Tag Archives: Notes

Clive Thompson on the New Literacy

A scholar conducts a 6 year study of student writing and finds that, despite constant accusations that social media is taking writing downhill, actually “we’re in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven’t seen since Greek civilization.” I have to agree — it is a cool effect that the social Continue Reading »

An argument for slowing down in an age of rapid online exchanges

This Manifesto for Slow Communication (linked by Karen Mardahl) will make you think twice about the benefits of social networks, email, Twitter, Facebook, IM, and all the constant noise, hectic rushing, and mindless processing that it produces in your life. Busyness—or the simulated busyness of email addiction—numbs the pain of this awareness [awareness of death], Continue Reading »

Why teens don’t use Twitter

Fascinating NYTimes.com article about why teenagers don’t use Twitter (linked by Eddie VanArsdall). A few reasons teens avoid Twitter: it makes it difficult to hide what they’re doing, parents don’t want teens interacting with strangers, the communication is less friend driven and more professional oriented, the tweets are better for marketing or asking questions or Continue Reading »

Converting Lurkers into Contributors in Online Communities — Nielsen’s 90-9-1 Rule

Jakob Nielsen explains that with web 2.0 communities, 90% are lurkers who never contribute, 9% contribute a little, and 1% actively contribute. I wish I knew the secret formula for reversing those statistics. Nielsen mentions a few strategies for improving those stats at the end. One strategy is to take advantage of”read wear,” which refers Continue Reading »

Humor essay about a car manual’s diction

Kai Weber linked to this in the technical communication newsgroup, and I found it pretty funny. Extremely well-written and entertaining, this short humor piece pokes fun of the language the technical writer (“Ezekiel”) uses. It makes you realize that your audience is not always the quick-reading, frustrated user we sometimes assume. Sometimes it’s a linguist Continue Reading »

Students Engaged by Discussion, Not Smart Classrooms

All the money spent on making classrooms smart and high tech is basically a waste, since students find these formats boring. What really engages people is discussion and participation. Teachers should strip out all the “smart” gear and reformat the classroom back to the same structure that existed in Athens. (Link courtesy of tc.eserver.org)

Three Books on DITA

Eddie VanArsdall reviews three books on DITA in his post, Slouching Toward Ditaville. If you’re interested in adopting DITA, or even if you just want to borrow some of its best practices, check out one of these books — by Rockley, Vazquez, and Comtech.

The Link Between Creativity and Organization

This podcast interview with a professional organizer is fascinating. In Hebrew, the word “create” is the same as the word “organize.” Organization clears your mind and enables you to be more creative. Listening to this podcast made me want to clean my house and organize my closets.