Tag Archives: technical writing

The Respect Requirement

My heart was racing like a single-seat Formula One car: It was my first morning on the new job. I was already worried that I might be unemployed by lunch time! As I stepped slowly through the abandoned print-shop, the words “stealth-mode start-up” took on new meaning. Ventilation tubes swung from an open ceiling and […]

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The Honor of New Audiences

Though few will own up to it, most of us have likely spent at least one late night singing into a mirror, holding a hair-brush and dreaming of an audience. My most memorable “mirror moment” was in 1987 in a college dorm room – alone on a Saturday night – wailing Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna […]

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The Sky Is Falling!

I feel like Chicken Little. I’ve been clucking about the radical changes heading toward the Technical Writing profession for as long as I’ve been in the field. For the past 15 years, I’ve been alerting teams about changes heading their way. I’ve been spurring them on to make the necessary preparations. In the 1990s, I […]

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If Chewbacca had an iPhone

If only there had been an Apple store next to the Mos Eisley cantina. If Chewbacca had owned an iPhone 4, the Empire may have never had their chance to strike back.

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Content: A Banquet Best Served Warm

A company that hides answers behind an 800 number is like a banquet host that locks the meal in the pantry. Enabling self-service support is like laying out a rich buffet, rather than forcing guests to beg at the kitchen door.

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The Rise of the Vocal Customer

Today’s corporations are facing a mighty challenge: The Rise of the Vocal Customer. Individual business functions will have to think as a single organism to truly maximize the available opportunities that come along side Social Media. So, taking a cue from the Power Rangers, we must “Make the MegaZord.”

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What if we could KNOW?

At the other end of our content is a person who needs an answer. If we learn exactly who they are, we can give them exactly what they need.

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But what if no one READS the manual?

Web analytics will soon make it obvious if anyone is reading our technical documentation. Technical writers must to begin actively listening to customers now, so that future doc-sets can be tailored to their real-time needs.

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Prepare for the coming judgement

Within a year or two, web analytics will make it painfully obvious which technical writers write content that matters and which do not. So the time to tune up your text is today.

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