Question: How do I add my DITA content in Confluence for SME review?

Someone recently asked me: I am using DITA with structured Frame and Tech Comm Suite. Do you know the best output to use so the docs can be displayed in Confluence? The SMEs want to proofread in Confluence and use it for a knowledge base. Ideally, I'd like to output from DITA or Robohelp and then just upload to Confluence. Great question! Mixing DITA and Confluence is a major challenge. I noted in my API doc survey that about a third of p...

Podcast: Unifying the API doc publishing toolchain, with Mark Baker

Listen here: In this podcast, I talk with Mark Baker from Every Page Is Page One about unifying the API doc publishing toolchain. Here are some questions I ask Mark during the podcast: What kinds of API docs pose challenges with the tool chain? Do API reference docs need to be separate from other docs? How do you integrate API reference with non-API reference info? How do you extract source code comments from Java or C+...

API doc survey result: How to learn what you need to know?

API documentation survey 1.0 I need your responses to my API Documentation Survey 1.1 API doc survey: The most popular type of APIs that technical writers document 1.2 API doc survey: The most common programming languages tech writers know ...

API doc survey result: How do you get the source files that contain code comments?

API documentation survey 1.0 I need your responses to my API Documentation Survey 1.1 API doc survey: The most popular type of APIs that technical writers document 1.2 API doc survey: The most common programming languages tech writers know ...

API doc survey result: Automating REST API documentation

API documentation survey 1.0 I need your responses to my API Documentation Survey 1.1 API doc survey: The most popular type of APIs that technical writers document 1.2 API doc survey: The most common programming languages tech writers know ...

Podcast: Automating REST API documentation, with Peter Gruenbaum

Listen here: In this podcast, Peter Gruenbaum talks about automating REST API documentation. Here are a few questions I asked Peter during the podcast: What do people mean when they use the term "automated documentation"? Is automated documentation preferable to manual documentation? Why is it more difficult to automate REST API documentation than it is with platform API documentation? What are some tools used to autom...

New cost-per-click feature for advertising on I'd Rather Be Writing During 2015

I usually renew advertising on I'd Rather Be Writing at the beginning of the year. I just updated my Advertising page with more details. This year I'm hoping to try something new. In the past, I've only done advertising based on the number of impressions. That is, each time my site loads, an ad appears and makes an impression for the year. Over the course of 2014, there were about 588,000 impressions (I equate each page load with one impr...

My *real* top 10 technical writing trend predictions for 2015

On New Years day I posted a spoof of trends because I think trends posts get to be a bit ridiculous. During this time it's like the Mardi-Gras of free and wild speculations. However, I did receive some great comments on the post. One of my favorites was this one: Wow and Wow. At age 76, as a recently minted Journalism major, with a minor in geomorphology, and with a $103,786 education debt, (no matter mostly from gambling) your obviously...

Top 10 posts, podcasts, tweets of 2014 -- and what it all means

Here's a look at the top 10 posts, podcasts, and tweets published in 2014 on I'd Rather Be Writing. After the lists, I explain my takeaways from looking at the metrics. Top 10 posts written in 2014 Based on Google Analytics, these 10 posts written in 2014 received the most traffic: A simple way to write, edit, and publish documentation online using Google Docs and Markdown 10 technical writing principles to live by Do I n...

API doc survey: Do you create API doc by looking at source code?

API documentation survey 1.0 I need your responses to my API Documentation Survey 1.1 API doc survey: The most popular type of APIs that technical writers document 1.2 API doc survey: The most common programming languages tech writers know ...

API doc survey: What IDE do you use?

API documentation survey 1.0 I need your responses to my API Documentation Survey 1.1 API doc survey: The most popular type of APIs that technical writers document 1.2 API doc survey: The most common programming languages tech writers know ...

API doc survey: Do you test out the API calls used in your doc yourself?

API documentation survey 1.0 I need your responses to my API Documentation Survey 1.1 API doc survey: The most popular type of APIs that technical writers document 1.2 API doc survey: The most common programming languages tech writers know ...

Predictions for Top 10 Technical Writing Trends for 2015

Predictions about technical writing trends always abound near the beginning of a new year. In the past, we've heard predictions about the ubiquity of mobile, responsive design, cloud authoring, collaborative solutions, content strategy, localization, the "Internet of Things," augmented reality, video, DIY, and more. Some predictions turn out to be true, others false. This year, based on a lot of feedback I've received over the year, alon...

Various Site updates: Added third column with dynamic sidebar, and more

I made a few updates to my WordPress site recently. Nothing major, but it might be of interest especially if you're into WordPress. Added dynamic third column I added a third column on the left that contains dynamic content based on what you're viewing. Currently new column shows either a list of categories or a specific page (containing a list of items). Here's how the sidebar changes: If you're viewing my DITA quick reference guide, th...

Question: Where are API documentation jobs for technical writers located?

I recently received a question about API documentation jobs for technical writers. A reader asks, For the next phase of my career, I'm looking to break into API documentation. Do you know of any other regions besides Silicon Valley where API doc is hot? I'm in the Boston area, and I see some API writing jobs posted, but not as many as I would have thought. Do you expect these jobs to become more popular outside of Silicon Valley in the fu...