Avoiding a sense of rambling (Voiceover)

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 (Voi...

Sounding natural (Voiceover)

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) ...

Finding an acoustic environment (Voiceover)

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) ...

Message from the Sponsors

In an effort to give more visibility and exposure to the companies who advertise on my site, I'm providing a regular "Messages from the Sponsors" post. In this post, I asked my sponsors if they have any messages they would like me to share with my readers. Since it was the first time I asked this, not everyone was ready with content, but two of them (Scriptorium and Madcap Software) did provide messages, which I've inserted below.   Scrip...

Podcast: What's New in Flare 6 — Interview with Mike Hamilton

Listen here: Flare 6 is available today from Madcap Software. This weekend I interviewed Mike Hamilton, VP of Product Management, about the new features Flare 6 contains. In this podcast, we talk about five of the new features in Flare: Batch processing GUI and macro targets Topic metadata (e.g., owner, status) The new link viewer Mobile targets Multimedia integration Mike also mentions some user interface improvements...

Podcast: Documentation in the Cloud

Listen here: In this podcast, Michael Hiatt at mashstream.com presents to the STC Intermountain chapter on documentation in the cloud. By documentation in the cloud, he's referring to our move to the web of everything we do on the computer -- the running of applications, the saving of our data, the way we access and interact with all the information. He covers at a lot of ground in this presentation, touching on web 2.0,...

WordPress Tip: Avoid Getting Hacked through Bluehost's cPanel

It's always hard to tell exactly why or how a site gets hacked. One of the WordPress sites I created for a client kept getting hacked. I took more extreme security measures, changing the database table prefix, adding an htaccess file to wp-admin that filtered IP addresses, adding a plugin to encrypt logins, adding a firewall, moving wp-config to another directory, and other measures. I thought the problem was with WordPress. Then last wee...

Finding Space to Breathe: Managing Overwhelming End-of-Project Tasks

I'm nearing the release of a project that I've been working on for about a year. All those deadlines that seemed to be many months in the distance are suddenly weeks away. As the project manager was reviewing the rollout schedule with me, he paused to admit that he was a little overwhelmed with everything going on. There's simply a lot to do with a product rollout -- user acceptance testing, quality assurance regression testing, change ma...

Together or Apart: Collaboration Models for Technical Writing

Today I spent a rather lonely day writing documentation. I had one team meeting, during which our team gathered for what seemed like a brief second. We then departed back to our respective portfolios, most of us working alone and in solitude toward some distant documentation goal. Some writing teams sit together. They chum with each other all day long about commas and online help layouts. At my first job as a technical writer, I sat in a...

The Art of Asking Questions

The other week Shannon and I met with our daughter's teacher for a regular parent-teacher conference. Sally is in third grade but reads books beyond her level. She's read the entire Harry Potter series. She raced through the Percy Jackson books, and will read about anything with a horse in it. The last Jazz game I took Sally to, we stopped off at Barnes and Noble to buy her a book (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) for her birthday. By halftime she h...

Praise: The Worst Feedback You Can Give Developers?

Lately I have been logging a lot of bugs in JIRA, our bug-tracking database. In one day I logged 25 bugs. This past week I logged about 60 overall. It feels good to log bugs. I feel like I'm finding valuable gaps in the application where code simply isn't working. Despite these benefits to the project team, in a recent triage meeting with the lead developer, as we discussed the bugs that needed fixing, it looked like the world was on his ...

"I never really understood that feature, so I left it alone..."

The other day I rose early to conduct some user acceptance testing with a new version of our software. As I was going through the new version of the application with a user, he got excited about a new feature we were implementing, which allowed users to collaborate on items. Noting his excitement, and realizing that the new version of the software wouldn't be released for several more months, I explained that the current version had a sim...

The Common Language Everyone Speaks

Several weeks ago, I was reading something that caused me to worry. A line in a scriptural narrative biography tells how his father taught him in all the ways of right. As a father, I thought about what I had taught my children, and it wasn't much. They weren't going to become Enochs from anything I showed them. Football on Sundays, basketball during the week, too much TV, long absences at a remote job, lots of time sitting at a computer ...

Cures for the Information Exclusion Complex

Some years ago, I used to suffer from developer neglect, or to use a more scientific term, from a kind of information exclusion complex. You know what I'm talking about. Developers make updates to the interface, often at the last minute, and don't let the tech writer know what changed. As a result, the help is wrong and out of date. It's a frustrating experience from the writer's perspective. Information exclusion is fairly common. Just l...

WordPress Tip: Add More Widget Areas to Your WordPress Theme

You can add more than one sidebar section to your WordPress site. For example, with the stc-intermountain.org site, I added a whole bunch of additional sidebar sections in the Appearance > Widgets section. Adding more sidebar sections Adding more sidebars is useful if you're using WordPress more as a content management system than a blog. Someone asked me how I did this. The process isn't hard. I've broken it down into three steps. (...