Resources for Single Sourcing Projects

Resources for Single Sourcing Projects

Comprehensive Podcast Index -- A List of All My Podcasts

Several people have asked if I have a list of all the podcasts I've published (rather than having to page through the archives). I just added a comprehensive list below the Tech Writer Voices graphic on the right sidebar. Click the See all episodes link. (By the way, I created that page by inserting the loop on a page template, stripping out the content tag, limiting the category to the Tech Writer Voices, and expanding the display count ...

On Podcasts -- Reasons for the Break and Plans for the Future

If you've listened to podcasts on my site, you'll notice that for the past 3 months, I haven't posted any new podcasts. It's also been about three months since Aaron or Scott from DMN Communications published a podcast. What happened? Is podcasting dead? No, podcasting is not dead. But I'll explain my break. I've been riding the bus/train to work for the past 9 months (I actually got rid of my old car, which I had to jumpstart each morn...

WordPress Tip: WordPress as a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Application

I'm amazed at how easily people can make sites look both professional and functional in a short period of time using WordPress. Clyde Parson, the STC-Suncoast chapter in Tampa, just redid the Suncoast STC with a new WordPress theme. It looks pretty cool. Back when I lived in Tampa, the Suncoast STC site was already created in WordPress, but there was an initiative to migrate the site to Drupal for its password-protection capabilities (whi...

Corporate Migration to the Blogosphere

Looking into the future A few months ago, I started to write a post about the cultural shift blogging would create in the near and long-term future. I didn't get very far and quickly became mired in speculation. But when I learned today that RJ Jacquez now has a blog, I started to remember some of my predictions. Basically, it goes like this: Amateur bloggers start to saturate Google with content that controls the reputation of company p...

Another Collaborative Site: Read Scriptures Together

I recently created a collaborative site called Read Scriptures Together. It probably won't appeal to most readers of my blog, but I thought I'd at least mention it. In case you haven't read my About page, I'm a technical writer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We're commonly known as the Mormons. I work in the IT department writing help material for software applications the Church creates. I'm also an active member o...

How to Listen to Podcasts

I recommend that you listen to podcasts while commuting in your car or exercising. You can also pop on headphones while gardening or folding laundry, but the in-car-listening scenario is the most common for podcasts. To listen to podcasts in the car, you'll need a wireless FM transmitter.  A wireless FM transmitter plugs into your car's cigarrette lighter and your MP3 player. It then transmits the sound from your MP3 player to your radio ...

Too Connected – Utopias and Dystopias of Communication

Some people feel that the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime is one of the utopias the Internet brings. For any question you have, the answer is a keystroke away. Google leads you to the site or person who can help. Country walls are irrelevant in the reach of information. You can connect with people in Malaysia, Australia, or Zimbabwe as if they lived next door. With this connectedness, all the silos and walled gardens ten...

With All This Fuss About Tools, Three Best Practice Attitudes

A few weeks ago I started experimenting with surveys in my sidebar, mostly informal, and mainly to try out different WordPress plugins. Little did I know my surveys would incite so much controversy. The latest poll, "Which Authoring Tool Is Best for You?" has received nearly 600 votes from people around the world, and was discussed at length on the HATT listserv. In all this discussion, I've realized one thing: technical writers are pas...

User Assistance: Why I Hate PDFs

User Assistance: Why I Hate PDFs.

WordCamp Utah Registration Is Now Open - Joseph Scott's Blog

WordCamp Utah Registration Is Now Open - Joseph Scott's Blog. No doubt WordCamp Utah may not be geographically relevant to you, but there are WordCamps throughout the world. Just go to Wordcamp.org.

Word Macro for Resizing Images that Have a Specific Style

When you single source from an online help authoring tool and generate an output to Microsoft Word, almost invariably you have some clean-up reformatting to do. For me, one of these areas deals with screenshot images. I prefer to have Word resize my screenshots (to a smaller size) because images look a lot sharper and crisper when Word resizes them rather than when SnagIt or Photoshop resizes them (even with smooth scaling selected). What...

Tapping your creative juices Interesting ...

Tapping your creative juices Interesting division of challenges into component parts: "Sometimes the problem is cognitive, e.g. learning and explaining. Sometimes the problem is emotional, e.g. conflict resolution. Sometimes the problem is spiritual, e.g. conflict of interest. Sometimes the problem is physical, e.g. constrained by available resources. And most of the time the problem is a lovely blending of components that taxes body, sou...

An Article That Changed My Approach to Help

After a topic title in your help, what do you write? Do you jump straight into the numbered steps, or do you explain why a user would likely perform the topic? Although I practice the latter (adding explanatory text before the steps), I recently read an article by Mike Hughes that convinced me readers rarely read text that appears before a numbered list. Here's the gist of Mike's article. He's really talking about on-screen text, but I'm...

Instructional Text in the User Interface: Some Counterintuitive Implications of User Behaviors :: UXmatters

Instructional Text in the User Interface: Some Counterintuitive Implications of User Behaviors :: UXmatters.