TechWhirl: Technical Communications Recap for April 13, 2012

Subject: TechWhirl: Technical Communications Recap for April 13, 2012
From: TechWhirl Admin <admin -at- techwhirl -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2012 15:20:59 -0400

*This week’s update on technical communications and the TechWhirl community
is supported by Platinum sponsor Adobe & RoboHelp 9 <> |*

It’s worth going back every so often and asking some basic questions about
what we do, how we do it, and what it’s all for. We here at TechWhirl
subscribe to a deep belief in “42,” and we also think the concept of
“re-framing the community” is fascinating, challenging, and probably
somewhat controversial. At least it should make for some really cool
debates. We’ve come along way from square dances, one-room school houses
and town criers, but electronic mobility and connectedness casts both
shadows and lights into the corners of our communities, and it means big
changes in how we think about what we do.

Al Martine’s interview with Matt Sullivan of roundpeg,
certified Adobe trainer is a good beginning to our foray into defining
and re-framing community. The tools and venues for training have changed
along with many other facets of technical communications. This week’s poll
also starts taking a look at community, by asking how we as technical
communicators engage in our own
We can gain a lot of insight into both the tools and the channels for our
professional community interactions. And because our roles often include
facilitating communities of one sort or another, the conversation should
also inform how we perform in that role.

Speaking of community, it’s always worth a few minutes to visit the email
discussion list and see who’s talking about what. And, if you have an
interest in taking a more visible or active part in TechWhirl, the Special
Writers Unit <> is happy welcome
you into our rather laid-back but enthusiastic little community. If you
have areas of expertise that you’d like to write on, are looking for some
portfolio-building writing opportunities, or want to help out with editing,
graphics or curation, drop Connie a note (news -at- techwhirl -dot- com), and we’ll
“onboard” you and get things going.

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

*New features and articles on <>**

- Technical Communications Poll: Engaging with Your Professional
Community |
- Here or There? Remote or Face-to-Face Technical Writing Training &
Other Questions, Interview with Matt Sullivan, by Al Martine |
- EPUB and eBooks: Formats, Setup, Production Workflows and Foreign
Language Text Lessons from WritersUA, by Keith Soltys |

*Tech Comm News on*

- *T*ech Writer This Week for April 12, 2012 |
- Podio Online Platform Launches Dropbox Integration for Content Sharing
- Publishers Prioritizing Multiple Platforms in Content Distribution
Strategies |
- PKWARE Launches SecureZIP Reader for iOS® |
- Go-Part Pays Customers for Step-by-Step Auto Replacement Videos |

Technical Communications: What You’re Talking About

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

- Dan Goldstein started an interesting debate on word usage,
specifically on “’Allow’ vs. ‘Require’" in design documents on a
development project. After a lot of discussion on the connotations of
each, and of “enable,” Dan’s going with Fred Ridder’s suggestion "allow but
not require" for clarity and lack of ambiguity. Word usage debates are
always entertaining, and this one is also educational.
- Kim Bieler is “Interviewing technical writers” and wants advice on
reviewing samples, identifying red flags, and doing background research on
candidates. Not really a new question in technical communications, but
it’s always interesting to see what kind recommendations come up regarding
how screen the resumes, what kinds of questions to ask, whether to ask for
samples in advance of an interview. Gauging a candidate’s work style,
approach to problem solving, grace under pressure, and basic competence
with the requirements of the job take a lot of forms, and there are plenty
of interesting tips to review no matter which side of the desk you’re on.

*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

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