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Five best videos from Confab Central 2015

Firehead - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 20:58
If you’re a content strategist or thinking of transitioning into content strategy work then the annual Confab Central conference in Minneapolis is a key event to get clued into. Here is our pick of five presentations from the event that we think you’ll … Continue reading →

[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] (more)

The Content Wrangler XML Press Summer Book Sale

The Content - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 18:40

Our friends at XML Press have arranged a special book sale, just for you! For the month of July, all books in The Content Wrangler Series of Content Strategy Books are on sale (printed books and ebooks). We also have a bundle with all five books in the series available for one low price (and free shipping in the US).

In addition, XML Press is offering discounts on every book in its catalog, including print and ebook editions. (more)

Got Great Content? Enter The Customer Experience Recognition Awards Today

The Content - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 11:52

Does your information development team deserve recognition for the good work they’re doing? Then consider entering the Customer Experience Recognition Awards (CERAs). The annual award ceremony, which takes place during the Information Development World conference, recognizes outstanding contributions to exceptional customer experiences by information developers (the folks responsible for creating content) in a variety of disciplines including technical communication, marketing, content (more)

Three questions people ask me each week - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 03:00
Question 1

The first question goes something like this:

Hi Tom, I found your blog and really like the content. I'm currently a ________ with a degree in ____. I've been working for the past few years doing __. However, I really dislike my job. I realized that it involves ____ and _________ all day long.

I'm thinking of transitioning into a technical writing career. I like to write, and I scored high grades in all my writing classes. Can you give me any advice? How can I get a job in technical writing? Is there a particular city where there are lots of technica (more)

Why You Should Attend Information Development World 2015

The Content - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 17:30

Two years ago, Val Swisher and I sat down and tried to figure out how to solve one of the biggest communication challenges facing businesses today: Schizophrenic brand experiences caused by unnecessarily incongruent content. Content produced by different teams of information developers, in different ways, with different words, with different tools, using different tones of voice, different style, different rules, but intended for the exact same audience.

We decided the best way to bring attention to this important communicati (more)

Waterfall content development? You’re doing it wrong.

Scriptorium blog - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 08:30
Product development, content development, and localization processes are too often viewed as a waterfall process. This is not at all accurate. Product development decisions do feed into content and content into localization, but, in the other direction, localization decisions also drive product development. For … Continue reading → (more)

2015 Locus Awards

Core Dump 2.0 - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 05:57

The winners of the 2015 Locus Awards have been announced. The Best Novel award for SF went to Ann Leckie for Ancillary Sward and the Best Novel award for fantasy went to Katherine Addison for The Goblin Emperor. Both of these are also Hugo nominees. These are the novel nominees and winners.


Firehead’s hottest posts of the past year

Firehead - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 05:15
To celebrate our sixth blogging birthday this month – a word on that here from our founder – we’ve put together our 10 most popular posts of the past year, from insightful job Q&As with experts in their field to trends and … Continue reading →

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Slides, notes, and lessons learned at the STC Summit 2015 in Columbus, Ohio - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 03:00
Slide presentations

Here are the slides from my workshop on REST API documentation. I have two sets of slides:

Documenting REST APIs from Tom Johnson

For detailed notes, see Documenting REST APIs.

Publishing (more)

Webcast: Risky business: the challenge of content silos

Scriptorium blog - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 16:06
In this webcast recording, Sarah O’Keefe discusses how content silos make it difficult to deliver a consistent, excellent customer experience. After all the hard work that goes into landing a customer, too many organizations destroy the customer’s initial goodwill with … Continue reading → (more)

Singapore to Malaysia: The a simple and incredible journey

TechCommDood - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 09:18
A lot is being said about Singapore but have you ever thought of getting to Malaysia through Singapore? Well, this editorial is going to enlighten you on how you can transverse Singapore to reach Malaysia either by road, plane, train or bus. It is simple and evident that you can get to Malaysia by plane. […] (more)

The decline of the gerund in technical documentation?

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 02:51
Louise Downe, who works at the UK’s Government Digital Service, wrote a blog post (Good services are verbs, bad services are nouns), where she stated: “After several rounds of user...

[[ For the full article, see]] (more)

Six years of digital communications and jobs talk

Firehead - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 08:15
This June will be Firehead’s sixth year of creating, collecting and curating insights about the world of digital communication for our job candidates and hiring clients. For me personally, as Firehead’s founder, I’ve loved watching the field grow. It seems every year there … Continue reading →

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Localization, scalability, and consistency

Scriptorium blog - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 15:21
When companies need to change the way they’re producing content, localization and scalability can be two of the biggest motivating factors. If your company’s content is not consistent, you may face significant challenges with translating it into new languages or … Continue reading → (more)

One week left to enter UK Technical Communication Awards 2015

Firehead - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 06:05
June 30 is the deadline for these prestigious awards, part of the ISTC‘s  Professional Development & Recognition programme, so this is a heads up to our tech comm readers to get your entries in asap. The UK Technical Communication Awards are … Continue reading →

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The Art v Science conundrum in technical communication

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 03:02
One of the common debates in technical communication is how much the profession is art or science. Can we take an engineering-like approach to assisting users, using tools like DITA, or does each...

[[ For the full article, see]] (more)

Protecting your brand using technical communication

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Fri, 06/19/2015 - 02:22
On BBC Radio 5 live’s Wake Up to Money programme today, Lisa Thomas, Chief Executive of advertising agency M&C Saatchi, said: “We can’t just think about just one advert. We have...

[[ For the full article, see]] (more)

Workshop: Getting to Success: Implementing a Content Strategy

The Content - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 18:03

It’s one thing to understand how to work with the various deliverables that form part of a content strategy. It’s another thing to understand how to initiate a strategy, get it approved, and then develop the strategy itself and deliver on the implementation. There is as much to understand about developing and implementing a content strategy as there is to making the most of the superset of potential deliverables at your disposal.

Rahel Anne Bailie

In this full-day workshop, (more)

Intelligent Content in the Experience Age

The Content - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 14:50

In the Experience Age, consumers expect much more from brands than they have in the past. Once they’ve enjoyed an exceptional customer experience, they become intolerant of confusing, irrelevant, and inconsistent content. Brands that recognize this fact and deliver exceptional content experiences across all customer touchpoint will be rewarded with loyalty.

In order to deliver exceptional content experiences, savvy brands are taking a critical look at how they create, manage, and deliver content. And, what they’re finding is that the approaches they’ve relied on for decades ca (more)

My upcoming workshop and presentation at the STC Summit 2015 in Columbus, Ohio - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 03:00
Upcoming API documentation workshop

I'm giving a 3.5 hour workshop on API documentation at the STC Summit in Columbus this year. Although I gave some workshops and presentations on APIs earlier this year, for this Summit workshop, I've completely reworked the material and focused almost entirely on REST APIs. I'm really excited about the content I've got in this workshop and hope to repurpose it later with an online learning platform.

The API documentationworkshop is Saturday from 1:00pm to 4:30pm at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus. For details, see (more)