TechWhirl: Technical Communications Recap for January 27,2012

Subject: TechWhirl: Technical Communications Recap for January 27,2012
From: INKtopia Admin <admin -at- inktopia -dot- net>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2012 15:48:58 -0500

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

>From the Desk of the Editor

We’re approaching the end of our January focus on back to
and this past week as been chock full of all sorts of related topics on the
technical writer discussion list and in the magazine. From Ryan Minaker’s basic
conundrum <> on disappearing technical documentation,
and Laura McNeilly’s refresher tips and tricks to tame MS
to Cheryl Voloshin’s humorous take on testing technical writing
and Mike McCallister’s advice on balancing life, tech comm work, and book
writing <>, we’ve been happy to provide a lot of useful
information and spark a few discussions.

Deadlines, juggling, determining how much or if any documentation all
factor into how you view quality and how your organization manages it.
That seemed like a good segue to this week’s Technical Writer Poll: Quality
Control on Technical Communications Content <>. Go
vote in the poll, and if you’ve a mind to, post a comment. Go ahead… we’ll

All done? Good. We have a few more basics in the queue for next week,
before we turn our attention to visual communications in February.
Sometimes “more than a 1,000 words” can make a technical writer’s head
hurt, especially if a visual can do the job more effectively. Visual
communications can actually cover quite a lot of territory, from deciding
on how to represent data, to using video, to designing the output, and
fitting words and pictures together. We’d love to hear your ideas for
features you’d like to see—related topics that you want to learn more
about, or maybe want to share more about. You can reach us by going
to our submit
technical communications news, tips or
or send me an email—
news -at- techwhirl -dot- com -dot-

One more shameless plug before I let you go about your Friday—we’re
planning our latest road trip to cover the upcoming WritersUA Conference
for User Assistance <> in Memphis this
March and we’re looking for a few good writers. Are you interested?

Enter our Meet Us in Memphis
be eligible. It’s going to be a great time full of bourbon, great BBQ
(not as good as Texas BBQ or North Carolina BBQ but we’re a touch biased
around here) and some of the best training for technical writers anywhere.

Joe Welinske at the good folks @WritersUA
<>will provide complimentary registration
to this year’s conference, in
exchange for working with TechWhirl to cover all the angles. Check out the
contest information, and get tweeting… it’s going to be a blast.

The contest runs all of next week so be ready…

Have a great weekend!

- The gang at TechWhirl

In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

*New on <>: *

- Technical Communications Juggler: Balancing Work, Life and Writing
Books, by Mike McCallister |
- New Roadtrip Contest: Meet us in Memphis @WritersUA |
- Technical Writing Basic Conundrum: Can Less Really Be More?, by Ryan
Minaker |
- Technical Writing Skills Testing: Writing, Edits, and Editorials, by
Cheryl Voloshin
- Technical Writing Tips & Tricks: Taming MS Office, by Laura McNeilly |
- TechWhirl Poll: Quality Control on Technical Communications Content|

*Tech Comm News: *

- Tech Writer This Week for January 26, 2012 |
- SDL Launches Studio GroupShare Collaboration Hub for Translation |
- Doc-to-Help 2012 Supports Mobile HTML5, New Language Output |
- Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC ) Journal
Now Online |

Technical Communications: What You’re Talking About

A quick *shout out* to our Technical Writers and their discussions in our email
discussion group <>:

- Craig Cardimon started a rapidly morphing thread earlier this week
when he asked about “Editing mp4 files.” Whirlers experienced with
narration and the challenges of editing audio files responded with ideas
for cheap/free tools, and ways to improve recording quality (use your car
as an ad hoc recording booth). At the same time, we’re being treated to a
Friday-related journey into the history of drat and other assorted almost
curse words.
- William Sherman found a distressingly low-paid technical writing job
on monster and asked “Anyone need a job? Very badly?” On the other side of
the previously repeated argument that such low wages hurt the whole
profession, recent college grad Jessica Behles reminded us that for true
entry-level folks trying to make a start, the number of experienced
technical writers out there looking for work makes it even more challenging
to get started.

Social Media and the Chance to Follow TechWhirl:

- Our Google Plus Page – what’s happening behind the scenes |
- Will you be our Friend? Please, you know you want to click |
- 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. They’re the strings on our Stratocaster.

*Platinum A*: Adobe Systems

*Platinum B: *ComponentOne
Madcap 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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