TechWhirl: Technical Communications Recap for April 6, 2012

Subject: TechWhirl: Technical Communications Recap for April 6, 2012
From: TechWhirl Admin <admin -at- techwhirl -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2012 13:03:36 -0400

This week’s update on technical communications and the TechWhirl community
is supported by Platinum sponsor ComponentOne & their Doc-To-Help Help
Authoring Tool <>

We’ve had an amazingly busy week on many fronts, and like most of you,
we’re looking forward to taking a breath and relaxing a bit during the
holiday weekend. As you’ve probably guessed, April Fools’ Day is one of
our favorite celebrations, and we timed our first ever Technical
Communications April Fools’ antics to coincide with the launch of the News
site for TechWhirl. If you’ve ever doubted that vendors really can have a
sense of humor, check out the “new releases” from Adobe, Vasont Systems,
Thirty Six Software, XML Press, INKtopia and TechWhirl, a report on a
kerfluffle in Memphis, along with “research” and “tips” from Component One,
STC and Publishing Smarter.

Now you can get the latest and greatest news impacting the wide-ranging
field of technical communications, and the best posts from bloggers who
monitor the field, experiment with tools and predict the future. We hope
you’ll take the opportunity to visit regularly.

We experienced our share of technology challenges as well. Visitors to grew by 118 percent during the first quarter of 2012 (a good
thing!), and our form hosting company struggled to keep up (a not-good
thing). We completed the move to a new provider pretty quickly (a very
good thing) and both the magazine and the news site are now speedily
dishing out the great content you’ve come to expect (the best thing).

So much of the buzz in the technical communications field has to do with
the monumental forces impacting what we do, how we do it, what we call it,
and where we’re going. For a fascinating, well-thought out and eloquent
take on what’s going on in our profession, we encourage you to read guest
columnist Mark Baker’s piece, “It’s Time for a New Doctrine of Technical
add to the great discussion by posting a comment of your own.

During April and May we’ll begin focusing “reframing the community,” from
two different aspects. April will look at how communities are forming,
what tools they use (collaboration, crowdsourcing, etc.), and what it means
for technical communications, while May looks at how face-to-face
interactions are being replaced by the virtual. As always, we look forward
to hearing your views.

Enjoy the weekend!
In Case You Missed it: This Week @ TechWhirl

*New features and articles on <>**

- WritersUA Session Summary: Session Summary: Cascading Style
Sheets—Current Techniques and the Promise of CSS3, by Julie Grady |
- WritersUA Session Summary: Session Summary: Integrating Help, Support,
and Training Content, by Lauren Hart |
- It’s Time for a New Doctrine of Technical Communications, by Mark
Baker (guest columnist) |
- Recommended: Top Five on Autonumbering with Word |

*Tech Comm News on*

- STC Election Results Posted |
- US Occupational Outlook Handbook Updates “Technical Writers” |<file:///C:/Users/Connie.ConnieGiordano/Dropbox/TECHWR-L%20-%20Private/Site%20Content/Weekly%20Update/Previous%20Editions/>
- Technical Communications April Fools Day 2012 |<file:///C:/Users/Connie.ConnieGiordano/Dropbox/TECHWR-L%20-%20Private/Site%20Content/Weekly%20Update/Previous%20Editions/>
- INKtopia <> Announces
Microsoft Manual of Style Translation to Valley Girl |
- News Update: Chicago vs. Microsoft Reps for Manuals Rumble in Memphis
- Microsoft Manual of Style on Tape
- Vasont Systems <> Announces New
Telepathic Transmission Extension |
- XML Press <> Announces Real-E-Reader
1.0 |
- TechWhirl Launches Pre-Post Certification Program |
- Thirty Six Software <> Introduces
New Content Management Product DumDocs |
- ComponentOne <> Research
Initiative: Pen versus Sword |
- STC Announces Rhyming to Remember |
- Adobe Announces the Launch of HelpRobo with RoboHelp 9 |

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 lively thread that has nearly the traffic of
the threads on certification. He posted a link to a blog “Post on Technical
Writing vs. Technical Communication,” and the resulted discussion, while
full of good humor, does get us thinking once again on the changing nature
of what we do.
- Julie Stickler has been looking for “Source control software
recommendations for doc team,” and Whirlers were happy to oblige with
pros/cons and experiences using Subversion (SVN), Team Foundation Server,
and one or two others. Kudos to Richard Hamilton, Robert Lauriston, Tony
Chung and Paul Pehrson for providing detailed recommendations.
- Gregory Sweet is working on a large and complex extranet and wants
ideas for how to label a portlet that provides access to 200 apps and more
than 10,000 documents, by displaying the five most recently accessed links.
Thoughtful responses took aim at usability, whether it’s personalized for
the user, and the fact that it’s a static header… Gregory is leaning
towards “My Activity” b based on the discussions.

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

*Platinum*: Adobe Systems

*Gold: *ComponentOne Software <>,* *Madcap

*Silver*: Society for Technical Communication (STC)
<>, Vancouver
Island University

Online Magazine and Discussions for Today's Tech Writer

Follow TechWhirl on
Twitter: @TechWriterToday
Facebook: <>

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