TechWhirl Recap for November 11, 2011

Subject: TechWhirl Recap for November 11, 2011
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 10:50:04 -0500

*TechWhirl Recap for this Week*

This week’s update is supported by Platinum sponsor Madcap & their Ultimate
Communications Suite, MadPak |

This month’s theme is *Managing Projects during the Holidays* but is should
probably be managing four different project streams right before the
holidays for our little magazine and discussion group. The combination of
the LavaCon Conference, some technical work on the backend systems, and
preparing for 2012 has made this week has been one of the busiest on record
for our team.

*LavaCon Conference 2012: *We’ve made no secret that we’re going to Lavacon
Conference this year. We … are … excited. And nervous. Our little
magazine forges ahead into very uncharted territory next week for a number
of reasons. First, there are five of us rather than just the duet of
Connie and Al.

The SWU’s very own Jacquie Samuels (TechWhirl
Articles<>| ) and our LavaCon contest winners Lois
Patterson<>and Roger
Renteria <> will be doing 99% of all the coverage at
the event. We’re super excited to work with them and finally meet them
face-to-face. They’ll be doing interviews, session summaries and creating
some larger feature articles on the topics of LavaCon.

We’re nervous because this is our first foray into any type of journalism
other than feature article writing. Hard deadlines and a larger audience
make for some nervousness, but that’s also what makes it exciting. On
Monday, November 14th at 9am TechWhirl will cover the opening session, The New
Communication Paradigm: Smart Content, Social Media and Mobile
by The
Content Wranger, Scott Abel <> through live
blogging. We have never live blogged before, nor attempted to cover a
“rapid-fire discussion with content industry professionals” so we’re, you
know, nervous. Excited, but nervous.

Interested in learning more about LavaCon and following the story of how
300+ people explored *Developing Content for a Global Audience* over a
period of four days? We invite you to occasionally check our LavaCon 2011
Story <> page.

*Managing projects*: While we’re excited to be covering LavaCon and our aim
is to do it from the point of view of exploring the content strategy ideas
presented rather than documenting the entire conference, we know that it’s
important not to become the LavaCon Conference channel so well also be
continuing with our *Managing Projects During the Holidays *theme as well.
Looking for articles on “Technical Writing on a Shoestring,” and getting
started with eBooks publishing, as well as book reviews and more Tips &
Tricks on using DITA.

All this busy-ness is a great thing because it means we’re doing more and
more to bring the world of technical communications to the desktops of all
of you, the professionals who help people (or help those who help people)
understand and get the most out of the products they use each day.
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 <>:

- Becca Price is taking courses and trying to decide “which class?”
that is, between learning Dreamweaver, or the coding behind CSS/HTML. That
took Whirlers down some familiar paths, between knowing a tool, or knowing
the underlying concepts, and how much input do we get, or should we get,
into design?
- Nancy Allison wondered about “Laws Requiring User Documentation,” with
regard to high tech products. The traditional “It depends” response
seems to apply here, along with the realization that user documentation for
software is really a fraction of everything that is being done in tech
comm… ‘fer instance: safety information, environmental regulation
compliance, hazardous waste disposal, warnings for lithium batteries, and a
range of technical specifications that can make the difference between
sales or impoundment in a number of countries.
- Ann Waterhouse posted several questions related to her search for a
document solution. She’s looking at automating as much of the documentation
process as possible using DITA and XML. Great advice from Robert Lauriston,
Gene Kim-Eng, Scott Turner, Leonard Porello, Kevin McLaughlin and Fred

In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

- New: “The Foundation of Successful
by Greg Larson|
- Classic "What Do Technical Writers Find
- Current Poll Question: How stressful do you find your technical
communications job? |
- LavaCon Page & Story Launches:


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their
support. Without them our Ghost sheet would have too many holes and we’d
only get a lousy stone when trick-or-treating.

*Platinum A*: Adobe Systems

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

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

Online Magazine and Discussions for Today's Tech Writer

Follow TechWhirl on
Twitter: @TechWriterToday

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