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2013 archives

  1. How to lose weight without starving yourself

  2. WordPress tip: Create a series of posts

  3. Researching the right keywords (search engine optimization)

  4. Get a technical writing internship or on-the-job experience without having much time for it

  5. My Christmas wishlist on Techwhirl

  6. Single sourcing and duplicate content (search engine optimization)

  7. Introduction, frames, iframes, and tech comm tools (search engine optimization)

  8. Collapsible header sections -- more problematic than helpful

  9. TC Camp Unconference in San Jose, Calif. on January 25, 2014

  10. Making website banner ads more visible

  11. Is Atlassian Marginalizing Confluence Power Users? Guest Post by Steve Goldberg

  12. A bucket list for a career in tech comm?

  13. Questions from readers: How to organize reviews, and whether a dedicated editor is worthwhile

  14. A few things tech writers frequently say: Videos tedious, topics best when short, people just use Google, and more

  15. The Bug Badge

  16. Balancing new and familiar: Avoiding the Groundhog day syndrome

  17. Imperfect content and the difficulty of writing video scripts

  18. Everything I needed to know about technical writing I learned in preschool...

  19. Recording and slides for "Why users can't find answers in help" presentation to STC Silicon Valley

  20. What to do with old manuals from products you own

  21. My Upcoming Presentation at the STC Silicon Valley Chapter -- "Why Users Can't Find Answers to Their Questions in Help Content"

  22. Learning How to Communicate Visually in Documentation

  23. How to Search Engine Optimize (SEO) Your Help Documentation

  24. Narrative Workflow Topics: Helping Users Connect the Dots Among Topics

  25. Reader Question: How do I create online help, how to guides, quick start tutorials, or video tutorials?

  26. Recommended Article: APIs are delivering on their promise (SD Times: Software Development News)

  27. Creating Good Content Requires Cross-Department Collaboration

  28. Sticking with Obvious Information Versus Creating Information that Users Need

  29. Subheadings: Perhaps the Most Useful Technique in Technical Writing

  30. Examples Are a Primary Way That Complicated Concepts Become Clear

  31. Interactive Poll: Why Can't Users Find Answers to Their Questions in Help?

  32. Why I Test Nearly Everything

  33. When Organizing Big Data Content, It's Okay To Be Messy

  34. 7 Ways to Learn Difficult Subjects in Order to Write Useful Content

  35. Turning Around the Disdain for Help by Focusing on Content

  36. Messages from Sponsors -- July 2013

  37. Sample Chapter from Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs, by Marcia Riefer Johnston

  38. Finding a Starting Point: Answering Questions or Addressing Purpose?

  39. Abandoning the Social Network and Q&A Idea

  40. How do you answer every user's question?

  41. What Have Been My Most Successful Experiences in Connecting Help Material with Users?

  42. Notes from Future of Technical Communication Webinar

  43. Recording of "Video Tutorials for User Assistance" (UA Europe Presentation)

  44. Recording of "Making Content More Findable When Users Browse and Search" (UA Europe Presentation)

  45. Do We Need a New Approach to Help? Why Are Users So Apathetic Towards Help after 50 Years of Innovation?

  46. How Things Will Be in Tech Comm … After the Singularity?

  47. Version 2.0 of I'd Rather Be Writing -- More Community Driven

  48. Structured Authoring By For And Or Nor With In the Web

  49. Reader Question: How Do I Restrict Content by Role in the Same Output?

  50. Exploring Markdown in Collaborative Authoring to Publishing Workflows

  51. Can Help Content Have Recognizable Facets?

  52. Faceted Search and Query Reformulation

  53. On Metadata and Help Content

  54. Moving Beyond the TOC in Organizing Help Content -- Illustrated Edition

  55. What Does Content Re-Use Look Like in a Web CMS?

  56. Is Structured Authoring (like DITA) a Good Fit for Publishing on a Website?

  57. Why Long Topics Are Better for the User

  58. Do Short Topics Make Information More Findable?

  59. Does Merging Support Content with Documentation Increase Findability?

  60. What makes Basketball Fun? Gamifying Exercise

  61. Does DITA Encourage Authors to Fragment Information into a Million Little Pieces?

  62. How Do You Teach New Users Programming?

  63. How Can a Technical Writer Develop a Love of Programming Code?

  64. How Do You Gamify Writing?

  65. Why Do People Rank High on the MindTouch #Techcomm Influencer Report?

  66. Why Does Content Become Disorganized?

  67. Adding Syntax Highlighting to Code Examples Online and in Microsoft Word

  68. Sample Expand and Collapse Code with Twisting Buttons

  69. Evaluating the Usability of Collapsible Sections (or jQuery's Content Toggle)

  70. Avoiding Quadrant Four

  71. How to Organize Page-Level Content

  72. Gamifying Chores

  73. What I Learned in Searching for a Job

  74. Moving to California and Starting a New Job

  75. Two Competing Help Models: One-Stop Shopping or Specialized Stores?

  76. Single Sourcing and Redundancy

  77. How to Get Programmers to Change User Interfaces

  78. Four Less Common Types of Technical Writers Companies Are Looking For

  79. Import DITA Webhelp Output into WordPress

  80. Single Sourcing Screen Captures to Print, Online, and Mobile Using Flare and Capture

  81. Looking at Search Analytics to Improve Help Content

  82. Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Technical Writing

  83. Connection Points with the Tech Comm Role

  84. Girl Scouts Painting and Comic Art Badges

  85. Discovering Girl Scouts

  86. Create a Child Theme to Customize a WordPress Theme

  87. Message from Sponsors — January 2013

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.