Archive | Show me the Money

Technical writing is a commercial trade.

Video Will Not Eclipse Text

There is a fallacy that seems to have worked its way into the shared psyche, a belief that the next generation (whichever one that might be) will not read text at all but will demand video for everything. This seems to have produced a kind of fatalism in some tech writers, a belief that video […]

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The Goal of Tech Comm is to Enable Correct Action

The purpose of technical communication is not to translate complex information into simple terms, but to enable the reader to act correctly. Tom Johnson has a great blog post laying out An argument for complexity rather than simplicity in technical communication. Many products, Tom argues, are complex, and to pretend otherwise is to do the reader […]

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The Best Job I Ever Had

The best job I ever had spanned the full spectrum of technical communication. In a response to a comment in a discussion related to my post Content Engineering is not Technical Writing, Scott Abel said: Who cares what tech writers do. There’s no future (read: great paying careers) in documenting things. That ship sailed a […]

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I am a Content Engineer

In the closing keynote of the 2013 LavaCon conference, Ann Rockley talked about the rising importance of content engineering in content strategy. A content engineer, Ann explained, is someone with one foot in the technology world and one foot in the content world. Last year I wrote a pair of posts on my hesitation about […]

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Why content jobs are never well defined

Content jobs are never strictly defined because they are the mortar that holds the bricks of the enterprise together. I’m attending LavaCon, and here, as everywhere, content people are debating the definition of their roles, the names of those roles, the boundaries and intersects between them, and the responsibilities and qualifications pertinent to them. Newer […]

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Hand reaching for apple.

Optimize Your Content for Social Curation

We worry a lot about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I suspect we don’t worry enough about Social Curation Optimization (hereby dubbed SCO). Social curation plays a large role in how people find content on the Web. Google’s Eric Schmidt was recently quoted as saying: Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter also allow users to leverage their social […]

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Dumb vs. Smart Revision

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Improving the content creation process

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Improving the content creation processSeveral readers of my posts on revision have pointed out that content gets revised for many reasons. Peter Fournier suggest a distinction should be made between dumb and smart revision. I’ll attempt to do that here. An initial distinction between dumb […]

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