While we were eating Thai food last night in Vancouver, one of my technical writing buddies asked where I'm going. He always seems to ask me this, like when you look at a menu and ask, what are you ordering? But more philosophical.
It's an open-ended question that provokes thought. I'm young with an open road ahead of me. Since I finished my presentation today at the Doc Train conference, I returned to my hotel room (see my panoramic hotel window view at the right), sat down and thought, what next, where am I going?
Here are several things I would like to do.
I want to use a free webconferencing service like www.dimdim.com or www.vyew.com to set in motion a recurring virtual software Saturday event focused on tools. For example, a tool expert (located anywhere in the world) could appear on the show for a 2 hour explanation, demo, and Q&A of the tool. Participants could view the web conference on their desktop, and it would be recorded as well for later viewers.
I would like to start using LiveOffice Teleconferencing or some other conference calling feature to enable collaborative, participant-driven podcasts that remove the tedium of manual audio recording. This service supposedly records your teleconference calls and lets you download them as MP3 files -- all for free. Anyone would be able to join these podcast conversations and ask questions in real-time.
I would like to mash up keyword driven RSS searches from the web into a Yahoo Pipes feed that filters out all the unwanted noise and distills important and meaningful messages. Basically, I'd like to distill the entire web through one very accurate, informative feed.
I would like to hack WordPress into a help authoring tool. It has some pretty strong limitations, such as no cross references or character-level indexes, and a page threshold, but I like the idea of an open-source help authoring medium that is interactive, dynamic, and customizable.
It will be a small miracle if I can do any one of these things. Still, when I look inside myself and ask, Tom, where are you going? these are a few of the short-term things that come to mind. Of course I would like to have a few more kids, move to the country, and go fishing more, but that's another topic. Any thoughts or recommendations for me?
Interestingly, all of my aspirations align with Web 2.o. By Web 2.0 I mean user-driven/collaborated content. Web 2.0 is the future that everything will have to fall under anyway. In the following picture, my mind is being beamed into my surroundings, or my surroundings are being beamed into me. Either way, it's sort of a Web 2.0 looking photo (taken with my friend Sean's Macbook iBooth).
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.