TechWhirler Recap for September 4th

Subject: TechWhirler Recap for September 4th
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2011 13:39:45 -0500

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

This week’s update celebrates the end of collaboration as we know it, the
nearing of a new age, and our take on better user interface design.

*It's time to play the music ***

Collaboration month is now in the books for TechWhirl. We took a look at
some tools for collaborating, ways to find new people to collaborate with,
how to get feedback from everyone and how to get people going quickly. It
was, by far, a very busy month for the gang.

* *

*From the Special Writer’s Unit @ TechWhirl*

· “Introduction to Content Management Systems” by Jacquie Samuels |

· New: “Building an NDA-Compliant Portfolio” by Connie Giordano |

· “Skills Transfer - How High School Teaching Prepares You for Tech
Comm” by Fraser Hannah |

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

· “The Case for Instant Messaging” by Laura McNeilly and Greg Larson |


· “The Needs of the Many” by Geoff Hart |

· “Getting Contractors Up to Speed Quickly” by Micki Magyar |

· The Functional Flowchart: A Tool for Understanding Client Needs,
Plotting a Winning Strategy, and Developing a Proposal” by Herman Holtz |

* *

*It's time to light the lights ***

* *

But, it’s time to move on to design; more specifically a User’s Experience
in Design. The Good, the Bad, the U-G-L-Y You Got No’ Alibi – you ugly, ug,
ug … oh, Football season starts for real this weekend as we bid farewell to
summer. See, sometimes design can be confusing, or enlightening, clever or
dim and it’s our jobs as the chief technical communicators to help our users

This month we’ll cover the theoretical, provide some tactical advice and
even apply the idea ourselves. What makes for good design? Should it
always be easy to use, or should it occasionally be difficult? We’ll dive
into tips on how to find good design, and even apply our thinking on good
design with our rollout of TechWhirl 3.0 this weekend.

*It’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.


We’ve got the makeup almost in place, we’re just about dressed up right,
and our new site will go live this weekend. The team is working hard to
ensure there are no disruptions in various services, but there are no
guarantees. We ask for your patience and feedback on the new site.

It’s time to finish off the overall look so we can do internal reviews *i**t's
time to raise the curtain*.

* *

*Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl*:

*Why do we always come here?***

*I guess we'll never know ***

Will you be our Friend? Please, you know you want to click |

Want all this TechWhirl goodness a few characters @ a time |

*It's like a kind of torture
To have to watch the show***

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

*And now let's get things started


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

· It’s been a remarkably quiet week on the list, so we figure you all
are waiting with breathless anticipation for the unveiling of the new
TechWhirl website. In fact Al’s request for recommendations for hosting
providers was one of the hottest topics. Thanks to all those who shared
their experiences and feedback—and the winner is Bluehost.

· Deborah Hemstreet is faced with another tricky challenge and is
pleading with Whirlers “Can you help me decipher these instructions”
regarding journal article submissions to a subscription service. She got a
couple of suggestions on proceeding with the open document format (.odt) to
provide tagging within ASCII. We’re hoping to get an update when she hears
from the service.
In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

*Why don't you get things started?***

· 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 |

· Poll question: Do you enjoy collaboration or working alone |
Upcoming Articles

*It's time to get things started ***

· New: “Tips and Tricks for Documenting a Constantly Changing UI” by
Connie Giordano

· Classic: an excerpt from “Adaptive Technologies for the Visually
Impaired: The Role of Technical Communicators” by Eric and Deb Ray

We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sensational inspirational
celebrational sponsors.

*Platinum*: Madcap, Adobe, ComponentOne,

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

*Silver*: Vancouver Island University

(By this time the song’s in your head and you can hum final lyrics)

> And then Gonzo blows his trumpet

>> If you have a holiday on Monday -enjoy the long weekend!!!

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
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