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2010 archives

  1. Martin Luther and Technical Communication

  2. Technical Writing – Making Resolutions for the New Year

  3. When Your WordPress Upgrade Fails

  4. Screencasting Tip: Self-Dub the Audio

  5. Participatory Economics: Are Companies Budgeting for Social Media?

  6. Why I'm So Visible

  7. Content Curation versus Content Creation

  8. Does Tech Comm Fit into Mobile Trends?

  9. Give the Perfect Gift this Season: A Laminated Quick Reference Guide

  10. "Known Limitations": Making the Negative Space of Help Content a Little More Explicit

  11. Do community efforts work?

  12. My Comments on "Best Careers 2011: Technical Writer - US News and World Report"

  13. Simplicity in a 550 page manual?

  14. WordPress Tip: Integrating a WordPress Blog into your Website

  15. The Perfect Voice -- Professional or Authentic?

  16. Doc Plan Pains and Empowerment

  17. Adobe Illustrator and InDesign Integration with Layered Images [Visual Imagination #3]

  18. Technology vs. Content, or Why Teaching WordPress Is Frustrating

  19. Review of Alan Porter's Wiki: Grow Your Own for Fun and Profit

  20. Forum → Wiki → Blog Workflow

  21. Podcast: Educational Programs and Workplace Practices

  22. Tactics for Survival: A Technical Writers Field Guide to Overcoming the Forces of Petty PMs and Broken IT Environments

  23. My Brand Is ...

  24. Diverse Content and the Long Tail of Search Engine Metrics

  25. 10 Quick Tips for Project Managers about Help Content

  26. When Help Content Is Forgotten

  27. Text Matters

  28. "I need your help with some documentation" (Xtranormal Movies)

  29. What Is Chartjunk? [Visual Imagination #2]

  30. Being Contrarian

  31. What's the Statistical ROI of Technical Documentation? [Collaborative Post]

  32. Strategy Versus Tactics and the Ongoing Debate about Roles

  33. Why Help Content Fails and #contentstrategy

  34. Technical Writing Is More Than "Click This, Select That" [Podcast]

  35. Why Tech Comm Is a Career Path of Last Resort for Students

  36. Are Academics Just Talking to Themselves?

  37. Technical Communication Careers: Getting Started and Finding Your Niche (BYU Idaho Presentation)

  38. Guest Post on Firehead Blog -- "Finding a Content Strategy for Your Blog"

  39. as an Alternative to Google Reader [Screencast]

