RE: TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for August 10, 2012

Subject: RE: TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for August 10, 2012
From: "Steve Janoff (non-Celgene)" <sjanoff -at- celgene -dot- com>
To: TechWhirl Admin <admin -at- techwhirl -dot- com>, Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2012 18:35:51 -0700

Hi Connie,

It's a pleasure to contribute to the TechWhirl list, and a special pleasure to be singled out in the weekly recap.

If I could just clarify one thing, the purpose of the referenced thread was never about attempting to find an overarching role or theme for what we do. It was merely to try to examine, understand, and characterize a new role that I found myself in, which is a role that falls well within the total scope of Technical Communications and is only a very small part of what we do.

What I found most interesting about the role is that, for me, it has provided a refreshing alternative to the usual menu of user manuals and online help. It also seems to provide some interesting promise or direction for the future, but I will leave that to those who get paid to prognosticate such things. :) I will say that, for any Technical Communicator who is interested, it does seem to offer an alternative pathway in the face of what *seems* to be, at least, a shrinking need for the standard fare of user manuals and online help.

Thank you again for the opportunity to contribute to the list, and to you and Al for providing and maintaining such a valuable resource for us in this field. I'm always fascinated by the many and varied things we discuss.

Have a great weekend!

Best wishes,


-----Original Message-----
From: On Behalf Of TechWhirl Admin
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 8:37 AM
To: Techwr-l
Subject: TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for August 10, 2012

*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 |

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TechWhirl: Technical Communication Recap for August 10, 2012: From: TechWhirl Admin

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