10 Things I Learned from My Last Podcast

The last podcast I recorded, on "Make Your Help Indispensable, Safeguard Your Job," with Mike Hughes, was so full of good information about how to make your help more valuable and user-friendly that I couldn't help but write up notes on it. Here's a list of the ten things I learned from my last podcast: 1. Make your help a mile wide and thirty seconds deep. Users spend about 30 seconds on a help topic, so keep it short and get right to th...

Podcast: Make Your Help Indispensable, Safeguard Your Job

Listen here: In this podcast, I talk with Mike Hughes, second vice president of the STC, about his latest UXMatters article, "Straight Talk: Surviving Tough Times as a User Assistance Writer." We talk about how to make help more valuable, more worthwhile and user-focused, so you don't lose your job when companies begin laying off employees based on lack of value. Here are a few other topics we cover in this podcast: Whe...

A Five-Click Solution to Publishing and Uploading Screen Videos to SharePoint

Customizing Jing to auto-publish to SharePoint The other day a developer approached me at work to ask how he could quickly capture and upload video to explain database processes he was documenting. He said he downloaded a trial version of Camtasia Studio, but wasn't sure if it was the best solution. Of course I had an answer: Jing, I told him. I showed him how he could use Jing to quickly capture and save video, and he seemed impressed. I...

Customizing a SharePoint Site

Customizing a SharePoint site is not necessary -- you can use the default theme or related themes straight from the box. And this is really how SharePoint was intended to be used by the mainstream. But if you don't want your SharePoint site to look like the hundred other SharePoint sites at your company, you can customize the look and feel. This is something I've been experimenting with. I am, by no means, an expert on SharePoint customiz...

Added a Blog Wall to my site

I occasionally receive encouraging emails from blog readers, podcast listeners, people who attended my presentations, and others. These email messages float too quickly through my inbox, so I've created a new site feature called a Blog Wall (see the top navigation bar) to capture them more permanently. On my Blog Wall you can add any general feedback you have about the site, a presentation I gave, or anything else. Of course you can also ...

DITA Topics Tutorial

DITA Topics Tutorial (a Captivate demo)

Embracing Opportunity

In What Got You Here Won't Get You There, the authors explain that the same behaviors that lead to our success are paradoxically the same that can hold us back. This paradox leads to a predicament when it comes to opportunity. We live in a sea of opportunity, especially with technical communication. We can serve in our local STC chapter, serve on a SIG, write articles for newsletters, submit presentations for conferences, start our own tr...

Premium WordPress Themes, WordPress 2.5 Premium Themes, Premium Wordpress Blog Templates | Blog Oh Blog

WordPress theme that functions like a slideshow Check out the "Slidepress" theme -- works like a PowerPoint but looks much cooler and runs on WordPress. For your next presentation, consider using this.

Web Design WordPress function list

Web Design WordPress function list If you work with WordPress, this reference is a dream. These are all the template tags WordPress uses to call information from your database.

Where I Stand on DITA

DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) is an XML standard in technical communication For a blog about the latest trends in technical communication, I've been conspicuously silent about DITA, the XML standard for technical documentation that is rapidly becoming the norm in the industry. Tonight I realized that I need to examine more closely where I stand on DITA. Several events prompted this. At my work we have a small authoring gro...

Styling Category Levels in WordPress (video)

Assigning unique styles to each category level in WordPress requires you to insert the following classes in your stylesheet: Top level: .cat-item a { } Second level: .cat-item ul li a { } Third level: .cat-item ul ul li a { } Styling Categories in WordPress I created a five-minute video showing how the addition of these category classes to your WordPress stylesheet will change the style of each category level. Watch the video I also upl...

Below the Line: Podcasters report their top 3 podcasting tips - part 1

Below the Line: Podcasters report their top 3 podcasting tips - part 1

Coding Horror: The Two Types of Browser Zoom

Coding Horror: The Two Types of Browser Zoom. For help authors producing browser-based formats, the issues in this post may impact the usability of your help. How will Zoom impact your design?

Great Books by Writers Who Aren't Dead Yet

Great Books by Writers Who Aren't Dead Yet My friend Josh just started this site. He's an English professor at BYU Idaho. It's an online book club involving discussion of excellent literary authors still alive.

Upcoming Presentations, or, Blogging and Increased Visibility

When you blog, you increase your visibility tenfold. And with increased visibility, you're more frequently invited to speak at events. This year I have a handful of presentations I'm giving at various chapters and events. I decided to add an Upcoming Presentations button on my navigation bar to list them. If you'd like me to speak at your chapter, conference, or other event, let me know. Here's my 2009 schedule so far: February 19. Blogg...