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Updates to our DITA elearning course

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Sat, 03/28/2015 - 01:50
We’ve updated the video recordings in our online DITA course, and today (28th March) we’re uploading the new recordings to our learning area. This means the course will be down for a...

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Checking some credentials

Core Dump 2.0 - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 18:46

So, you see a science story on FOX News and another on PBS. Which one should you trust. Compare the credentials of their reporters. Here’s a sample from the article.


  • Joe Palca, who worked as an editor for Nature, a senior correspondent for Science Magazine, and a science writer in residence at the Huntington Library, and has won the National Academies Communications Award, the Science-in-Society Award of the National Ass (more)

Variables and conditional processing in Jekyll versus DITA - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 01:34
In the previous post, I compared writing in Markdown versus writing in XML. In this post, I want to look at variables and conditional processing between the two platforms. Variables in Jekyll In Jekyll, you can assign a variable a specific value, like this: Now you can use {{dog_name}} in your content and it will Continue Reading » (more)

Misconception: Markdown is more limiting than DITA (Jekyll versus DITA) - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 01:22
In my previous post, I noted a new series in which I plan to compare Jekyll against DITA. In this first post, I want to debunk the myth that Markdown formats with static site generators like Jekyll are more limiting than DITA. This is a point discussed in the Content Content podcast that I referenced Continue Reading » (more)

Interview tips for the long-term unemployed

Firehead - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 07:50
An estimated 23.815 million men and women across the EU’s 28 countries were unemployed in January 2015 (source: European Commission), with long-term unemployment one of the main concerns of policymakers. The most recent EU figures on long-term unemployment (from 2013) show … Continue reading →

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How Long Does Food Last?

Core Dump 2.0 - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 19:10

A lot of food gets wasted unnecessarily because the best before dates on packages are usually very conservative. Here’s a site that will tell you how long you can safely use almost any food. The information includes whether the packaging has been opened or not and whether the food has been kept refrigerated or frozen.

We are a group of contributors from the kitchen and classroom communities who set out to answer the question, “How long does food really last?”. From the best ingredients to the ordinary, we provide you with a diverse (more)

Check out Ed Marsh’s podcast, and also My New series: Jekyll versus DITA - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 02:34
In case you haven’t already discovered it, there’s a great new podcast in the tech comm field called Content Content, by Ed Marsh. So far Ed has recorded two episodes, each about an hour long. Ed follows an easy-going interview format, and he does an excellent job in bringing out the best in his show’s Continue Reading » (more)

New Technical Author vacancy in Cheshire #4156

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 13:15
Our client is looking to recruit a permanent Technical Author to join a team of writers that provides global support documentation for its range of scientific products. You’ll be part of the team...

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Money and technology are not a content strategy

Scriptorium blog - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 08:30

Having the budget to buy new technology isn’t the same as having a content strategy. Case in point: the US government has spent billions on electronic medical record (EMR) systems that can’t communicate with each other. The American taxpayer has … Continue reading →

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Male allies for women in tech: What’s needed?

just write click - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 07:58

I realized the other day that I have given my “Women in Tech: Be That Light” presentation a half a dozen times in the last year. One question that I still want a great answer for is when a man in the audience asks, “What can I do to make it better? How can I be that light?” I have ideas from my own experiences, and also point to the training courses and Ally Skills workshops offered by the Ada Initiative.


Is it time for a rethink on digital marketing?

Firehead - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 07:15
Rethink conference took place in Stockholm, Sweden, on 17 March and sought to challenge the status quo on thinking about digital marketing and social media. Speakers from Uber, Tumblr, Domino’s Pizza, Salesforce and more gave their thoughts, and we’ve picked … Continue reading →

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The 12 Ultimate Tips for Composition in Art

Core Dump 2.0 - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 05:50

In photography, one of the things that separates great photographers from the merely good is their eye for composition. It’s something that you know when you see it, even if you can’t explain what makes it work. Some people have a natural talent for composition, others have to learn it. There are guidelines and tips that you can follow that will help to improve the composition of your photos (or your art, if you are an artist). I’ve seen many articles about composition and The 12 ultim (more)

What should be on our roadmap for training courses in technical communications?

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 03:58
We thought it would be useful to reflect on our plans for topics and courses in technical communications. In the past, some of the best suggestions have come from customers and prospects; it’s...

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Some thoughts on attending tcworld India 2015 - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 02:00
I just spent the last week in Bangalore, India. The tcworld India 2015 conference took place on a Thursday and Friday, and I spent Saturday and Sunday exploring the city. This was an eye-opening trip for a number of reasons, and I wanted to capture some of my thoughts and experiences here and share them Continue Reading » (more)

The Transformation of American Society

Core Dump 2.0 - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 10:45

In 5 Powerful Shifts Transforming American Society into an Unrecognizable and Frightening Future, Tom Engelhardt points out five trends that are transforming American society into something that’s really unrecognizable to someone who grew up in the 1950s and 60s. The changes are profound and the article does a good job of explaining both their causes and their results. And our Fearless Leader in Ottawa seems to be pushing Canada he (more)

What’s New in MadCap Flare 11?

Hyper/Word Services' Technology Blog - Sun, 03/22/2015 - 07:43
New versions of MadCap Flare combine powerful extensions to existing features and new features that go in unexpected and intriguing directions. Flare 11, released on March 17, continues this tradition. In this post, I’ll look at my favorite changes. (There’s far too much new to cover in one post. The What’s New Guide,, is 350 pages long!)
By way of a brief introduction, I’m certified in Flare and Mimic and do a lot of training and consulting f (more)

Original Interstellar ending was more realistic

Core Dump 2.0 - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 17:23

Warning: spoilers ahead.

I liked Interstellar a lot, but the ending didn’t mesh well with the scientific realism of the rest of the movie. It turns out that the ending came from director Chris Nolan, and the original ending, written by his brother and co-writer, Jonathan Nolan, was more realistic and considerably darker. I think I would have preferred it, but I’m not very representative of mainstream audience tastes.

At the end of the film [SPOILERS], we see Matthew McCo (more)

PDF still trumps browser-based help? - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 22:57
In the Skills and Technology Survey 2014 by WritersUA, it appears that PDF manuals are the most common deliverable: Support for manuals in the form of PDF (77%) is at the top of the list as the most valued technology component. Using PDF as a delivery format has become a staple in our documentation sets. Continue Reading » (more)

Recording of API documentation workshop (REST and Javadoc) at tcworld India 2015 - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 21:26
Here’s a recording of the API documentation workshop that I gave at tcworld India 2015: In this workshop, I cover the following: Overview of API documentation Deep Dive into REST API documentation Deep Dive into Javadoc API documentation This is similar to other presentations I’ve given on API documentation, except that in this workshop, I Continue Reading » (more)

Recording of Innovation in Technical Communication keynote at tcworld India 2015 - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 15:35
The following video is a recording of the keynote presentation I gave at tcworld India 2015 in Bangalore. In this presentation, I lay out a (hopefully persuasive) case for a new direction that tech comm writers can take in their tooling, arguing that the hotbed of innovation taking place today is with web tools and Continue Reading » (more)