meet the staff – intercom

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A Note from the Editors

This issue of Intercom is essentially a double issue on information architecture, with print and Web editions (some additional articles have been published online only). I’m thrilled to start off 2012 with such impressive content and an exciting topic. I thank coeditors Andrea Ames and Alyson Riley for their hard work and dedication to this issue. Visit to share your thoughts about the articles. —Liz Pohland We set out to do something new with this special edition of Intercom magazine, something that reflected our passion for information architecture and our desire to help equip information architects (IAs) for… Read the rest

Letter to the Editor

In the November issue of Intercom, Neil Perlin briefly discussed the ePub standard in his article, “Tech Comm and Mobile: What You Need to Know.” He mentioned in the article that the ePub standard does not currently support an index. I would like to share some news about some behind-the-scenes work that will hopefully add indexing to the ePub 3.0 standard. Indexes have always been able to be included in ePubs, as long as they were in chapter form and used basic hyperlinks to let the reader navigate to the text. The work involved in creating the links has kept… Read the rest

A Note from the Editor

This month’s Intercom focuses on gaming, a subject that evokes fond memories of my youth and my current research interests. I have witnessed a resurgence in the gaming industry lately (both for entertainment or sports-based games and also for those related to training and management), which is supported in an Economist Special Report on video games ( Tim Cross predicts, “video games will be the fastest-growing and most exciting form of mass media over the coming decade,” arguing that “as the newest and fastest-growing form of mass media[, games] deserve to be taken seriously.” I couldn’t agree more. Like all… Read the rest

A Note from the Editor

I am very excited about this month’s Intercom magazine. While I knew the mobile theme of the issue would be popular among readers, as I increasingly see it covered in other publications and at conferences, I was overwhelmed by the interest in the topic and by the number of high-quality submissions I received, which is why the entire issue this month is devoted to mobile communication technologies and strategies. Joe Welinske’s and Marta Rauch’s articles center on user assistance. Joe emphasizes the importance of supporting mobile as user assistance professionals, especially as the mobile market continues to grow, and he… Read the rest

A Note From the Editors

This issue of Intercom centers on multimedia and new media, especially the role new media centers or labs have on technical communication practice and instruction. I thank co-editor Dr. Rich Rice of Texas Tech University for his assistance with the content of this issue. I also want to thank author Geoff Hart who is retiring his information design column after 20 years’ service to Intercom. —Liz Pohland The ever-increasing use and professionalization of new media, both in the workplace and in academia, by way of the synchronization and analysis and assessment of video, audio, picture, text, databases, mobile devices,… Read the rest

A Note From the Editor

The July/August issue of Intercom is dedicated to the technical communicator’s essential toolbox and identifying tool genres that are crucial to getting your job done. As the cover image suggests, not only is the tool or technology important, but so are the skills necessary to use the tools, and therefore this issue spans a wide array of tools and skill genres, including content management systems, game-based learning, terminology databases, essential books, and applications that make our writing process easier. The first two features provide two important lists of essential knowledge about tech comm tools and skills. Avon Murphy, the recently… Read the rest

A Note from the Editor

This issue of intercom is focused on social media and social networking tools for technical communicators. Meredith Singleton and Lisa Meloncon’s cover article provides readers with a social media primer, describing how technical communicators can be seen as a trusted authority for a company’s social media strategy and communications. They explain that selecting the appropriate employee is key to the strategy, because those who use social media must convince others that their intentions are genuine, and that they have the knowledge and expertise in a specific area or industry by providing valuable and accurate information on an ongoing basis, often… Read the rest

A Note from the Editor

One of Intercom‘s purposes is to provide readers with articles that promote professional development. This issue in particular attempts to address this goal by examining some related industries to technical communication. For example, Keith Hopper and Wei Sun’s article shows how technical communicators’ skills are appropriate for the field of instructional design (maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency, and appeal of instruction or other learning experiences). They use an example of teaching soldiers to use hand grenades, which is the reference to which the cover image refers. Catherine Deschamps-Potter focuses on the translation industry—another sister field—and the multimedia content evolution going on… Read the rest

A Note from the Editor

This month’s Intercom is longer than usual with two mainstream articles, two product reviews, two columns, and also detailed information about the upcoming Technical Communication Summit in Sacramento, California, STC’s 58th annual conference, 15-18 May 2011. Two of the articles in this issue focus on content management and help documentation. Scott Abel’s article on Help 2.0 explains how the power of the crowd is being used to create socially enabled customer assistance experiences, engaging interactive digital content, useful mobile applications, and powerful location-aware help. He points out how talented professional technical communicators are ideally suited for this Help 2.0 “revolution.”… Read the rest

From the Guest Editor

Standards are omnipresent and play a vital role in our lives. Standards ensure the safety and reliability of our transportation, construction, communication, and power. Technical communicators benefit from standards every time we use the Web or write Web content, create accessible content, or work with XML. This issue provides insights into three standards bodies that are relevant to technical communication and are supported by STC members: the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), OASIS, and ISO. A goal I had as guest editor of this issue was not just to highlight the standards themselves, but also to provide readers with a… Read the rest