TechWhirl Recap for October 8, 2011

Subject: TechWhirl Recap for October 8, 2011
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 13:00:38 -0400

*TechWhirl Recap for October 8, 2011 *

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

Al’s traveling this week, so sit back and enjoy the change of pace as Connie
provides this week’s recap (or you can just skip to the bottom and wait ‘til
next week, but don’t say we didn’t warn you about all the tech writing
goodness you’ll be missing.)

We’ve still got an article or two in the queue, but we’re transitioning from
our theme of User Experience and Design into the ever timely topic of
networking. It’s pretty much a natural for us--TechWhirl has been about
networking since its inception. One of the top discussions this week even
focuses directly on networking… and reminds us painfully that networking
should start long before you want or need that next job. Many of the
tactics have changed in the last few years, LinkedIn didn’t even exist the
last time I went hunting for captive employment, and now it’s a must-have
tool in the arsenal.

But effective networking involves some basics that we often don’t think
about consciously. Kindness, professionalism, mentoring, and paying it
forward are fuzzy, mushy topics that often get skewered in good fun, but
should still never be ignored, no matter how strong your desire to climb
corporate or entrepreneurial ladders. The TechWhirl community seems to
understand this innately when a member asks for help and advice. And that’s
a good thing (with apologies to Martha Stewart).

One of the most fun and adventurous things you can do in networking is to
take advantage of the opportunity to meet with and get to know people in
venues that have nothing to do with careers or current openings. It can pay
off, both in terms of new experiences and relationships, and new
opportunities somewhere down the line. We are living proof, having met and
forged our friendship in volunteering and running a community Haunted House
over ten years ago. Now we’re doing something just as scary, but in a
completely different and very cool way.

Speaking of scary and haunted houses (and even networking), we’re bring our
love of Halloween to TechWhirl this month, while giving you the chance to
flex your creative muscles a bit. Submit your Tech Writer Horror Stories and
share your fear or obsession with the horrors of technology, technical
writing and communicating. Deadline is Oct 21, 2011. Happy haunted writing!

Our final attempt to tie the happenings at TechWhirl to at least one of our
monthly themes involves a search for a few good alpha testers of our soon to
be launched jobs site. Drop us a line at admin -at- inktopia -dot- net, and we’ll
provide a link, and even a rudimentary test script.

The gang @ TechWhirl

Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl:

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Inside TechWhirl newsletter (all about our work) |

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What You’re Talking About

*A quick *What you talkin’ ‘bout* to our Tech Writers and their discussions
in our email discussion group <>:

· Robert Courtney is “Job searching in this time of attrition....”
and turned to the list for advice, help and support. The good folks of
TechWhirl responded with all three: proactive researching specific
companies and their needs, asking for help, reading “Ask the Headhunter,”
getting exercise, and building network contacts even when you don’t need

· Stephen Reynolds wants advice on prototyping and creating proofs
of concept for a CMS for his client. Suggestions for solutions ranged from
the familiar Wordpress and Joomla to DITA4. Meantime, thanks to Tony Chung
for the laugh of the week… “vapid prototyping”!

· A little bit of déjà vu all over again, when Andrew Plato rejoined
the list after a multi-year absence. Plato’s looking for “Help - my
consultants cannot write!” bringing back fond memories of his unique
approach to technical writing issues. In addition to the walk down memory
lane, he also got some good ideas, and a few friendly jabs.
In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

· New: “Usability and User Experience, reaated but different” by
Silvia Zimmermann, President, UPA |

· Classic: “Seven Deadly Sins of Tech Writing Burnout” by Liz
Russell |

· Poll Question: What methods do you use to network? |

Upcoming Articles

- New: “What you should consider in planning mobile help projects for
field personnel,” by Laura McNeilly
- New: “Real Networking with Twitter” by Ryan Minaker
- New: Review of Geoff Hart’s book “Effective onscreen editing: new
tools for an old profession,” by Keith Soltys
- Poll Question: Are you satisfied with the current level of your basic
tech writing skills?


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their
support. We suggest you make every one of them a stop on your trick or
treat rounds.

*Platinum A*: Adobe Systems

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

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

EC Software <>

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