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Recent Write the Docs presentation recordings

by Tom Johnson on May 22, 2016 •
categories: technical-writing

We recently hosted a Write the Docs meetup in Redwood City with a couple of excellent presenters. Recordings of their presentations are below. I also explain a bit about my new lapel mic and recording process.

At the meetup, first Neal Kaplan gave a presentation titled “Two great teams that work great together: Bridging the gap between documentation and support”:

You can download the MP3 file here and view the slides here.

Then Ruthie Bendor, a web engineer, gave a presentation titled “Move Fast And … Document Things? Lessons learned in building documentation culture at a startup”:

(The title is a play on Facebook’s old slogan, “Move fast and break things.”)

You can download the MP3 file here.

Having multiple presentations in a short amount of time gives the meetup more energy and interest. At least one attendee commented that he liked this format because it encouraged people to get more quickly to the point.

If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, definitely join the Write the Docs group (it’s free!) to stay updated about upcoming events. You can also join the WTD Slack group.

Our next event is called Solve This! Here’s a summary:

For this meetup, we will help each other with the challenges that we face at work. Here’s how it we will do this. You add a major challenge that you have to the list here. The list is anonymous. The challenge should be a problem that you haven’t been able to solve yourself. During the meetup, we will go through each of the challenges on the list and share opinions about the best solutions.

We’re leaning away from lecture-based formats and trying to do more creative, interactive meetups. I help with event planning, and I’d like to adopt a model more like a club, with people who meet to interact and share (more than listen to presenters). However, we probably won’t get away from the presenter model entirely — the dual presenters and lightning talk events worked well and will likely be a format we repeat in the future.

Having said that, tomorrow I’m presenting on Jekyll at the STC-Silicon Valley chapter. I’m giving the same presentation I gave at the STC Summit.

Speaking of Jekyll, if you’re looking to learn more about it, Mike Neumegen has recorded more than 20 excellent Jekyll casts.

By the way, I wanted to drop a quick note about my latest recording technique. To record Neal and Ruthie, I used the Sennheiser Clipmic, which plugs into the iPhone. It worked really well. I’ve been looking for a lapel mic that I could easily clip onto a presenter. Previously, I had a lapel mic attached to a Zoom H4 recorder, which is too bulky to stick in your pocket. But anyone can put an iPhone in their pocket.

I recorded at 44,100 khz, 16-bit. The presenters also recorded their screens using Camtasia Studio. When I synced the audio with the Camtasia recording, the two rates matched perfectly!

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.