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...

Thoughts on Troubleshooting and Problem Solving

Utah mountains Working in technology, I spend a good amount of my time troubleshooting. When things go wrong, I've learned a few tips and techniques: Compare line by line against a working model List all the components and how they work together Challenge every assumption Reboot or reinstall Google the error messages you see Site-search key sites Come back to it later Contact an expert Post the question in a forum Send the problem across...

WordPress TV Launches -- The Appeal of Video Continues to Expand

WordPress TV launched this week (go to http://WordPress.tv to view it). The concept of WordPress TV is similar to Adobe TV -- it's a multimedia site loaded with a ton of video tutorials and other video content, only WordPress TV is more user generated. Here's a video introducing WordPress TV: On WordPress TV, the quality of the videos varies, since many of them are recorded at Wordcamps around the world. Additionally, you can recommend v...

Screencasting -- Workflow and Presentation, by Collin Turner (Podcast)

Listen here: Screencasting Presentation Summary In this podcast, Collin Turner presents on "Screencasting -- Workflow and Presentation" to the Intermountain STC chapter in Utah. Here's the presentation description: Screencasting (when applied properly) is a valuable tool whose popularity is gaining traction. Most available software is accessible and easy to use. You can make or break a screencast before you ever capture ...

Twittering Tips for Beginners - Pogue's Posts Blog - NYTimes.com

Twittering Tips for Beginners - Pogue's Posts Blog - NYTimes.com. Best part: I found one rule, though, that answered a long-standing question I had about Twitter: “Don't tweet about what you're doing right now.” Which is weird, since that's precisely how the typing box at Twitter.com is labeled: “What are you doing?” David Pogue is one of the speakers at the upcoming STC Summit.

A Technical Writer with Extra Privileges? Responding to a Question about Roles (Videocast)

Listen here: Download in iPod format Jim from Iowa writes: I was doing some career research involving technical writing and stumbled upon your website.  I had a question about that sort of thing, and you seem like a good person to ask. To be frank, I have two main interests--writing and technology.  I love to read and write, but I also love engineering, working with computers, etc.  So, I guess at this point, one would s...

Poll: What blogging software is available for use at your work?

In this poll, I'm trying to find out what blogging software is available to technical communicators in the workplace (for publishing product information, building user communities, and doing other work-related tasks -- not personal publishing). It's a short, one-question poll. If you have any additional comments to add, please add them in the comments section below the post. Thanks. Online Surveys & Market Research ...

Top Technical Communication News for January 2009

Listen here: In this podcast, I cover the top 10 technical communication news items during the past month. This is a different type of podcast than I've normally done. The show notes below are excerpts of what I cover, but without any commentary. 1. Techcomm toolbox One of the most common questions heard on many forums is “What tool do you use for [purpose]?” Answers vary, of course, because everyone has their own favor...

WritersUA Salary Survey, Tools Survey, and Upcoming Conference

WritersUA has their annual salary and tools surveys going on. Their survey results are among the most influential of surveys, so be sure to participate. Click the following links to take the surveys: WritersUA Tools Survey WritersUA Salary Survey Additionally, WritersUA has a conference coming up at the end of March. Although I've never been, everyone I've met who has attended has praised the conference. As if this all weren't enough, t...

My STC Intercom Article about Writer River and Community-Driven Websites

The STC Intercom published an article I wrote about Writer River called "Caught in the Current of Writer River: Building and Participating in Community-Driven Websites." If you're a member of the STC and you have access to the Intercom, check your latest copy (January 2009) or log in to stc.org and download the article here (PDF). If you don't have access, you can read the original post I wrote, which is nearly the same article but withou...