TechWhirl Recap for January 6, 2012

Subject: TechWhirl Recap for January 6, 2012
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 10:30:53 -0500

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

*From the Desk of the Editor*

Two things seem to be de rigueur in professional communications of all
types when the New Year rolls around: predictions & trend spotting, and
lots of refreshers on the mechanics of writing and editing.

TechWhirl’s trend analysis for 2012 appeared this week, and we’ll devote
the month of January to getting “Back to Basics.” My crystal ball doesn’t
incorporate bleeding edge technology, and those tarot cards are probably
ready for a serious revision cycle, but I’ve taken some time to read and
research the TechWhirl discussion list, tech comm forums, top tech comm
bloggers, vendor sites, and some trends are worth noting so take a
look at Trends
for Technical Communicators to Watch in
give us some feedback on how you see these trends or the ones you
we’ve missed.

We’ve started our month of back-to-basics with a classic piece on
gender-neutral writing by the great Jean Hollis
Throughout the month we’ll look at more on writing and editing, but also
look at some other basics we tend to let slide, like figuring out what kind
and how much documentation our products really need. I encourage you to
let us know if you think there’s an idea worth covering in this area, or
anything else related to technical communications. We’re always open to new
article ideas. While submitting an idea doesn’t necessarily mean you’re
signing up to write it, you are welcome to become part of the Special
Writers Unit <>.

Finally, TechWhirl congratulates the Top Ten Most Influential
technical communications as cited by
MindTouch <>, including Techwhirlers Anne
Bill Swallow <>, Char
James-Tanny <>, and David
They along with Tom Johnson (I’d Rather Be
Sarah O’Keefe (Scriptorium <>), RJ
the STC <>, and Alan
Houser<>contribute a
great deal to the technical communications field, and we
certainly couldn’t do what we do without any of them. (By the way TechWhirl’s
*Tech Writer Today *made the top 10 Most
are humbled.)

- The gang at TechWhirl
In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

*New on <>**:*

- Trends for Technical Communicators to Watch in 2012 |
- Gender-neutral Technical Writing |
- LavaCon Session Summary: Lightning Talks – Multiple Speakers |

*Tech Comm News:*

- MindTouch Releases Top Tech Comm Influencers for 2011 |
- WebWorks Releases ePublisher 2011.3 |
- Scribus Open Source Desktop Publishing Releases Version 1.4 | <>
- Tech Writer This Week for December 29th:

What You’re Talking About

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

- CJ Daly needs to explain to the boss the tech comm responsibilities
that go beyond writing documentation, and asked the list for descriptions
of “interface editing.” Since the task references reviewing and
recommending edits to the user interface, most responders suggested terms
along the GUI editing and review front, including one that suggested
“interface editing” is a perfectly acceptable description.
- Lots of discussion ensued (pardon the
when Robert Lauriston brought up the issue of “updating copyright notice
date ranges.” According to our Doug Isenberg article on Updating
Copyright Notices<>,
US copyright law does not directly address the question of date ranges, and
it can be extremely confusing to know when to call out years specifically,
and when to use a range. Not surprisingly, the most practical advice is to
check with an intellectual property attorney.
- Sion Lane is “Disagreeing with house styles,” and looking for advice
from Whirlers on handling that fingernails-on-a-blackboard feeling when
reviewing documents that follow disagreeable style choices. This recurring
discussion brings up points about consistent use of styles, waiting until
after proving yourself with the new employer, and how widely accepted
references regard the terms in question. And we’re reminded that the
latest edition of *Microsoft Manual of Style* is due to be released
shortly. Stay tuned for more discussions!

Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl:

- Our Google Plus Page – what’s happening behind the scenes |
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- Want all this TechWhirl goodness a few characters @ a time |
- Updates from TechWhirl delivered to your email in box |
- Or, try our RSS feed (great on Flipboard) |


We want to send a very special “thank you” to our sponsors for their
support. Make a resolution to visit their sites and buy their stuff.

*Platinum A*: Adobe Systems

*Platinum B: *Madcap
ComponentOne Software<>

*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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