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National Geographic Photo Contest 2014

Core Dump 2.0 - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 20:27

National Geographic has always had a reputation for great photography – its staff photographers are among the world’s best. So it should be no surprise that it numbers many talented photographers among its readers, as the results from its 2014  Photo Contest show. There are three categories: people, places, and nature. It’s definitely worth the time to browse through all of it.

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#MIN69 Recap

Writer in the Think of It - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:59
Last Wednesday's Mass Innovation Night, the 69th in an awesome series,  took full advantage of the great space at District Hall in Boston. This was my first visit to District Hall (hard to believe I know) and I was suitably impressed (and artistically inspired -  something about chartreuse duct work ...) Thanks to District Hall for hosting and thanks again to Autodesk for being such a generous sponsor along with American Airlines.
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[Slide Deck] How To Use Neuroscience To Create Memorable Presentations

The Content Wrangler.com - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 14:50

Did you know that audiences forget 90% of what you present? That is significant. To make matters worse, the 10% people remember differs between members of your audience.

So how can you control the 10% they remember?

In the past decade, brain imaging technology has dramatically increased our understanding of the brain. We now know more about the way our brains process information and ultimately remember it. Take a peek at this slide deck, part of a presentation by neuroscience maven Dr. Carmen Simon of (more)

Getting a job in API documentation: Podcast with Andrew Davis

idratherbewriting.com - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 01:58
Getting a job in API documentation can be tricky. What programming skills do you need to know? How in-depth does your technical knowledge need to be? What kind of authoring tools and methods are relevant for jobs in API documentation? In this podcast, I talk with Andrew Davis, a former technical writer who turned to Continue Reading » (more)

The most popular type of APIs that technical writers document

idratherbewriting.com - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:54
I recently surveyed technical writers to ask a variety of questions about API documentation. Rather than present a summary of the survey all at once, I am presenting the results of each question on a post-by-post basis, so that I can properly analyze and interpret the results of each question. Overall about 32 people participated Continue Reading » (more)

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

Core Dump 2.0 - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 04:52

I have friends and relatives who are convinced that the 9/11 attack was the result of a US government conspiracy – something that I think is patently absurd. We avoid discussing the topic because there’s no point in trying to convince someone who’s view of reality is so different. This Scientific American article looks at research into some of the reasons people believe in conspiracy theories.

President Barack Obama has been a busy man while in office: he concocted (more)

RoboHelp 11: Quick tip to add it to your taskbar

Save the Semicolon - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 17:18

If you’ve installed RoboHelp 11, then you may have noticed that you can’t just “pin” its icon to the taskbar at the bottom of your screen.

But… I MUST have it there. So here’s the workaround that a colleague found:

  1. If you don’t already have a RoboHelp shortcut on your desktop, create one. (That is, right-click the RoboHelp icon and choose Create shortcut.)
  2. Name the shortcut anything that doesn’t have the word “help (more)

Making sense of #VATMoss

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 07:47
The #VATMoss and #VATMess hashtags have been trending on Twitter for most of December. The hashtags relate to changes to VAT that are coming into effect on 1st January 2015. These changes may affect...

[[ For the full article, see http://www.cherryleaf.com/blog.htm]] (more)

How Chris Hadfield got those incredible pictures

Core Dump 2.0 - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 04:20

During the six months he was in orbit on the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield took thousands of pictures of the Earth. I followed him on Twitter and was blown away by many of his shots, which were both technically accomplished and beautiful. Many of his best pictures are collected in a book, You Are Here. a  copy of which I was lucky enough to get signed by him a couple of weeks ago.

In the video(more)

The Other Two CSS Books I Referenced in My STCTC Presentation on Dec. 9

Hyper/Word Services' Technology Blog - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 11:43
Sorry for the delay in posting. I was doing a week of Flare consulting at a client in Houston and just got back to my office. Anyhow, the other two books that I suggested are:

  • The CSS Pocket Guide by Chris Casciano, Peachpit Press
  • Implementing Responsive Design by Chris Kadlec, New Riders
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Localization best practices (premium)

Scriptorium blog - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:12

Localization—the process of adapting content to a specific locale—is a critical requirement for global companies. It’s often treated as a necessary evil, but this is shortsighted. The quality of localization efforts affects the company’s bottom line. More than ever, products and services … Continue reading →

The post Localization best practices (premium) appeared first on (more)

12 highlights from Tekom / TCWorld 2014

Firehead - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 06:37
It’s the world’s biggest international conference in technical communication so, of course, we wanted to catch up with conference wisdom and techcomm trends from TC World Conference, which took place in Stuttgart, Germany, last month. Below you’ll find our pick of the English presentations … Continue reading →

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The coming extinction of salt-water fish

Core Dump 2.0 - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 04:01

This is not good news for the human race. According to a recent study, salt-water fish could be extinct by 2048. Aside from the obvious effect that loss of ocean fishing would likely cause many people to starve, the effect on the ecology of the oceans would be horrible, possibly leading to the extinction of most oceanic life.

The apocalypse has a new date: 2048.

That’s when the world’s oceans will be empty of fish, predicts an international team of ecologists and economists. The ca (more)

I need your responses to my API Documentation Survey

idratherbewriting.com - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 10:16

I’m trying to gather more information about common practices with API documentation. I created an informal, open survey about API Doc here.

It’s an openly editable Google Doc with about 10 questions. You can see others’ responses as you enter your own.

If you do any kind of API documentation, I need your participation in the survey. This will allow me to better generalize common practices with API documentation in preparation for some upcoming presentations and blo (more)

I need your responses to my API Documentation Survey

idratherbewriting.com - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 10:16

I’m trying to gather more information about common practices with API documentation. I created an informal, open survey about API Doc here.

It’s an openly editable Google Doc with about 10 questions. You can see others’ responses as you enter your own.

If you do any kind of API documentation, I need your participation in the survey. This will allow me to better generalize common practices with API documentation in preparation for some upcoming presentations and blo (more)

Authoring tools for startups — Guest post by Vinish Garg

idratherbewriting.com - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 11:32

The following is a guest post by Vinish Garg, an information architect with a background in technical writing who frequently works with startups. 

Vinish Garg shares his thoughts on authoring tools for startups

A discussion on authoring tools invariably leaves the participants with at least one common opinion–they want to see something better in whatever tool they are using. I recall a Wishlist post that Tom wrote a few yea (more)

Authoring tools for startups — Guest post by Vinish Garg

idratherbewriting.com - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 11:32

The following is a guest post by Vinish Garg, an information architect with a background in technical writing who frequently works with startups. 

Vinish Garg shares his thoughts on authoring tools for startups

A discussion on authoring tools invariably leaves the participants with at least one common opinion–they want to see something better in whatever tool they are using. I recall a Wishlist post that Tom wrote a few (more)

The Earth from space 2014

Core Dump 2.0 - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 19:27

Digital Globe has launched several earth observation satellites, one with a resolution of 30 cm. (about a foot for you Americans). They’ve collected some of the most interesting and striking images taken from the last year into this 25 image gallery. Each image has a brief explanation of its significance. If you like, you can vote on your five favourite images.

From a purely artistic point of view, this one of the Glastonbury Festival is my favourite.

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The four words that account for 19 minutes of a typical Technical Communicator’s day

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 10:54
Peter Norvig has some interesting statistics on word frequency in the English language. It turns out that four words – the, of, and, to – account for 16.94% of the words we write. In...

[[ For the full article, see http://www.cherryleaf.com/blog.htm]] (more)