarity.

Bennaco (2004). Design>Web Design>Marketing


User Adoption: A War with Two Fronts

Any user adoption campaign is essentially a war waged on two fronts: Trying to entice the later adopters to come on board while battling resistance from the early adopters to anything that makes it easy for them. I suspect this problem is most pronounced in non-profit and governmental organizations that are not as driven by the economics of user adoption as commercial enterprises are. I also suspect it is higher in technology communities.

Hughes, Michael A. Humane Experience, The (2010). Articles>Technology>Marketing


User Payments: Predictions for 2001 Revisited

Advertising-supported websites will soon be a thing of the past. As I predicted a year ago, sites began charging for services in 2001. Although most sites are still not handling payments right, two innovative European projects hold much hope for 2002.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2001). Articles>Web Design>Marketing


Using Ezine Articles to Promote Your Business

Writing ezine articles can be a massive benefit to your business - find out exactly why!

Beckart, Loren. Webcredible (2005). Design>Web Design>Marketing


Using Social Media and Blogs to Your Advantage

Consumers no longer have to rely only on mass media for information. More often than not, they are turning to colleagues, friends and other people they trust for advice on what products and services to buy, generally trying to avoid sales people altogether. Understandably, this is what makes social media so effective, and one of the reasons why it can have such a positive impact on your bottom line.

Buchanan, Ryan. Communication World Bulletin (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing>Online


A Visual Tour Through the Basics of Social Media Marketing

I've been asked several times to give presentations on the basics of social media marketing, and have now refined my 15 minute introductory tour to the point where I think it's fairly good (and I'm really damn picky about my presentations). The following presentation (in visual and text form) should be helpful for anyone trying to convince their bosses, team or cohorts that investing in SMM is a worthwhile pursuit.

SEOmoz (2007). Articles>Web Design>Social Networking>Marketing


The Web for Your Company: Magic Bullet or Poison Pill?

There are basically two types of companies. The first see the Internet as a poison pill, the rest see it a magic bullet. The poison pill companies fear the Web. They see the rush of companies onto the Internet, and they feel that they must join the stampede. They are bitter, they feel slow, and they are angry that the Web has changed the game. The magic bullet companies see the Web as a new frontier, they embrace change, and they capitalize on the Internet hysteria. Rather than simply throwing a Web site out there, they are making the Internet part of their business. They are building the Internet into their strategic plans, and they are taking it for a ride.

Rhodes, John S. WebWord (1999). Articles>Web Design>Marketing


Web Personalization for One-to-One Web Marketing

Web personalization allows you to have a Web site that tailors Web content to a Web user's preferences and other profile information. In addition, a personalization system logs every Web page displayed to every user so you can develop a "clickstream" view of what they saw, when they saw it, and for how long. Just imagine what you could learn about your audience with a complete understanding of their Web usage.

Allen, Cliff. Allen.com (2003). Design>Web Design>Personalization>Marketing


Welcoming "Joe Canadian" into our Living Rooms: the Spaces of Canadian Advertising   (PDF)

The question of space has been a preoccupation of writers in critical theory for some decades. From the reconsideration of architectural practice which focuses on the user, to a broader interest in the physical locations of the production and consumption of culture, writers are paying increasing attention to the effects of the spatial on our engagements with cultural forms as a means of expanding our understanding of the meanings of those forms themselves.

Whitelaw, Anne. University of Alberta (2003). Articles>Communication>Marketing>Canada


What About Writing?   (peer-reviewed)

Like many businesses, many academic programs in professional and technical communication attempt to promote themselves as unique and as fulfilling a particular niche. Such specific orientations can serve a marketing function. For instance, some professional and technical programs use their advertising literature to promote classes that train students in the uses of cutting edge technologies. And as this conference's call for proposals suggests, some programs may begin to focus primarily on a particular type of technical communication such as computer documentation, medical writing, or multimedia.

Praetorius, Pete. CPTSC Proceedings (2000). Academic>Education>WPA>Marketing


What I Learned From Television

Despite the increasing number of website ads, consumers aren’t necessarily getting their feathers ruffled more, they’re getting smarter.

Danzico, Liz. Boxes and Arrows (2005). Articles>Web Design>Marketing>E Commerce


What’s the Point of User Documentation, from a Marketing Perspective?

In order to understand the way marketing people see the world, it’s worth reading Blogs on marketing (by people such as Seth Godin), the Cluetrain Manifesto, and reading a few books on marketing.

Pratt, Ellis. Cherryleaf (2009). Articles>Documentation>Technical Writing>Marketing



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