A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Tech Writer Voices

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1.
#30772

All About Madcap Flare

Madcap Flare is one of the most powerful online help authoring tools on the market today. In this podcast, Paul Pehrson, MVP in the Madcap Software forums, talks about Madcap Flare in depth.

Pehrson, Paul and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>Documentation>Software>Madcap Flare

2.
#31893

Analyzing Your Users and Needs Before Creating the Help Deliverables; Interview with Nicky Bleiel

In this podcast, Nicky Bleiel says we should talk to as many users as we can — conducting on-site visits, sending surveys, gathering information from Marketing, Support, and other departments — so we can have a better understanding of our users’ needs and the formats and mediums that will work best for them. After completing this audience and needs analysis, we can then go out and create the deliverables that will best serve our users.

Bleiel, Nicky and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>Interviews>Documentation>User Centered Design

3.
#28782

Ann Rockley on the Rockley Group Blog and a New CMS Report

Ann Rockley shares information about an upcoming report on component content management systems her group will be releasing this summer. She also says the Rockley Group is launching a blog to provide quicker information to users in a more interactive way. She talks about the growing presence companies have in the blogosphere, and why they chose WordPress as their blogging tool.

Rockley, Ann and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>Content Management>Podcasts

4.
#30463

Are you Hurting Your Career By Not Blogging or Podcasting?

Talks about myths, rewards, trends, tips, and issues surrounding blogging and podcasting, especially in terms of how it affects your career.

Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Publishing>Online>Podcasts

5.
#34570

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

6.
#34571

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

7.
#30256

Building Online Communities: Interview with Svi Ben-Elya about Elephant.org.il

In this podcast, I talk with Svi Ben-Elya about Elephant.org.il. Elephant is an online community he and others created to empower technical communicators in Israel (originally in the city of Yokneam) with relevant salary information to make them more market savvy when they negotiate jobs.

Ben-Elya, Svi and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>Community Building>Social Networking

8.
#28784

Caroline Jarrett on User Interface Design

Jarrett is one of the authors of User Interface Design and Evaluation, a beginning text for technical communicators moving into user interface design. Jarrett says this book is a perfect start for users looking to add usability basics to their toolbox. She also talks about forms, and how the best forms are ones you barely notice.

Jarrett, Caroline and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Design>User Interface>Interviews>Forms

9.
#28783

Chris Thompson on Searching for a Content Management System

Thompson talks about his search for the right content management system. He talks about the importance of content reuse across an entire system and having a workflow for editing, reviews, and translation. He discusses AuthorIT as a possible CMS solution. He also gives tips for talking with CMS vendors without being suckered in.

Thompson, Chris and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>Content Management>Podcasts

10.
#28795

The Convergence of Web 2.0 with Help Documentation

This podcast talks about the convergence of web 2.0 with help documentation. It mentions examples of Web 2.0 sites, such as Flickr, Payscale, and Digg, and what help files need to incorporate these same Web 2.0 features.

Johnson, Tom H. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Design>Web Design>Documentation>Podcasts

11.
#28749

Creating Help in the Web 2.0 Age

This is a presentation titled 'Creating Help in the Web 2.0 Age' that Neil Perlin gave to the Suncoast Chapter in Tampa, Florida in February 2007. Neil talks about what Web 2.0 is, and how help can be delivered on the fly according to specific user requests.

Perlin, Neil E. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Presentations>Documentation>Help>Podcasts

12.
#28790

Debbie Kennedy on Modular Writing and Reusability

Kennedy's presentation on modular writing and reusability was attended by about 200 people. In her presentation, Debbie explained how to chunk content by first looking at different content types: procedures, processes, facts, principles, and so forth. She also mentions a tool called Content Mapper that writers can use to chunk and reuse information through Microsoft Word.

Kennedy, Debbie. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Writing>Content Management>Podcasts

13.
#33290

Debunking the Boredom Myth of Technical Writing

Several weeks ago I wrote about my trip to Brigham Young University-Idaho and the presentation I gave there titled “Debunking the Boredom Myth of Technical Writing.” This podcast is a recording of my presentation.

Johnson, Tom H. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Presentations>Writing>Technical Writing>Podcasts

14.
#31171

DITA: From the Perspective of Someone Actually Using It

In this podcast, Marlene Martineau of New Dawn Technologies explains why they adopted DITA, how they adopted it, the benefits they're experiencing, and the reasons why she'll never go back.