  40. Podcast: Finding and Creating Relevant Content -- Strategies for Social Media

  41. Podcast: Developing a Personal Voice in Audio (Intermountain-STC event)

  42. Seeing Before Reading: Messages Encoded in the Design of Information [Visual Imagination #2]

  43. The Increasing Momentum of Content Strategy

  44. Eight Defining Questions that Shape Content Organization [Organizing Content #29]

  45. Students Contemplate Whether a Technical Writing Career Will Be Fulfilling

  46. Visuals Engage Users -- Why Aren't There More Illustrations in Help Content? [Visual Imagination #1]

  47. Organizing Content for Constructivist Learning [Organizing Content #28]

  48. Substandard Wages for Technical Writers: A Growing Trend?

  49. Is Rhetoric Relevant? Considering the "Message in Context" [Organizing Content #27]

  50. WordPress Tip: The Concept of Inheritance with CSS

  51. WordPress Tip: Change Your Post Title Color

  52. Why No One Will Hire You: 40 Professionals Give Advice on Improving a Technical Writer's Resume [Collaborative Post]

  53. Downloading Audio from the STC Summit

  54. WordPress Tip: Changing the Styles on Your WordPres Blog

  55. Instructional Design Versus Technical Communication

  56. Searching STC Resources for Information

  57. WordPress Tip: Making Your WP-CONFIG File Secure

  58. You learn more from users in 5 minutes than you do from 2 weeks of project meetings

  59. WordPress Tip: Editing Posts in Bulk

  60. WordPress Tip: Inserting a Gallery of Images into a Post

  61. WordPress Tip: Adding Custom Fields in Posts

  62. 40 Foundational Books for Technical Writing

  63. WordPress Tip: Implementing Photo Galleries

  64. Why Learning Software Is So Hard, and Organizing Content into Levels [Organizing Content #26]

  65. WordPress Tip: Moving Images with Site Migrations

  66. WordPress Tip: Adding an Edit Link for Each Post

  67. More Students Questions about Technical Writing

  68. The Importance of Visual Communication, or How to Build a Dirt Sifter

  69. WordPress Tip: Showing Ads in Your Sidebar

  70. Answers About the Field of Technical Writing for Students

  71. WordPress Tip: Making Elements Overlap on Your Site

  72. WordPress Tip: Eliminating Spam

  73. New Baby Molly

  74. Organizing for Learnability [Organizing Content #25]

  75. WordPress Tip: Showing the Full Content Versus the Excerpt

  76. WordPress Tip: Improve Your Blog's Loading Speed

  77. Perspectives on a Career in Technical Writing: Responses from 16 Tech Comm Professionals

  78. I miss working with my hands

  79. 100 Rejected Summit Proposals

  80. Best Practices for Writing Interface Text [Organizing Content #24]

  81. The Interface Is Text [Organizing Content #23]

  82. WordPress Tip: When you Forget your WordPress Username and Password

  83. The Technical Writer as an Outsider: How Ambitious Are You? [Organizing Content #22]

  84. WordPress Tip: Embed a Video into a Post Using WordPress's Auto-Embed Feature

  85. Editorial Strategies and Mind Games

  86. Introduction to WordPress -- Recording of WordPress Webinar

  87. Principles for Organizing Print Material [Organizing Content #21]

  88. The Role of the Gatekeeper

  89. Relying on the Wisdom of the Crowds with Help Authoring [Organizing Content #20]

  90. WordPress Tip: Integrate Constant Contact with WordPress

  91. Moving into Technical Writing -- A DICE Article and More Links

  92. WordCamp Utah is August 28

  93. Emergence [Organizing Content #19]

  94. Replaceability

  95. Captivate Versus Camtasia Studio

  96. Message from the Sponsors, July 16

  97. Problem Solving and Sprinkler Repair

  98. WordPress Webinar July 13 with the STC Consulting and Independent Contracting SIG

  99. Add WordPress 3.0 Navigation System to Your Site

  100. Free Copy of Camtasia Studio 7 and Snagit 10

  101. 24 Hours of Screencasts with Camtasia Studio

  102. Showing Youtube Captions by Default in Another Language

  103. Separating Basic from Advanced Topics: How Twitter Organizes Their Help [Organizing Content #18]

  104. Do Some Project Managers Suffer from the Dunning-Kruger Effect?

  105. "Load config.xml failed" message with Notepad++

  106. Does a Technical Writer Need to Understand Web Design?

  107. Save $50 on Registration to Lavacon Conference in San Diego

  108. Breaking Things as a Form of Creativity

  109. Organizing Content as Story [Organizing Content #17]

  110. Tiny Tasks and Content Dilution

  111. With Blog Usability, Provide Context and Avoid Mystery Puzzles

  112. Experimenting with a New STC Chapter Meeting Model

  113. Designing from the Content/Story Out

  114. Can Blogs Work as a Web Platform for Help? [Organizing Content 16]

  115. Madcap Software Launches MadNewz Newsletter

  116. Removing Inline Links to Increase Readability

  117. Lavacon's Web 2.0 Conference Website

  118. Dr.Explain is a Gold Sponsor of the European User Assistance Conference 2010

  119. e-Learning Event Coming Up This Friday (Utah location)

  120. Faulty Assumptions About the Scope of Help Content? [Organizing Content 15]

  121. The Semantic Web and Content Findability: Interview with Patrick Warren [Organizing Content 14]

  122. Using Mediawiki Templates to Organize Content [Organizing Content 13]

  123. New Menu Navigation System in WordPress 3.0

  124. Help Authoring Tool Comparison from Sarah Maddox

  125. From Help Authoring Tools to Web Tools, Especially Wikis [Organizing Content 12]

  126. WordPress Tip: There's a Plugin for That

  127. Search Engine Optimizing Your Help Content for Google [Organizing Content 11]

  128. Figuring Out Search Algorithms [Organizing Content 10]

  129. Browse Versus Search: Stumbling into the Unknown Unknown [Organizing Content 9]

  130. Second-Level Faceted Navigation [Organizing Content 8]

  131. WordPress Tip: Backing Up Your Database

  132. Implementing Faceted Classification/Search with a Help Authoring Tool [Organizing Content 7]

  133. Faceted Classification, Faceted Search [Organizing Content 6]

  134. Topic-Based, Hierarchical Navigation [Organizing Content 5]

  135. Imposing Order Versus Observing Order [Organizing Content 4]

  136. Things Fall Apart, The Centre Cannot Hold [Organizing Content 3]

  137. Introducing Project Swordfish [Organizing Content 2]

  138. New Series: Organizing Content [Organizing Content 1]

  139. 25 Facets for Navigation [Organizing Content 5]

  140. Changing Your Career to Technical Writing [Guest Responses from Bill Albing and Alyssa Fox]

  141. "Tom Johnson: A Modern Day Technical Writer" -- NIU Article

  142. WordPress Tip: Creating WordPress Themes to Match Existing Sites

  143. A Few Ways to Make the Next STC Summit Better, #stc10

  144. Videocast Gallery from the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  145. Finding Time to Draw: Ben Minson at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  146. New Variables for Technical Writing Project Managers: Larry Kunz at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  147. Tough Situations for Technical Communication Managers: Saul Carliner at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  148. The Do-It-Yourself Philosophy: Saul Carliner at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  149. SXSW Conference Versus STC Summit: Anne Gentle and Janet Swisher at the STC Summit, #stc10

