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2014 archives

  1. Various Site updates: Added third column with dynamic sidebar, and more

  2. Question: Where are API documentation jobs for technical writers located?

  3. API doc survey: Authoring tools preferred by API documentation writers

  4. Learning how developers think, and other API doc insights: Podcast with Joe Malin

  5. API doc survey: The most common programming languages tech writers know

  6. API doc survey: The most popular type of APIs that technical writers document

  7. Getting a job in API documentation: Podcast with Andrew Davis

  8. I need your responses to my API Documentation Survey

  9. Authoring tools for startups -- Guest post by Vinish Garg

  10. Podcast download stats kind of mind-blowing

  11. DITA: Glossary terms and acronyms

  12. Free from limitations and imaginary lines

  13. Convert Markdown Content to DITA in 20 seconds

  14. The Upcoming TC Camp Unconference and my morning API workshop

  15. Upcoming API Workshop with Sarah Maddox

  16. Tech comm on a map: See all the tech comm groups, meetups, conferences, events, and consultants on a Google map

  17. Dynamic content filtering with OxygenXML's webhelp output

  18. Add a mini-TOC to your OxygenXML webhelp topics

  19. Crystal Springs Reservoir ride, and other details

  20. Impressions from my first Write the Docs meetup

  21. The Evolution of Technical Writing

  22. Flat file systems versus database models for help

  23. The Author Experience -- Interview with Rick Yagodich

  24. Simplifying DITA authoring by using a Markdown to HTML to DITA workflow

  25. Celebrating Lucy and her timeline

  26. Santa Clara to San Carlos bike ride

  27. API and SDK documentation: Notes from Ed Marshall's Workshop at Information Development World

  28. Slides and recording for "Perfecting the audio narration in instructional video" at Info Dev World

  29. Upcoming presentation at #InfoDevWorld: "Perfecting the Audio Narration in Instructional Videos"

  30. DocOps: Interview with Jim Turcotte

  31. San Francisco city-to-ferry loop bicycle ride

  32. Biking trip to Yosemite

  33. API Doc presentation slides and recording (San Francisco STC chapter)

  34. Import DITA's XHTML Output into WordPress

  35. Outside the tech comm tool bubble, there is a wide, wide world

  36. Why developers will never adopt DITA

  37. Natural Bridges

  38. Maisie's peak and more

  39. Two major Confluence problems: poor content re-use and lack of wiki markup

  40. Using collapsible sections to bring tasks and concepts together (DITA)

  41. Foreword to Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps, 2nd Edition

  42. Adding code comments through a sliding jQuery Sidr panel (DITA)

  43. STC Intercom Issue Entirely Dedicated to API Documentation

  44. Using WordPress natively for single source publishing and conditional content

  45. Upcoming presentation in downtown San Francisco: Publishing strategies for API documentation

  46. Challenges in using WordPress for publishing DITA content

  47. Thirteen life hacks

  48. Author in DITA, publish with WordPress

  49. Woes of conditional text and topichead elements (DITA best practices)

  50. Benefits of tool diversity, part II

  51. Is tool fragmentation in tech comm a good thing?

  52. Reviewing draft DITA content with subject matter experts: 6 essential points

  53. My DITA quick reference guide (QRG)

  54. Book Review: The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt

  55. Writing documentation in an interactive world: Some thoughts on using easyDITA and OxygenXML

  56. The part of the brain you should listen to when writing

  57. Content Re-use is so much better with DITA (and esp. with OxygenXML)

  58. Strategies for content re-use in Confluence

  59. 10 technical writing principles to live by

  60. Information Development World and the Customer Experience -- A Podcast with Scott Abel and Val Swisher

  61. Introduction to API documentation: Interview with Scot Marvin

  62. Started a new job

  63. Lessons learned as a novice API technical writer -- Interview with Mary Linderman (podcast)

  64. The future of tech comm is developer doc

  65. Creating code samples for API/SDK documentation (webinar recording, slides, and audio)

  66. How to embed looping videos on your web page

  67. My Intercom article on gamification and user engagement

  68. Recording of my STC Sacramento presentation -- Why users can't find answers in help material

  69. What does DITA-structured help look like?

  70. Complex tools versus simple tools

  71. Upcoming webinar: Creating code samples for API/SDK documentation

  72. DITA: Nested subheadings and the concept element

  73. DITA: Limitations with the chunk="to-content" attribute in relationship tables

  74. DITA hierarchical links, related links, short descriptions, and one-folder organization

  75. DITA: Why DITA, metadata, working in code and author views, and relationship tables

  76. DITA: Folder hierarchy, conref, mapref, and more

  77. My DITA journey begins

  78. The need for robust tech comm authoring tools

  79. Strategies for using links with DITA

  80. STC Chapter provides lavish "all expenses paid" outing to San Diego zoo for members

  81. Now that debts are paid off, plan to travel the world for a year, documenting things

  82. Dita Von Teese to give keynote at DITA North America 2014 Conference

  83. New hot coals event to be highlight at Lavacon conference

  84. The Content Wrangler Announces New 52 Mini-Conference Model

  85. Using metadata to control online navigation through portlets

  86. Writing skills versus technical skills, or, What I realized in solving a Sudoku puzzle

  87. soap! A new conference for technical writers in Poland

  88. Two months after leaving the church -- an update

  89. Do I need to take courses in technical writing? Guest post by Laura Palmer

  90. Videos and reflections from the 2014 Intelligent Content Conference

  91. Tobi Crabtree on Virtual Agents (Intelligent Content 2014)

  92. Val Swisher on Translation Without Borders at Intelligent Content 2014

  93. Noz Urbina on The Biological Imperative for Intelligent Content (Intelligent Content 2014)

  94. Mark Baker on Every Page Is Page One (Intelligent Content 2014)

  95. Rahel Bailie on the Language of Content Strategy (Intelligent Content 2014)

  96. Don Day on Connecting Intelligent Content with Micropublishing (Intelligent Content 2014)

  97. Theresa Putkey on Diagnosing and Solving Content Problems (Intelligent Content 2014)

  98. Kyle Wiens on gamification and iFixit / Dozuki at Intelligent Content 2014

  99. Sarah O'Keefe on The Many Facets of Content Strategy (Intelligent Content 2014)

  100. Marcia Riefer Johnston on Writing (Intelligent Content 2014)

  101. Tom Johnson on Blogging (Intelligent Content 2014)

  102. Writers needed for Intercom issue on API documentation

  103. A simple way to write, edit, and publish documentation online using Google Docs and Markdown

  104. How can we know something that is totally unfamiliar to us?

  105. An argument for complexity rather than simplicity in technical communication

  106. Gamification and user engagement in e-learning and documentation

  107. Will structure and style make documentation processes less costly?

  108. Growing trends for APIs and my favorite resources to learn technical information

  109. Upcoming interviews at the Intelligent Content Conference

  110. Why I left the Mormon church

  111. Single-page docs versus "Click Insanity"

  112. Upcoming presentation to Sacramento STC Chapter on Jan 16

  113. Tips for writing code comments in developer documentation

  114. Recording of STC Berkeley presentation on why users can't find answers in help

  115. DITA's output does not require separation of tasks from concepts

  116. The appeal of DITA

  117. Upcoming API Workshop in San Jose on Feb 8, 2014

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.