How Social Media Will Make You a Better Technical Writer

Gina Blednyh launched the Technical Communication 2.0 group in Facebook in 2009. It explores the interplay between Web 2.0 and technical communication. It’s a terrific place to exchange ideas about collaborative technologies and new approaches to delivering information. In this interview, I ask her how Technical Writers can use Social Media and the types of […]

How Advertising in User Guides Could Work

Putting advertising in user guides may seem rather flaky at first, but it could work. Here’s why. Life is full of taboos. Things you should and shouldn’t do. One of my ‘pet projects’ is to connect the lines between Sales and Technical Documentation. To me, they both serve the same purpose. Serve the customer. While they both start at different points, the end goal is the same. Unfortunately, these two departments rarely work together. Let’s take a look at how we can fix this.

Twitter 101 session for Technical Communicators

From Adobe Tech Communication RJ Jacquez, ” I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that thanks to Social Media, we are experiencing a fundamental shift in the way we discover, share and consume information. This was the topic of my closing presentation at this year’s Technical Communication UK.” He just read how […]

How to Get Your Email Answered

Let’s say you’re getting 600 emails a day on average. 50% were people asking me his time, 25% were “really nice people,” 20% were business opportunities, and 5% were friends. A quick bit of math: if he answered 1 email a minute, 600 emails would take me 10 hours to answer. The thing is, we’re […]

Dow Jones Rules for Social Media

The Wall Street Journal writers were given a newly compiled list of rules for “professional conduct,” which included a guide for use of online outlets, noting cautions for activities on social networking sites. The memo says that staffers should consult their editor before “connecting” to or “friending” any reporting contacts who may need to be treated as confidential sources, and business and pleasure should not be mixed on services like Twitter. The revised code of conduct also includes details about offline friendships, freelance work and public speaking.

Difference between Case Study and White Papers

  Can tell me the difference between a case study and a white paper. I read your case study overview and am having a hard time differentiating between them. If you have a minute, can you clarify?

How to agree on a Statement of Work

Question: I have an short term contract to develop Standard Operating Procedures but the statement of work is very light.  Any suggestion on questions to ask in kick off meeting to assure preparing best documentation for client?

Table of Contents doesn’t work in Word

Here’s a common problem with MS Word.  For some unknown reason, the Table of Contents (which was there this morning) is now gone. When you look at the page in Word, you might see this error message: { TOCO "2-4"H Z T "HEADING 1,1"} What’s going on?

Using Microsoft Word to Create Large Documents

I’m often asked for tips on how to write large documents in Microsoft Word? From what I have see, the main issues with creating long docs in Word tend to involve formatting, styles, graphics, tables, and bullets. Formatting — cutting/pasting material directly from one file into another is best avoided as this will bring unwanted […]

Creating Content for Mobile Devices

IDC (International Data Corporation) recently estimated the total number of all handheld devices shipped worldwide will exceed 24.8 million this year. By combining software and design principles, companies are planning to extend their enterprise and Web-based applications to handheld computers on the Palm, Psion and Windows CE platforms. These devices are designed for mobility. Therefore […]