Category Archives: general

My DITA journey begins

I have decided to try out DITA in a more extensive way. I think it will work for my situation, and it’s always fun to experiment with a new method for authoring help material. A few people have asked that I keep them updated on my progress. While the details of my foray into DITA Continue Reading »

STC Chapter provides lavish “all expenses paid” outing to San Diego zoo for members


Note: This was an April Fool’s Day post. The West Bay STC chapter recently provided a special expedition to the San Diego zoo for all chapter members who wanted to participate. 67 members signed up for the special zoo tour, which involved several exclusive behind-the-scenes encounters with animals, including but not limited to the famous Continue Reading »

The Content Wrangler Announces New 52 Mini-Conference Model


Note: This was an April Fool’s Day post. Scott Abel of The Content Wrangler has already either planned or executed three profitable conferences this year — Intelligent Content, Intelligent Content Health Sciences, and Information Development World. Scott recently announced a new micro-conference model, patterned after his Language of Content Strategy book, that will include 52 Continue Reading »

Do I need to take courses in technical writing? Guest post by Laura Palmer

Laura Palmer SPSU

A reader asks, Is there a technical writing standard certification or course that is renowned as the best and one that touches on the additional skills necessary (technical programming/software etc.) to succeed in the field? Maybe one that addresses the best way to find contracts, projects, and other jobs? I just don’t want to pay Continue Reading »

Videos and reflections from the 2014 Intelligent Content Conference


While at the Intelligent Content 2014 conference, I interviewed 10 different people about their presentation topics. In addition to this compilation post, I posted all of the interviews as separate posts (mainly to simplify linking). The list of interviewees include: Tobi Crabtree Val Swisher Noz Urbina Rahel Bailie Mark Baker Kyle Wiens Theresa Putkey Don Continue Reading »

An argument for complexity rather than simplicity in technical communication


I am rarely impressed by mission statements, but I find the first paragraph of the recent reformulation of STC’s mission statement refreshing. It defines the practice of technical communication as “the discipline of transforming complex information into usable content for products, processes, and services” (President’s Midterm Report). The mission statement does continue on to address Continue Reading »

Gamification and user engagement in e-learning and documentation


For the past year I’ve been working at a gamification startup company called Badgeville in Silicon Valley. Badgeville is one of a handful of companies specializing in “gamification.” When you gamify an application, you integrate game elements into non-game contexts to better engage your users. If done right, gamifying an application can increase the engagement Continue Reading »