A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Typically, the earlier a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.

 

1.
#30998

404 File Not Found: Citing Unstable Web Sources   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Researchers, including students, must accommodate to the mutating character of hyperlinks on the World Wide Web. A small study of citations in three volumes of BCQ demonstrates the phenomenon of 'URL rot,' the disappearance of sites cited in the sample articles. Digital technology itself is now being used to create pockets of permanence, but with the understanding that preservation of content is only one ingredient in the mix of media and format migration. Databases like JSTOR offer digitally preserved copies of many scholarly journals. Online journals and search engines may offer their own archives. In general, researchers should cite digital articles in databases where possible and consider avoiding references to online journals with print editions.

Griffin, Frank. Business Communication Quarterly (2003). Articles>Research>Style Guides>Online

2.
#32319

Aardvark et al.: Quality Journals and Gamesmanship in Management Studies   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Publication in quality journals has become a major indicator of research performance in UK universities. This paper investigates the notion of `quality journal' and finds dizzying circularity in its definitions. Actually, what a quality journal is does not really matter: agreement that there are such things matters very much indeed. As so often happens with indicators of performance, the indicator has become the target. So, the challenge is to publish in quality journals, and the challenge rewards gamesmanship. Vested interests have become particularly skilful at the game, and at exercising the winners' prerogative of changing the rules. All but forgotten in the desperation to win the game is publication as a means of communicating research findings for the public benefit. The paper examines the situation in management studies, but the problem is much more widespread. It concludes that laughter is both the appropriate reaction to such farce, and also, perhaps, the stimulus to reform.

Macdonald, Stuart and Jacqueline Kam. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Publishing>Management>Research

3.
#23247

About the Open Directory (DMOZ)

Learn all about the Open Directory and how to get listed there.

Craven, Phil. Webcredible (2004). Design>Web Design>Search

4.
#37855

The Academic Eye: Informing Visually   (members only)

What does it mean to be literate in the digital age? For many of us brought up in the world of print, it means finding ways images can convey information and argument. As academics, it means we need to develop the eye for seeing shapes in data, helping students learn and use images ethically and effectively, and understanding the demands on our counterparts in industry to be communicators skilled in words and images.

Barker, Thomas. Intercom (2011). Articles>Academic>Research

5.
#38554

Academic Scientists at Work: The Job Talk

If you want to win the race, you need to present what the search committee, department chair, and all the department faculty need to see and hear to motivate them to offer you a position. Chances are the position will be in a department with faculty members who have varied research interests, all of whom have some stake in the hire. Hence, your audience will be a complex mix of scientists with distinct and diverse standards. While this sounds challenging, good organization and a clear idea of what is expected will help you in your quest for the dream position. This article will discuss what you need to present in your job talk, how to organize it, and how to prepare your slides.

Boss, Jeremy M. and Susan H. Eckert. Science (2004). Careers>Presentations>Research

6.
#32838

Accessibility as Part of The Search Engine Marketing Strategy

In traditional marketing you're looking to define your targeted audience for your business or organisation. In Internet marketing things work in the same way. Unfortunately, with the growing popularity of the Internet in the past years and with the growing number of people building sites, a certain part of the online audience has been overlooked.

Big Mouth Media (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Search Engine Optimization

7.
#36016

Acrobat 9: Making Search Easy

The Search command is NOT part of the default tools layout, therefore severely reducing the chance that a casual PDF 'consumer' will use the more powerful Search command. Here's a cool trick that will greatly increase the likelihood that one of your customers will call on the Search command: you'll put it right in their hands.

Mankin, David R. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2009). Articles>Document Design>Search>Adobe Acrobat

8.
#33352

Acting on User Research

User research offers a learning opportunity that can help you build an understanding of user behavior, but you must resolve discrepancies between research findings and your own beliefs.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2004). Articles>Usability>Research

9.
#29152

The Added Value Features of Online Scholarly Journals   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Online scholarly journals have become an important tool for the generation of knowledge and the distribution and access to research. The purpose of this article is to analyze the features of online scholarly journals and to determine whether they incorporate new Internet-enabled features and functions which help to meet the needs of the members of the scholarly community more effectively. Drawing on Taylor's concept of added value [1], the features of online scholarly journals were classified into the following types: features which enhance ease of use and facilitate access to data, features that provide selected information and thus reduce noise, features which improve quality, features which address specific user needs, and features which contribute to time or cost savings. The analysis revealed that, although some online journals operate in the same way as print journals, there are others which incorporate innovative features which are transforming the journal to make it a more effective tool for scholarly activity.

Luzón, María José. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2007). Articles>Research>Publishing>Online

10.
#19346

Adding Search to Your Site  (link broken)

As long as there's been a Web, there's been a need for search engines. Because of the volume of information that's available out there, people will always need help finding what they want. Nowadays, it's commonplace for individual sites, even personal homepages, to have their own search capabilities, and so a slew of new services have appeared to help you quickly and easily add search to your site.

Rappoport, Avi. Webmonkey (2000). Design>Web Design>Search

11.
#23808

Adding Value through Search Engine Optimization

The easiest way to increase your added value is to do small things that have a large positive return for the company. If you’re looking to find something easy to do that has a large positive impact on your value, look no further than thinking about search engines and how your portion of a Web site can be optimized for them.

K'necht, Alan. Digital Web Magazine (2003). Design>Web Design>Search>Search Engine Optimization

12.
#30795

Advancing Advanced Search

Advanced search is the ugly child of interface design--always included, but never loved. Websites have come to depend on their search engines as the volume of content has increased. Yet advanced search functionality has not significantly developed in years. Poor matches and overwhelming search results remain a problem for users. Perhaps the standard search pattern deserves a new look. A progressive disclosure approach can enable users to use precision advanced search techniques to refine their searches and pinpoint the desired results.

