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Newsletter: Endless news cycles, style checkers, finding research, noticing things around you

by Tom Johnson on May 19, 2023
categories: technical-writing aibloggingnews

Here are tech comm news and links for May 19, 2023.

News turns the content wheel of advertising

For most of my blog’s history, my newsletter has contained links to my own blog’s articles. With this approach, I could only send out about one newsletter every two weeks, depending on how prolific I was on my blog. I usually included one substantial article per newsletter. Recently, I decided to rethink my newsletter approach. In part, I decided to emphasize the newsletter more after watching my site’s banner ads perform poorly. Advertising has never … Read more »

Review of WordTune: Granular style checkers still beat Bard and ChatGPT

Despite all the focus on AI tools automatically writing content for you, their outputs seem relevant only in low-level, easy writing scenarios. Try writing an intelligent, original essay on a topic and you’ll find AI tools much less relevant. I do, however, occasionally paste problematic sentences into ChatGPT or Bard and ask them to make the language more grammatical and readable. Sometimes they do an amazing job, but only when I’ve scoped the language problem … Read more »

How to find academic research to back up your tech comm decisions

Last week I mentioned a bibliography project, and some readers were intrigued because they wanted to find research to validate their projects. Many practitioners want the same thing in the corporate sphere: to find research they can use to reinforce decisions they’re making. Here’s a quick way to find research. Start by asking ChatGPT for some relevant articles for your topic, then plug those results into Google Scholar (cross your fingers that the sources actually … Read more »

Book review of the Art of Noticing, by Rob Walker

I recently read The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday, by Rob Walker. The book provides tips for seeing the familiar in new ways, which is an idea I’m intrigued by. I became intrigued by the art of noticing even before I discovered the book. To avoid boredom, I often play a game of trying to notice 3 things around me that I’ve never noticed … Read more »

AI starting to diminish work for student essay ghostwriters

Apparently, the popularity of using ChatGPT to write high school essays has impacted the contract cheating market, which had a lot of ghostwriters in Kenya. See AI is taking the jobs of Kenyans who write essays for U.S. college students. My first reaction was, hooray, fewer essay cheating services! But as I thought more, I realized that reducing the reliance on human ghostwriters, and instead using AI tools like ChatGPT or Bard, means cheating is … Read more »

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.