TechWhirler Recap for March 4

Subject: TechWhirler Recap for March 4
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2011 13:20:23 -0500

TechWhirler Recap

This week’s update is supported by Platinum sponsor ComponentOne & their
Doc-To-Help Help Authoring Tool ( ).

Do we work because we want too or because we have to do it? For a moment,
just one moment, imagine that you’re independently wealthy so there’s no
need to head into the office tomorrow, or the next day unless you really
want to go there. You can put on a little Johnny Paycheck and go fishing,
golfing or back to bed. Would you still want to do something? Is so, what
would it be?

Yes, the assumption in the previous paragraph is often BS, but it does push
one to think about the ideal job. If we’re going to put effort into
something, shouldn’t we at least get something out of it other than a check?
Without diving too deep into that sociological rabbit hole – let’s just
agree that it’s better to do something you like than do something you hate.

Here at TechWhirl we’re hitting the old Career Decisions and Transitions
topic on a couple different levels. We introduced the topic with our first
article from the Special Writers Unit very own Jacquie Samuels in her piece
“Going from Zero to Super Hero” ( and then with a classic
article from David Stewart, “What Can We Learn from Other Functional Areas?”
( Throw in a poll question and a few discussion topics on
our Facebook page and get a job month is off to a good start.

If our articles are just words, the other parts of our activities are how to
apply this thinking to TechWhirl. What can we (the org) do to better
organize, motivate, and enable our A-TechWhirlers (read “SWU”) to help them
stay connected and produce the most interesting and thoughtful articles for
Technical Writers and Communicators? How do we organize this virtual team
with the Goldilocks approach to systems, processes and enablers? (we want it
juuuust riiiight)

The approach isn’t overly difficult, but it’s not easy either. Some things
like thinking through how often to communicate is fairly straight forward,
but trying to decide the technology enablers are out there to help everyone
collaborate (oddly enough this is next month’s topic) is a little more
complex. We are looking to strike the right balance between the needs of
our people, the overhead the systems put on us and the cost involved. We’re
here to tell you that it’s just as hard to create a good work environment as
it is to find it.

Instead of circle of life, would this be the circle of careers? One starts
out looking for the best place to work and often ends up later in their
career working to create that same environment. Or so we hope –

What about you – what makes a great place to work? Is it the mission and
vision? The work or a great boss? Or, if you want to go all dark side –
what makes an awful place to work?

*Some of that Social Media Stuff* (that was sooo last month):

Are you are Facebook Friend? Would you like to be – no charge – more fun
than a mouthful of pop rocks |

Want all this TechWhirl goodness 140 characters @ a time |
What You’re Talking About

Quick shout outs to our Tech Writers and their discussions, on what is a
low-key holiday week for many of us:

- David Tinsley has begun his research into ensuring documents comply
with “Accessibility for People with Disabilities Act” (Canada) by diving
into the collective wisdom of the list, and coming up with some
resources on
the US counterpart.
- Toni Williams is looking for guidance on her “HTML Query”,
specifically if the “Dummies” series will help with her new challenge in
developing application pages.

In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

- New: “Going from Zero to Superhero” by Jacquie Samuels |
- Classic: “What Can We Learn from Other Functional Areas?” by David
Stewart |
- Poll question: What is your ideal job? | <>

Upcoming Events & Articles

- New: “Book Authoring 101” by Mike McCallister
- Classic: “So You Want to Get Paid On Time? Here's How to Make It
Happen” by Alice E. Fugate
- Poll question: Biggest mistake made during a job search?


We want to send a very special “thank you” to sponsors. Without them, we’d
all have to work in Initech.

Platinum: Madcap, Adobe, ComponentOne

Gold: Society for Technical Communication (STC), EC Software

Silver: Vancouver Island University

> That’s our stapler and you can’t have it!

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