Category: April 2011

The Future of Technical Communication Is Socially Enabled: Understanding the Help 2.0 Revolution

By Scott Abel | Senior Member The field of technical communication has come a long way in a short time. We’ve been impacted in positive ways by all sorts of technological advances. We’ve moved from authoring content on typewriters to personal computers, from creating printed documentation to digital files, and from authoring content in proprietary formats to creating content that adheres to open, international standards. We’ve learned new approaches, adopted lessons learned from other disciplines, and discovered the secret to creating multiple deliverables from a single source of content. We’ve challenged ourselves to reduce jargon, to standardize terminology, and to… Read the rest

Flare 7—Something for Everyone

By Ed Marshall | Associate Fellow Flare 7 is the latest version of the state-of-the-art help authoring tool produced by MadCap Software. It has several new features and enhancements, which I’ve categorized in Table 1. Table 1. Flare 7 Features and Enhancements Category New Features/Enhancements Adding smart device technologies to traditional PDFs Support for QR Codes in PDFs. Accessibility Several enhancements make it easier to provide accessible features in Flare output. Workplace collaboration The following collaboration/source code control tools are now supported: Microsoft SharePoint Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 Subversion (a popular free source code control tool) Additionally, there is… Read the rest

Specialized Learning Begins Even Before the STC Summit

The Technical Communication Summit, STC's 58th Annual Conference, offers extraordinary opportunities for in-depth exploration of hot topics in technical communication. The certificate courses, held just prior to the Summit, continue to be extremely popular with attendees. Combined with the variety of learning experiences offered by the regular conference education sessions, the certificate programs give technical communicators the knowledge they need to stay on top of trends in a constantly evolving profession. Workshops are another, shorter, preconference learning opportunity, with four courses to choose from. View details of the titles and content of certificate programs and workshops and register online at… Read the rest

World's Largest Meeting of Technical Communicators

This May in Sacramento, CA, STC will host the largest gathering of technical communicators as it has done annually 57 times before. This year it’s even bigger, with Tim O’Reilly selected as our keynote speaker and Honorary Fellow! More than 80 education and networking sessions will be presented from Sunday evening to Wednesday afternoon, 15–18 May, kicked off by O’Reilly’s talk on 15 May. Top practitioners, academe, consultants, and researchers in the field of technical communication will present new material on cutting-edge technology, trends, and issues, mixed in with the staples of solid communication techniques and topic areas. And once… Read the rest

Exhibitor Directory

Editor’s Note: This directory includes committed exhibitors as of 21 March. For updated information, visit 3DVIA Booth Number: 408 300 Baker Avenue Concord, MA 01742 +1 (800) 693-9000 Fax: +1 (978) 318-5689 3DVIA Composer technology enables users to create interactive product documentation, animation, technical illustrations, and more. By reusing 3D CAD data, 3DVIA Composer revolutionizes the product documentation process. With easy-to-use, desktop content-creation, 3DVIA Composer quickly and easily automates processes that are crucial for marketplace success, reducing costs and improving quality. 4.ST—HelpServer Booth Number: 305 Technologielaan 21-b1 B-3001 Leuven, Belgium Tel: +32 16 40 40 54 Fax:… Read the rest

Ten Day Trips for Your Summit Experience

By Melody Brumis | Member Since you already signed up for the STC conference this May in Sacramento, now’s the time to plan that extra day away with your STC friends. While I have my favorite spots, I thought I’d poll the locals—STC friends from the Sacramento, Berkeley, and East Bay Chapters—to find out where they would go. This top 10 list is what they shared with me. All good technical communicators need an assignment, so I gave the locals this one. Where would you go and what would you do if you had an extra day at the upcoming… Read the rest

Why Should You Go to the Summit?

By MaryKay Grueneberg | Senior Member I have been a member of STC since 1996. Yet, the 2009 Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, was my first Summit. Why did it take me so long to attend my first Summit? I'm not really sure. It was not a matter of cost and it was not a matter of time off work. I think I simply never really paid attention to it before then. I know now that was a big mistake. In the months just before the 2009 Summit, I was elected as Vice President of the STC Chicago chapter, so I… Read the rest

Technical Communication Summit Session Descriptions

STC presents the preliminary schedule of sessions for the 2011 Summit, being held 15–18 May in Sacramento, CA. The sessions are listed below in order of date and time, then alphabetically by session title. They include the session title, track, speakers, and description. This list is as of 18 March; see for any changes or additions. Conference education sessions are included with your registration. 16 May 8:30–9:30 AM Caroline Jarrett, 10 Tips for a Better Survey Track: Usability and Accessibility Surveys: so easy to do, so hard to do well. If you want to get the most out of… Read the rest

FrameMaker Turns 25: Interview with Inventor Charles Corfield and an Update on New FrameMaker 10 Functionality

By Maxwell Hoffmann | Member The Past: Where Did FrameMaker Come From? In April of this year, FrameMaker celebrates the 25th anniversary of its “birth,” in terms of the founding of Frame Technology. Although Adobe acquired FrameMaker in 1995 and has successfully managed product development for the past 15+ years, it seems like a good time to revisit the product’s birth and try to determine how and why this sensible publishing solution has remained a market leader for a quarter of a century. Although Frame Technology had several company co-founders (Steve Kirsch, inventor of the optical mouse; David Murray, inventor… Read the rest