Category Archives: Life, Universe, Everything

Posts on things I am qualified to write about only by dint of having lived and paid attention.

A sea change

This blog will be undergoing a sea change. For those not familiar with the term: Full fathom five thy father lies;Of his bones are coral made;Those are pearls that were his eyes;Nothing of him that doth fade,But doth suffer a sea-changeInto something rich and strange.  Shakespeare, The Tempest The rich and strange part may be… Read More »

Turning a page

I am turning a page. An elderly metaphor, but still apt for a writer. My kids are grown. My mortgage is paid. My savings are adequate. I only need do the work I most want to do. I have said the things that I truly thought it important to say about technical communication and content… Read More »

The Romance of Technical Communication

Summary: There is a romance to technical communication, because there is a romance to all useful things. But don’t expect the romance of technical communication to be apparent to everyone. Technical communication is a romantic profession. No, really. There is a romance to any profession if you love it. But why would anyone love a… Read More »

The Role of the Manual and the End of Civilization

An interesting article in Popular Science charts the rise and laments the fall of the manual. Instructions Not Included: What the Disappearance of the Common Manual Says About Us, traces the origins of the manual as a form of technical communication, and notes how many products now come with no manual. It draws from this dire… Read More »

In Praise of Short Term Thinking

I was in Portland  for LavaCon last week, and one night I had dinner with a bunch of content strategy types. As we do, we spent some of the conversation bemoaning the short term thinking that many people and organizations have about content. One of the first sessions I attended, however, was Edwina Lui’s A Goldilocks Approach… Read More »

Too little information

Were I asked to characterize the human condition in a sentence, I might choose this: to be human is to make decisions with too little information. All our decisions, great and small, are taken without adequate information: getting married, buying real estate, having children (this especially), saving for retirement, choosing the best route for a… Read More »