TechWhirler Recap for August 26

Subject: TechWhirler Recap for August 26
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 14:30:50 -0400

This week’s update is supported by Platinum sponsor Madcap & Flare 7 |

Since you’re reading this on your computer, we must extend a huge and
sincere thank you to Eric Ray for helping us get the system back online last
night. It appears the special fairies inside our server decided to take the
night off. Thanks to Eric, we were able to encourage them to get back to
work without any prolonged meetings, protests or arbitrators.

Last night’s special technology event, our upcoming replatforming (no, one
didn’t have anything to do with the other) and our work with the Special
Writers Unit combined with this month’s theme of collaboration has gotten us
thinking about what it really means to collaborate. Or, to be specific what
creates a good collaboration versus bad.

Great collaborative efforts normally produce amazing results. For examples
please reference any championship winning team, the first Macintosh, or a
happily married couple after 50 years.

The stories that are told at the end of these relationships are normally
similar: we had good communication; our team delivered when they said they
would; we all had a common goal; the group trusted each other. While failed
collaborative efforts almost always result in the opposite claims: our team
couldn’t communicate properly, we had internal problems; there was a lack of

Good communication, dependable delivery and an unquestioned dedication to a
common goal leads to trust. And, a strong trust in each other then leads to
excellent collaborative efforts. Yes, we’re certain there’s a more
technical and academic answer but this model seems to predict fairly well.

For a moment, think about someone you trust and then review how you got to
that point. Let’s say it’s a new employee – new employees, especially
recent graduates, are hired for their potential, not their accomplishments.
The shear act of offering them a job means there’s at least a seed of
trust, but now it needs to grow.

Collaborative endeavors are the same way. These days, collaboration, in the
terms described here is just about everything we do at TechWhirl. We’re
looking for more readers of our articles, people to help with the site
development, create strategic partnerships (with writers and groups) and
improving our relationships with sponsors.

We’re thrilled by the great relationships we’ve been able to start over the
last four months. Between those organizations who have given us a chance
and those very special writers who have donated their valuable time to
creating most of the articles you see below this one; we’re more
appreciative that we can possibly express. You’ve trusted us to do what we
say and we’re thrilled to be in the position to deliver for you.

How about you? Have you ever been in a great collaborative environment?
Or, a horrible one? Tell us your story …

*-Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl: *
Will you be our Friend? Please, you know you want to click |
Want all this TechWhirl goodness a few characters @ a time |
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:

• So the few of us who weren’t on vacation this week got a real charge out
of Phil Stokes timely posting of the blog on “Original Mac user
manual” to mark the passing of the torch at Apple. Those of us old enough
to remember stand in awe of the original TWs tasked with explaining a
“mouse” and “scrollbars” to the masses.
• Deborah Hemstreet has some very strick justification requirements for a
document and challenged Whirlers to answer her“Full justified text question:
Word 2007”. The responses remind us that there’s always something new to
learn about your tools…. Check out the recommendations.
• Mark Giffin made the unhappy discovery that “FrameMaker 10 trial removes
my Acrobat installation.” It happened to be an old but still servicable
version, and Whirlers pointed out the risks in installing trials on
production machines, as well as the importance of improving the installation
messaging to help users make an informed decision.
-In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl-*
•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 |
Upcoming Articles
•New: “The Case for Instant Messaging” by Laura McNeilly and Greg Larson
•Classic: “The Functional Flowchart: A Tool for Understanding Client Needs,
Plotting a Winning Strategy, and Developing a Proposal” by Herman Holtz

We want to send a very special “thank you” to sponsors. Without them, we’d
be staring at the ceiling after one of those falls into our hands

Platinum: Adobe, ComponentOne, Madcap
Gold: EC Software, Society for Technical Communication (STC)
Silver: Vancouver Island University

Online Magazine and Discussions for Today's Tech Writer

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