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2011 archives

  1. What I Learned About Tech Comm During 2011

  2. The Urge to Correct: Frustrations with Language Translation and Misuse

  3. Using Tags to Increase Findability

  4. What Tools Do Technical Writers Use

  5. Kanban and Limiting the Scope of Work

  6. Matrix Foretells Future of Learning

  7. What I Like About Grandpa

  8. Grandpa Reading Runaway Bunny

  9. Buffalo on Antelope Island

  10. Hanging Out at Home

  11. Sitting Around at Home

  12. Kids Singing

  13. Misleading Documentation Metrics

  14. Writing My Last Chapter

  15. Counting Calories

  16. How Avery Got Earrings

  17. Grandma Nana Comes to Visit

  18. We Moved Downstairs

  19. King Size Bed Fits Four

  20. Some Thoughts on Technical Writing in the Cloud

  21. Slides from STC Webinar on Organizing Content (Findability)

  22. My STC Webinar on Organizing Content -- This Thursday at 4pm EST

  23. Regret Over a Missed Career in Astronomy

  24. Discovering Antelope Island

  25. Reading Mistborn

  26. Cooking Tamales

  27. Wiki Culture, Reader/Writer Distinctions, and Divergence from Structured Authoring

  28. Should Technical Writing Be Taught in High School? (Collaborative Post)

  29. Why I Returned to Wikis for Help Authoring

  30. Messages from My Tech Comm Sponsors -- November 2011

  31. Survey about Technical Writers and Blogging Activities

  32. Senior Technical Writer Job Opening at the LDS Church

  33. Moving Towards the "Dark Side": From Technical Writing to Content Marketing

  34. Managing 60 + Volunteer Writers

  35. Using Treejack as a Method for Evaluating Your Help's Navigation

  36. The Importance of a Personal Face -- On Halloween

  37. Blog Versus Web Log: Back to Origins

  38. Adding Captions to Youtube Videos

  39. Building Trust in a Corporate Blog

  40. The Conference Proposal I Didn't Submit

  41. Customizing the "No Results Found" Page with Helpful Wayfinding Tips

  42. Appearing on The Forge Show from TechSmith Today at 2pm EST

  43. Visual Storytelling Guides: A New Deliverable in Technical Communication?

  44. Visually Appealing Documents Combine Text with Images

  45. Why Rubrics Fail as a Means of Measuring Documentation Quality

  46. What I've Learned from Lunchtime Creative Writing Workshops

  47. How I Took Back My E-mail Inbox

  48. Recordings of Fathers Blessings

  49. The Proximity Problem for Technical Writers

  50. Book Review: The Hunger Games, and a Possible Parallel for Technical Writers

  51. Should You Get a Graduate Degree in Technical Writing?

  52. Collaborative Post: Why Is the "Technical" More Important Than the "Writing"

  53. What Does It Mean to Know How to Write?

  54. My Review of the New Testament

  55. Three Solutions to the Corporate Blogging Paradox

  56. Book Review: The Lonely Polygamist, by Brady Udall

  57. Interview with Kevin Cuddihy, Editor of the STC Notebook Blog

  58. Stewart Falls: One Last Outing Before Summer Ends

  59. How Swimming Has Changed

  60. Blown Away by Author-it Aspect

  61. Storm Returns Home

  62. The Big Hill

  63. Book Review: A Practical Guide to Designing with Data, by Brian Suda

  64. Windy Night and a Stray Cat

  65. Messages from Sponsors -- August 2011

  66. My Problem with Fiction, and How I Tried to Resolve It

  67. Sidewalk Chalk at Thanksgiving Point Gardens

  68. Familiarity Affects Preferences for Text or Video

  69. Guest Post: CMS UX Woes. It Shouldn't Be This Hard.

  70. Book Review: Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps, by Joe Welinske

  71. Swimming at the Lehi Legacy Center

  72. Thanksgiving Point Gardens Outing

  73. Thinking More About Family

  74. Our Spring View Farms Trail Adventure

  75. Up and Down Directions

  76. A Few Notes from Usability Testing: Video Tutorials Get Watched, Text Gets Skipped

  77. Google Plus as a Professional Communication Tool

  78. Collaborative Post: Giving Guidance to a Masters Student about Technical Writing Careers

  79. Building on Past Successes for Future Directions

  80. Groupon's Copywriting Style

  81. On Content Strategy and Identity

  82. "One Day I'm Going to Figure Out the Solution to Help..."

