TechWhirl's new practical certification program - the last word in certification

Subject: TechWhirl's new practical certification program - the last word in certification
From: TechWhirl Admin <admin -at- techwhirl -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2012 10:51:18 -0400

In an effort to improve the quality, quantity and relevance of technical
communications community discussions, TechWhirl is announcing the launch of
our intensive five-phase certification program, Forum/List Open Posting
Professional, which is open to members of the TechWhirl email discussion
list, readers of Tech Writer Today, and other members of the technical
communications community.

The Forum/List Open Posting Professional certification allows the public to
see the importance of technical communications forum contributions that are
perfectly formatted and structured. With nearly two decades of research and
relevant online data to analyze, TechWhirl is in a unique position to be
able to offer a comprehensive training and certification program that gives
technical writers the recognition they richly deserve for contributing to
online communities 24/7/365.

The five-phase program allows participants to train in the mechanics,
protocol and culture of community posting at their own pace with belt
recognition for completion of each stage, and the right to append
Forum/List Open Posting Professional to their signature lines, resumes and
business cards:

- *Safety Belt: *Professionals at the first level of Forum/List Open
Posting Professional certification have mastered the use of *Reply All*,*BCC
* and *Forward*, and have accumulated a minimum of five postings in each
category within the first 12 months of participation.
- *Tool Belt:* Professionals who successfully complete the second level
of Forum/List Open Posting Professional have demonstrated the ability to
create flame wars over tools from the most innocent posting, and can
provide evidence of mastery in at least three writing or publishing tools
that are no longer supported by any vendor anywhere.
- *Fan Belt:* To successfully achieve the third level of Forum/List Open
Posting Professional, professionals must show mastery of the techniques of
introducing syntax, spelling and formatting questions to the online
community without benefit of prior research. Evidence of at least one
reply suggesting “check the archives” is required to attain this level.
- *Suspenders: *While technically not a “belt” this level of Forum/List
Open Posting Professional certification recognizes wide ranging
achievements by professionals who can successfully steer a post off-topic,
insult non-technical communications professions, and avoid being moderated
or suspended by the artful use of insincere apologies or bribes.
- *Championship Belt: *The highest level of Forum/List Open Posting
Professional certification provides well-deserved recognition to
professionals with many years of experience in online communities with an
emphasis on at least two of the following:
- Stretching a topic thread to at least six months’ worth of posts
with ten percent or more devoted to “Me too” posts.
- Introducing the same topic with the same content on at least one
other forum or community.
- Public announcement of displeasure at the community prior to
unsubscribing and re-subscribing under another name and email address.

As list moderator, I'm unfortunately barred from participating in the
program. But Al is already looking forward to becoming a certified
Forum/List Open Posting Professional. We both believe that this
certification proves to the industry and the larger online community that
technical writers have what it takes to be a Forum/List Open Posting
Professionals. At least Al gets to put it on his resume. Needless to say
I'm a bit envious.

It's worth noting that the Forum/List Open Posting Professional
certification program will be administered in conjunction with the
Institute of Mid-Atlantic Affidavits and Forum-Originated Open Letters. You
can go to the website <>for more information. We're
accepting applications now for the inaugural class of Forum/List Open
Posting Professionals, which is expected to graduate on December 22, 2012.

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