TechWhirler Recap for February 19

Subject: TechWhirler Recap for February 19
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 12:59:22 -0500

TechWhirler Recap for this week

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

We’ve been in full collaboration mode here at TechWhirl this week. We’re
not only writing about it, but we’re applying those lessons as well.

The Special Writers Unit is out doing themselves these days and this week
was no different. First it was Geoff Hart’s “Getting Feedback on our Work”
article ( and second was Chantel Brathwaite’s “Digital Asset
Management (DAM) Systems and the Single Tech Writer” ( On a
side note, we were very pleased with Chantel’s DAM article, because it
allowed us Al to use the word DAM over, and over again on Twitter, Facebook
and LinkedIn. It was the best da—article we’ve seen in a while. J

Not to be outdone, Geoff’s getting feedback article will most certainly hit
our instant classics list. We’ve already proposed a joint article from both
of them titled “Getting DAM Feedback.” [I honestly wrote myself into a
corner on this one.]

[Insert scratching of vinyl record sound here] Now, onto the second part of
this piece – we’re also applying collaboration more and more – especially
with our very Special Writers Unit. Yesterday, we held our Editorial
meeting for September. This time, instead of just talking we used a Google
Doc as our whiteboard. Everyone had access to it and could write whatever
they wanted. It was a great session, with some really good conversations on
next month’s theme: A User’s Experience in Design.

Last night was our first real online brainstorming session so we’re certain
to improve but the online tools helped bridge the distance between the
participants. Most of us can agree that collaboration is really best done
when folks are around each other – in a room with a white board – but the
new technologies out there are making things a little easier when that isn’t

Next week, we’re continuing our discussions on collaboration with an article
from Craig Cardimon, “Tips and Tricks: Staying Productive and Sane When
Working in and a classic article from *The Users Advocate* Geoff Hart, “The
Needs of the Many”. We’ll also talk a little bit more about our website
replatforming and redesign.

Until then,

You folks have a nice Digital Asset Management weekend,

The friendly folks @ TechWhirl

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Inside TechWhirl newsletter (all about our work) |
What You’re Talking About

Quick shout outs to our Tech Writers and their discussions in our email
discussion group <>:

· Phil Stokes is wondering, “how useful are video
tutorials/screencasts?” and the Whirlers are responding with a range of
opinions predicated on the class tech comm answer “it depends.” Check out
the discussion, which goes into the product context, preferred learning
methods, and practicality of various types of output.

· Michael Johnson sparked a lively debate when he asked for comparative
experiences between Arbortext and Framemaker to produce SGML documentation.

· More from terminology battlefront: Julie Stickler was facing the
all-too-familiar block in trying to find an alternative to “lookup.” Simpler
is better, and lookup has some specific meanings in various software
contexts, so it looks as though “find” is ahead in the alternative list.
In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

· New: “Getting Feedback on our Work” by Geoff Hart |

· New: “Digital Asset Management (DAM) Systems and the Single Tech
Writer” by Chantel Brathwaite |

· Poll question: Best technology for collaborating |<>
Upcoming Articles

· New: “Tips and Tricks: Staying Productive and Sane When Working in
Isolation” by Craig Cardimon

· Classic: “The Needs of the Many” by Geoff Hart

· Poll question: Benefits of collaborating with non-writers

We want to send a very special “thank you” to sponsors. Without them, we’d
still be in a corner, and no one puts Baby in a corner.

*Platinum*: ComponentOne, Madcap, Adobe

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

*Silver*: Vancouver Island University

> Don’t these people ever consult their calendars

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