Guy Kawasaki's Alltop Site Now Includes Technical Writing

Last Sunday I was sitting in church when I felt my BlackBerry buzz. I quickly and discreetly checked to see if it was anything important. Indeed, it was a message from Guy Kawasaki letting me know my site was included in Alltop. At first I was floored, because Guy Kawasaki is a well-known figure in the tech world and it's cool to receive an email from him. Second, Alltop is a prestigious content aggregator. I later explored Alltop more th...

Snippets Toward a Philosophy of Life

Thinking a little about my philosophy of life A couple of months ago I started writing little thoughts on post-it notes next to my monitor at work. The thoughts consisted of random little epiphanies or conclusions about life. I took the best 10 post-in notes and have collected them here as an attempt toward a philosophy of life. It's not much of a "philosophy," but I don't know what else to call it. In writing, story is what matters -- e...

The Problem with Speaking Conversationally in Video Tutorials

Voiceover techniques 1.1 Finding a Conversational Voice in Video Tutorials 1.2 → The Problem with Speaking Conversationally in Video Tutorials 1.3 Finding an acoustic environment (Voiceover) 1.4 Sounding natural (Voiceover) ...

What Constitutes "Intelligent Content"? Interview with Ann Rockley

A few years ago, I wanted to better understand content management, so I picked up Managing Enterprise Content, by Ann Rockley, and read it through. It opened my eyes to a lot of new concepts. Ann is one of our field's leading experts in content management. She's now expanding in to something she calls "intelligent content." Intelligent content is a concept that builds on other concepts you may already be familiar with. I think we're goin...

Transitioning from Literary Studies to Technical Communication

Last night, unable to sleep at about 4 a.m., either because I went to bed early or because I simply couldn't sleep, I grabbed my BlackBerry, on its usual place on my nightstand, and began to read through my email and feeds, as I am accustomed to do, lying half-conscious on my pillow, when I saw this intriguing question from Harold Motley about whether the transition from literary studies to technical communication was fairly common, or r...

User Assistance: Will Write for Metamucil

Will Write for Metamucil: User Assistance

My Tip for Productivity: Tear Up the To-Do List

Have you ever thought of tearing up your to-do list? A couple of weeks ago I started listing all of my to-do's in Outlook. Soon the list grew so long that I felt I would never be able to do it all. We all lead extremely busy lives. We have goals, commitments, and an almost endless amount of tasks to complete. Are there any productivity tips that work for you? Here's how my friends on Twitter responded: DeeElling: Take the work and go els...

Usability Newsletter Interview – I'd Rather Be Writing – The Man Behind the Words

Usability SIG Newsletter interview I was recently interviewed by David Dick for the Usability SIG newsletter. The title of the interview is "I'd Rather Be Writing – The Man Behind the Words." Check it out. They also reprinted my post on Customizing Sharepoint, which has gotten more hits than I ever imagined.

Does Design Matter in Comparison to Content?

Last week I made some alterations to my site's design, but no one seemed to notice. In fact, few people have ever commented about my blog's design at all. The same goes with the music intros for my podcasts. I can change the music each time, and no one ever responds. In contrast, if a post has good content, I see a steady stream of comments. My experience leads me to conclude that content is about 90% important, and design is 10% importan...

Finding a Conversational Voice in Video Tutorials

Voiceover techniques 1.1 → Finding a Conversational Voice in Video Tutorials 1.2 The Problem with Speaking Conversationally in Video Tutorials 1.3 Finding an acoustic environment (Voiceover) 1.4 Sounding natural (Voiceover) ...

Details About the STC Summit Recording -- Interview with Lloyd Tucker

The next STC Summit will be entirely recorded and made available for free to all conference registrants. At the next STC Summit, May 3-6 in Atlanta, Georgia, the STC will record and distribute every one of the 120+ sessions, making them available to all conference registrants for free and to others at a cost. Because this is the first time the STC has attempted to record the Summit, I asked Lloyd Tucker, STC's Director of Education and Me...

Dawn or Dusk -- Considering the Advantages of Early Morning

Dawn -- The day is just beginning! Ever since I moved to Eagle Mountain, I've been carpooling with a colleague who picks me up at 5:30 a.m. This means I wake up at 4:45 a.m. to start getting ready. We roll in to work at 6:30 a.m. -- long before the secretary comes in to turn on the lights. In the early morning, I enjoy watching the sun rise slowly over the mountains. It gradually changes the dark scenery outside to gray and then blue. I'v...

You Can Now Advertise on My Blog

If you look in the sidebar of my site, you'll see that I've enlarged the space and included two placeholder ads. I intentionally cleared this space to make way for companies to promote their products and services. I'd Rather Be Writing receives approximately 1200 page views a day from technical communicators all over the world. 1500 people are subscribed to the feed alone, making it one of the most popular technical writing blogs on the I...

Author-it Launches a Blog -- An Interview About the Who, Why, and How

Author-it launched a blog today. You can view it at http://author-it.com/blog. Author-it's new blog. Check it out. I had a sneak peek of the blog about a week ago and contacted Kathy Howes for an interview about it. The questions I asked her are below. Why did you decide to start a corporate blog? We see blogging as an essential part of an organization's content strategy, and a great opportunity to directly interact with our clients at ma...

'Lost the Fire – How to Rekindle It' – A Second Response

Jayant writes, I am a technical writer from India. I just moved to the UK and find the scenario very different from India. Here technical writing jobs are not easy to come by – I understand this is due to the recession. I also have found my desire for technical writing waning away a bit. This could be because at my previous office, technical writing had been reduced to merely doing language edits of 500 pages in three days. How do I rekin...