Category: Features

Product Data Sustainment With Semantic Web Technologies

By Karl Darr In 2001, the seminal article “The Semantic Web” by Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, and Ora Lassila was published. (This article was preceded by a Berners-Lee proposal submitted to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a standards-setting body, on 4 February 2000). This proposal and article set in motion much research and hopes for future technologies that would be able to “bring structure to the meaningful content of web pages” with “software agents roaming from page to page,” where they “can readily carry out sophisticated tasks for users,” and other technologies. The article went on to state, “Like… Read the rest

Blogging as a Multiliteracy Approach to Teaching Visual Communication

By Monica Wesley As the expectations placed upon technical communicators have grown, educators have also realized that there is a pressing need to teach technical communication students visual communication skills. Unfortunately, verbal and visual literacies are too often viewed as dichotomous—skills and abilities that are entirely distinct from one another. Instead of framing verbal and visual literacies as silos of knowledge and ability, this article proposes a multiliteracy approach to the teaching of visual communication. In such an approach, students who already possess verbal skills can use those abilities as a bridge to acquire visual communication skills. Here, I will… Read the rest

Writers vs. Illustrators: The Battle of the Century?

By Daniel Maddux | Member My battle Paul and I were locked in our familiar battle. I had laid out the document using a clear logic, and everything made perfect sense. But that wasn’t good enough for Paul. He wanted everything to be pretty. And he was even willing to sacrifice a little clarity (gasp!), if it meant that the document wound up with the feel that he wanted it to have. Why the ruckus? Technical communicators tend to have very different priorities than illustrators, in general. Technical communicators are trained to make information work for people. Usability (not just… Read the rest

Communicating With Color

By Alan J. Porter | Senior Member My red shoes went viral on the Internet thanks to a photograph taken at the Intelligent Content Conference in Palm Springs back in February. Over the past couple of years, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with Converse sneakers, and as of today have nine pairs in different colors, usually worn to match whatever shirt or jacket I’m wearing. The red ones always seem to draw comments or, it seems, the occasional photograph. However, my interest in color goes beyond my choice of sartorial footwear, as I’ve long been interested in the… Read the rest