TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for August 10, 2012

Subject: TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for August 10, 2012
From: TechWhirl Admin <admin -at- techwhirl -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2012 11:37:21 -0400

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

Last week I mentioned an old thread from the TechWhirl email discussion
list in which I claimed “It’s all Marketing.” This week one of the
continuing threads concerns how to label a role/process in which data is
analyzed and presented (usually visually). The role Steve Janoff described
a lot like Business Intelligence, at least according to how the leading
vendors describe it. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of discussions that
center on what we should call ourselves, and I’ve come to the conclusion
that there may never be one overarching term to describe what we do. And
despite the inherent need to categorize and label everything for purposes
of findability, this may be a good thing.

So perhaps it’s time to evolve my statement to reflect some of the more
recent trends and discussions going on in technical communication. “It’s
all communications” or “It’s all integrated communications” seem like
better alternatives. It’s high level enough to allow lots of overlapping
sub-disciplines, and room for all kinds of wonderfully offbeat job titles
(Al is still Head of Janitorial Services and I’m still Chief Cat Herder, in
case you’re wondering).

Still, the adversarial nature of the relationship (or lack thereof) between
technical communication and marketing is worth exploring, to find common
ground that allow us all to work towards goals that benefit the entire
organization. Take a look at the classic article from Brett Peruzzi
on Building
Bridges Between Marketing and Technical Publications
get a sense of how long the battle and the peacekeeping efforts have
raged. Take some time to tell us if in fact you actually create marketing
content by voting in this week’s technical communication
If you’re as much of a tool geek as I am, spend some time with Mike
McCallister’s –in-depth review of Adobe RoboHelp
Then cap it off with Craig Cardimon’s curation of top technical
communications and related
around the web.

If there’s not yet much common ground between marketing and technical
communication (and by extension other areas), then perhaps we can find a
new role for technical communication professionals dissatisfied with titles
such as Technical Writer or Information Designer. How about
“Organizational Diplomat”?

Have a great weekend

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

*New features and articles on <>**

- Tech Writer This Week for August 9, by Craig Cardimon |
- Technical Communication Poll: Creating Marketing Content |
- RoboHelp 10: Help Authoring for the Modern Era, by Mike McCallister |
- Classic: Building Bridges Between Marketing and Technical Publications
Teams, by Brett Peruzzi |

*Tech Comm News on <>:*

- New Gleanster Research on Best Practices in Web Content Management |
- TechSmith Launches Camtasia Relay 4.1 with Hosted Option |
- Vasont Systems Appoints Jim Braselman as Director of Business
Development |
- STC Issues Call for Proposals for 2013 Summit |

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 |
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- 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 <>

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