TechWhirler Recap for June 23

Subject: TechWhirler Recap for June 23
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2011 12:10:41 -0500

TechWhirler Recap for September 16 (June 23)

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

Update on Site –

We’re in week two of our new site being live and things are starting to
settle down. One crashed hard-drive, a full review of every single event
manager and online calendar plugin available and a deeper understanding of
SEO and the 301 redirect later and our little site is starting to come
together. Heck, on a few searches we even rank on the first or second page
of a Google search.

Ninety-nine percent of all the web development work on the site
is done on a six month old Macbook Pro. The computer was purchased so I
(Al) could have a reliable machine to do work. My little machine has
managed to completely bomb out twice so far in those six months. The first
time was 15 minutes before our first Webinar with
VIU<>and the second time was cut-over day
last Saturday.
One brand new hard drive later, and everything is nearly back in order.

We *luv* Wordpress. It’s sleek, easy to work with and fast. Or,
everything that our old Drupal site wasn’t. We aren’t as thrilled with some
of the plugins that promise the world but don’t deliver however. We should
have been done ‘n dusted with this rollout last Friday except we couldn’t
find an events \ calendar plugin that actually worked. Our final solution
is from Accessible Design and it’s the My Calendar
. The main developer, Joe Dolson has done a very nice job on this little
software even though it appears to be more of a side hobby than his day job.

Finally, we’re now focusing more of our attention on SEO and
rankings. Little things do make a huge difference and are already paying
off. Our visitor traffic is up 40% over the last week and continues to
grow. For anyone who’s new around here and judging by our numbers, most of
you are, then welcome. Grab a cold drink (they don’t cost nuthin’, join a
conversation <>, and do a
little reading. Heck, if you’re so inclined you may even want to do a
little writing <>.

What’s next you say? Are we done? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl
Harbor? [*Germans?*] No!!! {for the record I had no idea about the theme of
this week’s post until only a few moments ago}. Operation RB now moves on
to other topics and challenges. Assuming everything goes smoothly, we’ll be
talking about the outcome of the new operation in a few weeks.

The site is, *and will always be*, a work in progress. But we must
be moving on to other things Babs.

What do you think so far of the new site? What are we missing? If
you’re reading this via email then please go to our contact
us<>page, or if you’re online then
just drop some thoughts into the comments

*Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl*:

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What You’re Talking About


A quick *How you doin’* to our Tech Writers and their discussions in our email
discussion group <>:

· Wow, hardly anything gets a debate among tech writers going like
questions of money. Mark Filiatreau really got things going when he
announced that he was quitting his full-time job and asked “What's a good
freelance rate for technical writers?” Tons of advice on how to calculate,
what factors should be considered, where the freelance work is these days,
and whether freelancers should consider lowballing.

· Well almost anything, except debates about the virtues and vices of
MS Word and topics like Becca Price’s question on “starting on page 2” and
standards for including cover pages and front matter in page counts. We
favor Paul Hanson’s sage words (quoted from elsewhere) about having so many
to choose from.

· Monique Semp raises another standards issue with her question on
“verb forms related to Twitter.” A question that had no place outside
ornithology (Can you “Tweet” who “tweeted” and so on)books just 10 years ago
now has a spot in the limelight generated by standards and styles
discussions and questions of capitalization and trademark usage.
In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

· New: “Personas and the five W’s: Developing Content that Meets Reader
Needs, Pt. 2” by Geoff Hart |

· New: “Book Review – Wikis: Grow Your Own for Fun and Profit” by Tony
Chung |

· Poll question: Do you use personas in doing audience analysis for
your documentation? |
Upcoming Articles

· New: “So Easy Even a Child Can Do It--Building an Interface without
Documentation” by Ryan Minaker

· Classic: “Nobody Reads Manuals Do They?” by Geoff Hart

· Poll Question: Do you play a role in your organization’s product/user
experience design process?


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for working with
us on the design of their ads. Tip of the toga to you.

*Platinum A*: Adobe <>

*Platinum B: *ComponentOne<>,
Madcap <>

*Gold*: Vancouver Island University <>, Society
for Technical Communication (STC) <>, EC

> If he helped found it, our people helped document it.

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