TechWhirl Recap for October 31, 2011

Subject: TechWhirl Recap for October 31, 2011
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 09:11:57 -0500

TechWhirl Recap for October 31, 2011

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

On the road to LavaCon, we decided to publish a few tech writer horror
stories (, managed to help answer some questions about
the new STC Technical Communicator Certification ( and
kept up with important tech writer freelancing conundrums ( Not too bad for a renegade bunch of technical
writers, there when you need us and there’s no one else to write the story …

Congratulations to Lois Patterson and Roger Renteria, who won the
opportunity to *hang out with the TechWhirl crew* and do a little reporting
from the LavaCon Conference ( this year. Lois and Roger
will join Al, Connie, and Jackie Samuels (SWU veteran) to cover the big
happening in Austin, Nov 13-16. A fabulous schedule of keynotes, seminars
and vendor doings surrounding the trends in digital media and content
strategies will keep all five of us hopping. If you can’t make it to the
Lone Star State, TechWhirl is the next best thing to being there, so add
what you’re looking to hear, watch or read in the comments and we’ll do our
best to bring it to you.

Many of us can relate to the heroes of our first ever Tech Writer Horror
Stories week. This week our writers gave us great stories (fiction we hope)
of projects gone astray, technology evolving before we know it, and projects
that literally steal years off our lives. Halloween ain’t (go ahead and
flame us for the bad grammar, go on, you know you want to) over just yet, so
stop by on Monday for a summary and a podcast from the SWU Playhouse as we
render these tales for the airwaves.

We wrapped up our month of Networking Tools and Strategies with Mike
McCallister’s look at the conundrum facing the freelance tech writer – what
to charge, from the perspective of presenters at the International
Freelancers’ Day online conference.

Similar to those big box retail stores, we’re already planning for that
quick stretch from November to January. In addition to a packed week of
coverage at LavaCon, November and December on TechWhirl will take a look at
managing projects during the holiday season, and the stuff (tools, trends,
and even toys) we really want from Santa.

A sincere thank you to everyone coming to our site, and those who are
helping make it the best online resource for Technical Writers on the net,
we certainly appreciate it.

>From the whole ghoulish gang @ TechWhirl,

Have a great weekend!

Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl:

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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 <>:

· And the heat goes on… the STC certification debate has taken some
interesting digressions this week. It’s morphed into 11 threads ranging from
the original topic and issues, to proper usage of “to coin a phrase”, and a
debate on wages/salary for tech writers.

· It’s a class reunion of sorts… after the reappearance of Andrew
Plato, a few other departed veterans have returned with questions. Robert
Williams dropped in to ask about “Arbortext Alternatives - MIL-STD 40051 XML
Tech Manuals.” Kari Gulbrandsen returned after a long hiatus to get input on
“CMMI process documentation.”
In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

· New: “More Highlights from International Freelancers Day: Two
Answers to the Eternal Conundrum: What Do I Charge?” by Mike McCallister |

· New Podcast: STC Certification – TechWhirl Interview with Steve
Jong, Chair of the STC Certification Commission|

· All our Halloween Stories from this week |


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their
support. Without them we’d be on a highway to [think Halloween]…

*Platinum A*: Adobe Systems

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

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

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