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RE: Thank You from new tech writer - Style Guide etc.
Subject:RE: Thank You from new tech writer - Style Guide etc. From:"Dori Green" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com> To:<techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Wed, 5 Mar 2008 15:56:13 -0500
I absolutely second Victoria's advice. Chicago Manual of Style is the
industry standard, and it's available online for just $30 per year. A
"single user" subscription just means that only one person from your
organization may access it at the same time. A warm invitation to share
the company subscription has saved me from a lot of hand-holding for
people who are putting together information drafts and are not writers
and don't want to appear "dumb" by asking questions. I constantly
reassure folks that I am not an English teacher and I'm just looking for
accurate information. Give it to me as a text file, draw me a picture,
I can use anything and I'll take it from there. But if somebody shows
an interest, I welcome that also and I freely share the CMS access.
You might also want to check into many of the Goal QPC mini-books and
memory joggers, http://www.goalqpc.com -- as well as publications of the
American Society for Quality (http://www.asq.org). Their Team Memory
Jogger is particularly fine, and they just came out with one for
Facilitation. People just won't read or use the documents unless they
feel some ownership of them, so if you don't have team facilitation
skills now you should put this knowledge high on your agenda.
I recommend a simple flowcharting application such as iGrafx
Flowcharter, and a simple project management tool such as Project
KickStart (now in a new release with enhanced capabilities). Gantt
charts rule and managers love them! There might be similar products in
the OpenOffice world but I've been happy with these.
Yahoo invitation-only groups are a great way to share information if
everybody on the team has internet access. I don't think I'd use them
for top secret proprietary information, but I'm paranoid.
First document to write: a glossary of technical terms used at your
company. This is needed to make sure that everybody is calling the same
things by the same names and nobody is calling different things by the
same name(as mentioned by somebody else).
Second document to write: your job description. Pretty much useless
because they all have to include "and anything else the boss asks me to
do", but when it gets to seventeen pages it'll make a good guide for a
friendly chat and priority-setting session with the boss over burgers
and beer. He should buy that lunch.
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