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A Social Media Primer for Technical Communicators

Humans have been intrigued by the shallowness of the network pools for quite some time. Whether through in-depth genealogy searches tracking family trees or the strange, yet fascinating, game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” we want to know how quickly we can be connected with each other.

You May Be an Instructional Designer

Pretend that you have been hired by the military to design instruction to train thousands of recruits to safely, effectively use hand grenades.

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

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.

DITA 1.2: What's in It for Writers?

“After working on this release for (can it be?) almost three years, I am delighted that the baby has left the nest…“

Universal Design for Digital Media

About a year ago, I was working with a small internal team on the architecture and conceptual design of a software product. Our goal was a workplace solution to improve upon the inadequacies and burdens of common “e-room” applications with greater collaboration and efficiency.

The Global Language: Using Symbols and Icons When Delivering Technical Content

Perhaps the greatest advantage offered by the Internet and the World Wide Web today is the fact that it is truly “world wide” and opens up an unprecedented international marketplace for the delivery of goods and services. Small companies can now sell into marketplaces never dreamed of before, while large multinational companies can streamline their internal communications, and cross-border and cross-cultural cooperation has become a reality. However, the global marketplace also raises a fundamental issue—that of global communication.

Digital Self Defense for Technical Communicators

What do technical communicators need to know about information security? How do they protect both their private information and professional assets, including work they may be doing for a client? How can they leverage and use social media safely and effectively? This article discusses key security measures you as a technical communicator and computer user can take to protect yourself and others, and it offers best practices for safe use of social media. I'll also provide examples of how we've addressed similar user security awareness issues at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Measuring Productivity

Every manager struggles to balance writer workload and project capacity. A simple spreadsheet-based system can help you objectively evaluate assigned tasks, task time and complexity, special projects, and even writer experience levels to more accurately assess individual workload and capacity. The result is a simple but useful representational graph. In addition to measuring current team capacity and productivity, this method also provides objective metrics to better estimate future project capacity and to support performance evaluations for individual writers.

Editing in English for East Asia: What Technical Communicators Need to Know About Writing for New Markets

Some of us may never speak Japanese or Korean or travel to China, but as technical communicators we will potentially influence East Asian audiences, particularly if we collaborate on documents that support products or services marketed for East Asia.

Is Social Networking for You?

Is social networking a passing fad, or here to stay? It is a “must” for business owners and consultants, but what about for captive employees? Is social networking for you ?