  83. I want to be a spy ....

  84. The Most Important Stories ... Aren't the Ones I'm Writing

  85. The Value of Content

  86. On Prayer

  87. Why Is Corporate Blogging So Hard?

  88. On telling real stories

  89. Presentations Versus Conversations

  90. Technical Writing in China

  91. MindTouch Webinar — Organizing Help Content: The Problem of Findability

  92. Diverging Directions for Tech Comm: Social Media or Structured Authoring

  93. Does Translation Mean You Should Omit Illustrations?

  94. Message from Sponsors -- June 3, 2011

  95. Join the LDSTech Blog Project and Write Articles for Your Portfolio

  96. Making Up Stories

  97. The Moment

  98. Where Topic-Based Authoring Fails: End-to-End Scenarios

  99. What Does It Mean to Be Innovative?

  100. Moving from Google Reader to Twitter Hashtags

  101. Podcast: Organizing Help Content: Breaking Out of Topic-based Hierarchies

  102. Every Page Is Page One

  103. WordPress Workshop Outline for the STC Summit

  104. Examples of Help Systems that Provide Users with Multiple Entry Points?

  105. Will We Still Know Us, Tomorrow?

  106. Mooer's Law and Findability

  107. Avoiding Burnout as a Technical Writer [Collaborative Post]

  108. Messages from Sponsors -- May 4, 2011

  109. Collaborative Posts Q&A

  110. A Paradox of Navigation Metaphors for the Web

  111. The Butterfly Paths

  112. Saratoga Hot Springs

  113. Content Strategy for Content Agility

  114. Predicting Tech Comm's Future for Mobile

  115. Cedar Fort cemetery

  116. Introducing Technical Writing World, a New Social Network for Technical Writers

  117. Topic Chunking and The Broken Alarm Clock

  118. The Importance of Chunking for Sorting

  119. Guest Post: To each their own

  120. Book Review: Everything is Miscellaneous, by David Weinberger

  121. Book Review: Letting Go of the Words, by Ginny Redish

  122. Getting Others to Work for You -- The First Step Toward Scalability

  123. Messages from My Sponsors -- April 6, 2011

  124. Podcast: Content Strategy and Agility, with Noz Urbina

  125. How to Become a Content Strategist [Collaborative Post]

  126. Book Review: Elements of Content Strategy, by Erin Kissane

  127. Book Review: Search Patterns, by Peter Morville and Jeffrey Callender

  128. New Content Strategy Podcast and Other Good Resources

  129. Seven Methods of Classification in a Hymnbook

  130. Organizing Help Content: Breaking Out of Topic-Based Hierarchies

  131. Podcast: A Practical Guide to Information Architecture, with Donna Spencer

  132. Arguments for and Against Tripane Help

  133. Podcast -- Visual Composing: Document Design for Print and Digital Media, with Jo Mackiewicz

  134. The Real Source of Findability

  135. Update on the Search for Enterprise Authoring

  136. Podcast with Alan Houser -- Candidate for STC Vice President

  137. Podcast with Victoria Koster-Lenhardt -- Candidate for STC Vice President

  138. Lots of Conferences Taking Place

  139. Trends in Search Engine Optimization -- Shifting from Search to Social?

  140. Post-Publishing Word Count Can Be Three Times as Long

  141. I am perhaps finishing my basement, someday

  142. WordPress Tips: Alternatives to Akismet, Design Software, and Dummy Content

  143. The Enterprise Help Authoring Problem

  144. "Powerful as a consumer, lame as an employee"

  145. Formalizing My Help Strategy

  146. The Problem of Free and the Long Tail of Content Production

  147. From DITA to VITA: Tracing Origins and Projecting the Future

  148. Making Help Content Enjoyable to Read -- Impossible Quest?

  149. Free Ticket to Intelligent Content 2011 Conference

  150. Less Text, Please: Contemporary Reading Behaviors and Short Formats

  151. Minimalistic Callouts Heighten Visual Appeal

  152. WordPress Tip: Add a Calendar to Your WordPress Site

  153. Findability and The Information Paradox

  154. *Don't know how you do it all*: Some Thoughts on Productivity

  155. Structured Authoring Survey from Scriptorium

  156. Are Certificate Programs Helpful for Transitioning into Technical Writing? [Collaborative Post]

  157. My Review of the Old Testament (really)

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.