Transparency in documentation: dealing with limits about what you can and cannot say

Although traditionally as a technical writer you don't run into too many ethical scenarios for docs, sometimes you have situations where your ability to be transparent about a system's limitations gets curtailed by marketing or product management. It can be frustrating to have your documentation filtered like this, but you can take comfort knowing that, given the decentralized nature of information on the web, where any user can post information in forums, blogs, and other sites, the information filtered out of your docs will eventually be published online (it just might not be published by you). Read more »

Write the Docs Podcast Episode #7: Let The Robots Do The Work

In this podcast, we first explore the flourishing community of technical writers in Poland, discussing why the tech writing scene in Krakow is taking off so quickly and what trends this young tech writing community is embracing. We're joined by special guest Pawel Kowaluk, a Polish tech writer who runs SOAP (a tech comm conference based in Poland). We also talk about automation and robot takeovers of tech writing jobs. How are machine-assisted technologies enhancing or displacing technical writers and their work? Given the increase in automation, is tool expertise becoming more or less essential to thrive as a technical writer? Read more »

Circle review -- How to manage your kids' access to Internet devices

With four kids and a house full of devices, it can be pretty hard to wrangle devices from kids' hands and shut off Internet time. In the past, I tried putting all the kids' devices onto a guest network and all my devices onto a main network. When I wanted to shut off the kids' access to the Internet, I would log into my router and shut off the guest network. Now I have a new approach that seems to work much better. Read more »

My second-chance points strategy with documentation

In addition to being a technical writer, I also play basketball. I might spend more time playing basketball, in fact, than I do writing on this blog. I never played college ball, but I love playing pickup basketball several times a week at various courts. Now that NBA season recently finished, I figure it may be relevant to expound a bit on a pet theory of mine about how to win at pickup basketball games, and how that same strategy might apply to winning at documentation. Read more »