Turbek, Stephen. Boxes and Arrows (2008). Articles>Web Design>Search>User Interface

13.
#21358

Adventures in Low Fidelity: Designing Search for Egreetings

One of the dirty little secrets about being an information architect is that most of us only bat .500 at best. We labor and agonize over making recommendations and designing information architectures that are supposed to change the world, but many of our designs never see the light of day. Rather than moan about why my designs were not implemented, I want to share my story.

Farnum, Chris. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Search

14.
#14307

Advice on Research and Writing

A collection of advice about how to do research and how to communicate effectively (primarily for computer scientists).

Leone, Mark. Carnegie Mellon University (1998). Academic>Writing>Research

15.
#21283

The Age of Findability

It doesn't replace information architecture. And it's really not a school or brand of information architecture. Findability is about recognizing that we live in a multi-dimensional world, and deciding to explore new facets that cut across traditional boundaries.

Morville, Peter. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Articles>Usability>Search

16.
#18539

Aggregated Article Databases: Research Beyond the Internet  (link broken)   (PDF)

Introduces aggregated article databases—searchable collections of magazines, newspapers, and journals—and explains their relevance to the research work of technical communicators.

Sheffield Hulick, Jennifer L. Intercom (2003). Articles>Research>Online

17.
#23100

All About Facets & Controlled Vocabularies

The authors present a comprehensive overview of faceted classifications and controlled vocabularies.

Fast, Karl, Fred Leise and Mike Steckel. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Design>Web Design>Search>Controlled Vocabulary

18.
#27523

All About Title Tags

The title tag is one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings.

Whalen, Jill. High Rankings Advisor (2004). Design>Web Design>Search>Search Engine Optimization

19.
#23041

Ambient Findability

For an information architect with library roots, what's next is obvious: ambient findability. I want to be able to find anything, anywhere, anytime.

Morville, Peter. Semantic Studios (2002). Articles>Information Design>Search

20.
#26362

Ambient Findability: Findability Hacks

Findability is one of the most thorny problems in web design. This is due in part to the inherent ambiguity of semantics and structure. We label and categorize things in so many ways that retrieval is difficult at best. But that’s only the half of it. The most formidable challenges stem from its cross-functional, interdisciplinary nature. Findability defies classification. It flows across the borders between design, engineering, and marketing. Everybody is responsible, and so we run the risk that nobody is accountable.

Morville, Peter. List Apart, A (2005). Design>Web Design>User Centered Design>Search

21.
#32296

Amusing Titles in Scientific Journals and Article Citation   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The present study examines whether the use of humor in scientific article titles is associated with the number of citations an article receives. Four judges rated the degree of amusement and pleasantness of titles of articles published over 10 years (from 1985 to 1994) in two of the most prestigious journals in psychology, Psychological Bulletinand Psychological Review. We then examined the association between the levels of amusement and pleasantness and the article’s monthly citation average. The results show that, while the pleasantness rating was weakly associated with the number of citations, articles with highly amusing titles (2 standard deviations above average) received fewer citations. The negative association between amusing titles and subsequent citations cannot be attributed to differences in the title length and pleasantness, number of authors, year of publication, and article type (regular article vs comment). These findings are discussed in the context of the importance of titles for signalling an article’s content.

Sagi, Itay and Eldad Yechiam. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Publishing>Research>Scientific Communication

22.
#32332

An Analysis of Failed Queries for Web Image Retrieval   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This paper examines a large number of failed queries submitted to a web image search engine, including real users' search terms and written requests. The results show that failed image queries have a much higher specificity than successful queries because users often employ various refined types to specify their queries. The study explores the refined types further, and finds that failed queries consist of far more conceptual than perceptual refined types. The widely used content-based image retrieval technique, CBIR, can only deal with a small proportion of failed queries; hence, appropriate integration of concept-based techniques is desirable. Based on using the concepts of uniqueness and refinement for categorization, the study also provides a useful discussion on the gaps between image queries and retrieval techniques. The initial results enhance the understanding of failed queries and suggest possible ways to improve image retrieval systems.

Pu, Hsiao-Tieh. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Web Design>Visual Rhetoric>Search

23.
#18817

Analysis of Tools Used in the UK by Technical Communicators  (link broken)

During March and April 2003, Cherryleaf carried out an online survey into the current trends in technical communication. One of the questions we asked was: Which software tools do you personally use to do your job? The respondents were able to select more than one tool from the list provided. We filtered our results to find the most popular software tools used by technical communicators in the UK.

Cherryleaf (2003). Articles>Research>Software>United Kingdom

24.
#34326

Analysis, Plus Synthesis: Turning Data into Insights

In this article, I will outline an approach to gleaning insights from primary qualitative research data. This article is not a how-to for creating the design tools that are often the outputs of primary qualitative user research—such as personas, mental models, or user scenarios. Instead, it identifies an approach to generating overarching insights, regardless of the design tool you want to create.

Ellerby, Lindsay. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Centered Design>Interviewing>Research

25.
#38669

Analyzing Computer-Mediated Communication in Professional Environments: An Activity Theory Approach

CMC is not an end in itself, but a way to accomplish cyclical work objectives. CMC genres are part of an ecology of genres, providing additional ways to communicate, ways that interact with other genres. To understand how these ecologies of genres work in professional environments, we must understand the activities they mediate. To investigate, I (and many others in professional communication) have turned to field studies.

Spinuzzi, Clay. SlideShare (2012). Presentations>Research>Workplace>Activity Theory

 
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