  150. Simple Tips for Website Accessibility: Brenda Huettner at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  151. Old Guard Versus New Guard: Whitney Hess at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  152. Pay-per-Content Versus Free: Char James-Tanny and Bill Swallow at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  153. Upcoming Books from XML Press: Richard Hamilton at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  154. Embedded Links and Online Reading Accessibility: Whitney Quesenbery and Caroline Jarrett, #stc10

  155. Breaking into the Mobile Market: Joe Welinski at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  156. The Art of Questioning: Rich Maggiani at the STC Summit, #stc10

  157. Storytelling for User Experience: Whitney Quesenbery at the STC Summit #stc10

  158. Trending Towards Mobile: Neil Perlin at the STC Summit #stc10

  159. Trust and Transparency: Leadership Day at the STC Summit #stc10

  160. What I'm presenting on at the STC Summit in Dallas, #stc10

  161. The Compulsion to Figure Things Out

  162. Quoted in Technical Writing Careers Blurb in U.S. News & World Report

  163. “Blogs are Still Where Substantive Conversations are Happening.”

  164. Typography for Lawyers

  165. Podcast: From Overlooked to Center Stage (Overlooked)

  166. Message from the Sponsors -- April 27, 2010

  167. Why Tech Comm Professors Don't Teach Video

  168. Story (Overlooked)

  169. Why Usability is Praised and Tech Comm is Ignored

  170. Podcast: “Anyone Can Write”: Changing Roles for Technical Communicators

  171. Podcast: Trends in Technical Communication

  172. Epiphany: Cross Pollination (Overlooked)

  173. Crisis Point: Problems with Multiple Roles (Overlooked)

  174. Catalyst 4: Wiki Manager (Overlooked)

  175. Catalyst 6: QA Testing (Overlooked)

  176. Catalyst 2: User Experience (Overlooked)

  177. Catalyst 1: Audiovisual Role (Overlooked)

  178. The Long Tail Applied to Writing

  179. The Yearning: Career Trajectory (Overlooked)

  180. WordPress Tip: Quick Tip for Reducing Spam

  181. The Problem: "Just a Writer" (Overlooked)

  182. Intro to From Overlooked to Center Stage (Overlooked)

  183. Presenting at the Atlanta Currents Conference (Overlooked)

  184. Podcast: Ten Voiceover Techniques (PodcampSLC)

  185. Why "This American Life" Is My Favorite Podcast

  186. My STC Summit Proceedings paper on voiceover techniques (Voiceover)

  187. Feasibility, Believability, and Fixability: Three Reasons Not to Use a Professional Voiceover Actor

  188. Comparing Creative Writing with Technical Writing (2 min Videocast)

  189. Message from the Sponsors — March 30, 2010 Dr. Explain, Madcap Software, & more

  190. When Social Media Becomes Hollow

  191. Breathing correctly (Voiceover)

  192. Recording with the right microphone (Voiceover techniques)

  193. Adding inflection (Voiceover)

  194. Fixing Fumbled Sentences

  195. WordPress Tip: Integrate Google Calendar into WordPress

  196. Avoiding phlegm in your throat with voiceovers (Voiceover)

  197. Smiling while you narrate (Voiceover)

  198. Avoiding plosives and breathing noises (Voiceover)

  199. Avoiding a sense of rambling (Voiceover)

  200. Sounding natural (Voiceover)

  201. Finding an acoustic environment (Voiceover)

  202. Message from the Sponsors

  203. Podcast: What's New in Flare 6 — Interview with Mike Hamilton

  204. Podcast: Documentation in the Cloud

  205. WordPress Tip: Avoid Getting Hacked through Bluehost's cPanel

  206. Finding Space to Breathe: Managing Overwhelming End-of-Project Tasks

  207. Together or Apart: Collaboration Models for Technical Writing

  208. The Art of Asking Questions

  209. Praise: The Worst Feedback You Can Give Developers?

  210. "I never really understood that feature, so I left it alone..."

  211. The Common Language Everyone Speaks

  212. Cures for the Information Exclusion Complex

  213. WordPress Tip: Add More Widget Areas to Your WordPress Theme

  214. What Would a WordPress Template for Chapter Sites Look Like?

  215. Fragmented Communities and the Chapter/SIG Web Site Problem

  216. Madcap Flare's Extensibility: Adding jQuery to Flare

  217. Web Site Critique and WordPress Q&A Webinar This Thursday

  218. Podcast: Riding the Tide of Technical Communications Consulting

  219. Intermountain STC Chapter Meeting This Wednesday at 7 pm

  220. The Turnaround Screencast

  221. DITA Features in Madcap Flare Webcast Tuesday at 11 a.m. EST from Scriptorium

  222. How to Embed Video on a Web Page

  223. Trying to Find a Theater Stage/Voice for an Impossible Situation

  224. Notes on My Latest Screencasts

  225. Implementing Google Custom Search on WordPress

  226. The Case of the Stolen Documentation

  227. Directions I'm Going in 2010

  228. Aligning Yourself with a Cause

About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.

If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the tech comm, be sure to subscribe to email updates below. You can also learn more about me or contact me. Finally, note that the opinions I express on my blog are my own points of view, not that of my employer.