Martineau, Marlene. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>Information Design>XML>DITA

15.
#31489

Embracing Wikis

In this podcast, Stewart talks about the following: the advantages of using a wiki for your technical documentation; why lack of advanced styles in wikis isn’t a major problem; the relentless focus on simplicity with wikis; choosing the right wiki among dozens of wiki engines.

Mader, Stewart and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>Interviews>Wikis

16.
#31737

Five Books to Add to Your Technical Communication Library

Heidi Hansen takes 15 minutes to discuss five books that she read over the past year and published book reviews for.

Hansen, Heidi. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>TC>Policies and Procedures>Podcasts

17.
#28778

Geoff Sauer on tc.eserver.org, the Largest Tech Comm Index Online

Geoff Sauer is one of the founders of tc.eserver.org--the largest online index for all works related to technical communication. The library indexes works by technical communicators in dozens of categories, and allows users to add new works, rank them, and get RSS feeds of specific titles. There are over 25,000 RSS feeds generated on the site and 15,000 visitors each day.

Sauer, Geoffrey and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>TC>Podcasts

18.
#28786

Harry Miller on Multimedia Documentation

Miller, a technical editor at Microsoft interested in multimedia documentation, talks about why multimedia documentation is a growing trend and how writers can get started. He discusses Microsoft's Channel 9 and the human element with instructional screen demos.

Miller, Harry and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>Documentation>Multimedia

19.
#28792

How to Create a Site Where Users Can Actually Find Information: Interview with Thom Haller

Thom Haller, information architect and director of the Center for Plain Language, talks about how to create a site where users can actually find the information they're looking for.

Haller, Thom and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Interviews>Web Design>Minimalism

20.
#31894

How to Create User-Centered Documentation, Interview with Joe Sokohl

In this podcast, Joe Sokohl explains how to create user-centered documentation by contacting, observing, and interviewing users to gather information about what types of information they use and the help deliverables they actually want.

Sokohl, Joe and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>Interviews>Documentation>User Centered Design

21.
#30774

How to Get Out of a Slump, and Handle Pressure Situations Calmly

It turns out that you can get out of a slump or handle pressure situations comfortably by merely changing your facial expressions. I have been trying this over the past several days and have been completely stunned with what happens.

Johnson, Tom H. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>Collaboration>Workplace

22.
#30773

How to Share Everything with Everyone (well, a few things anyway)

We're moving toward a shared network model, where people publish and subscribe. The really appealing sites integrate feeds for a community of users in an invisible, seamless way, making it easy to see what we're all up to.

Johnson, Tom H. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>RSS

23.
#31897

How XML Enables Information Sharing and Reuse — Interview with Joe Gollner

XML, a way of tagging and structuring your content, can help solve a number of problems, including storing, mining, reusing, and sharing content. XML helps enable the interoperability of information between systems, allowing you to export and import your content from one application to another. XML is behind much of the collaboration and information sharing Web 2.0 technologies, such as RSS (really simple syndication) and blogs. By storing content in XML, technical writers can ensure greater flexibility among technologies for authoring and publishing their content.

Gollner, Joe and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>Interviews>Content Management>XML

24.
#30775

The Impact of Social Media on Technical Communication

In this podcast, I talk with Bill Albing, founder of KeyContent.org, about the impact of social media on technical communication. Bill talks about different ways social media helps audiences interconnect and interact. Good social media technologies enable professionals to collaborate easily, without being encumbered by complicated technology or even burdened by managing and filtering feeds. Bill explains that the web is more than just a venue for publication -- it's a medium that allows people to interconnect and work/collaborate with information. This is the direction we're moving towards, and technical communicators are starting to integrate social media, such as user forums, directly into their help.

Albing, Bill and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2008). Articles>TC>Community Building>Online

25.
#29172

Information Architecture: Organizing Chaos, Metadata, Taxonomy vs. Folksonomy, and the Dublin Core

An interview with Kevin Shoesmith about information architecture and the challenge of organizing complicated websites. Shoesmith explains about the importance of metadata, providing user-driven organization, taxonomy vs. folksonomy, the Dublin core, the usability of web menus.

Shoesmith, Kevin and Tom H. Johnson. Tech Writer Voices (2007). Articles>Information Design>Metadata>Podcasts

 
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