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Adapting to change in technical communication

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 07:43
Technical Authors work in a profession where they must be able to adapt to changes in the technology sector. Often, the changes relate to the outputs they need to create or the authoring tools they...

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

[VIDEO] Bluesmart: The World’s First Connected Luggage

The Content - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 23:11

Smart products are hitting the market daily. Everything from toothbrushes to frying pans are being reimagined and made intelligent. The San Francisco-based crew at Bluesmart have produced the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled connected luggage that allows — among other things — you to recharge your phone, locate it when lost, and weigh the contents before you arrive at the airport check-in counter.

Take a (more)

#MINFoodie10 Recap

Writer in the Think of It - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 22:49

Welcome to Hatch FenwayThis month's Mass Innovation Nights host, Hatch Fenway, provided not only a huge space but also great views and a swing set. Despite the huge space, the event was jam-packed. It was quite a crowd.  Glad I grabbed a quick sip of green juice from the juice-support provider, Suja, on the way in the door.

Learn To Write, Publish and Launch Your Book

The Content - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 17:36

Join Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler and Helen Chang, Founder of Author Bridge Media, for a free online video series entitled, “Write, Publish & Launch Your Book,” March 8-10, 2016. Learn how to create a book that can transform people’s lives, support your business, and position yourself as an expert.

This isn’t another “Write y (more)

Filmed in Zero Gravity

The Content - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 10:01

According to ABC News, “OK Go band members spent three weeks in Russia filming the video for their new single, ‘Upside Down, Inside Out.’ The band says they spent around two hours and 15 minutes in weightlessness while filming the video at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, near Moscow.”

We thought it was a fun combination of music and space technology. And, it’s a catchy tune as (more)

Three models for single source publishing — and challenges with each - Thu, 02/11/2016 - 03:00

As I try to wrap my mind around the requirements of one of my current projects, I find myself struggling with the fundamental paradigm of single source publishing.

Consider Project Godzilla, as I’ll call it. Project Godzilla involves an API that plugs in requests from a lot of different product lines, thus serving as a kind of master API for dozens of products. The total possible JSON submitted in the request is quite large, since it accommodates so many potential products. But each customer will only use a slice of the JSON. As a result, the delivery engineers want to give custom (more)

Official Google for Work blog

Core Dump 2.0 - Wed, 02/10/2016 - 18:57

If  you use, or have any interest in Google for Work, their office/productivity suite for business, check out their official Google for Work blog. Even if you don’t use the business suite, it’s worth checking for information on the standard consumer products like Google Docs, especially since Google updates features quite frequently.

Today’s post is about templates for Forms.


Should Marketing Content Be Translated Or Localized?

The Content - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 23:19

In his highly informative webinar, Why We Shouldn’t Translate Marketing…And Why We Do It Anyway, Wayne Bourland, Director of Localization at Dell, tackles a common problem facing most businesses operating across international lines: how to produce efficient and scalable marketing content that also meets the unique cultural expect (more)

Send websites to your Kindle

Core Dump 2.0 - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 18:57

Frankly, I find reading long articles on the web a pain. Computer monitors just aren’t meant for long-form reading and most websites’ design is horrible with bad typography and distracting adds and unnecessary page breaks. So I like to use Instapaper to save articles and later download to my Kindle. I’ve been doing this almost ever since I got my Kindle and it makes my life much easier.

There are several ways you can get web content to your Kindle, and although Instapaper works for me, it may not be your best choice.  Gizmodo has an article that (more)

[JOBS] DITA Information Experience Architect

The Content - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 18:14
[JOBS] Hewlett Packard Enterprise is looking for an Expert Information Experience Architect to work with Global IT on designing an end-to-end content management system. Your job would be to deliver a modern, socially-connected, personalized and contextual information experience for Hewlett Packard Enterprise customers.   You would need to be able to work across all functions to set up a shared content environment between marketing, support, documentation, training based on a DITA sy (more)

Intelligent Content: The Marketer’s Frontier

The Content - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 12:51

By Marcia Riefer Johnston, special to The Content Wrangler

A year ago, I started working with the Content Marketing Institute team on stories related to intelligent content. Coming from a technical communication background, I knew about intelligent content from that perspective, but I wasn’t sure how it would apply to marketing.

Today, it’s still not clear (more)

Ellis to speak at the University of East London

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 06:07
Cherryleaf’s Ellis Pratt will participating in a panel event that forms part of the University of East London’s Freelance Week. The panel members will be speaking about their experiences...

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

Long-term impacts of climate change

Core Dump 2.0 - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 04:58

Time for another “the sky is falling” post about climate change.

First, something I heard on the radio this weekend – actually a couple of things, not necessarily connected to climate change, but related to climate change unless you think that there’s a connection between this year’s extreme El Nino and climate change (possible but not proven). First, native communities in Canada’s north are suffering because the winter ice roads that they rely on for transportation of heavy goods aren’t passable because the winter has been so warm. (Remember (more)

New Android app for the technical writing community

ffeathers - a technical writer's blog - Tue, 02/09/2016 - 02:14

I’m super excited. I’ve just launched my first app on the Google Play Store: Tech Comm on a Map. It’s for technical communicators, to help us see what’s happening in the tech comm world. 

See what’s happening in tech comm around you. If you know of something that’s missing from the map, you can add it yourself using the “Add event” option: a conference, meetup, business, or other item of interest to technical communic (more)

[VIDEO] What is Code?

The Content - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 19:56

Watch this Bloomberg Business video and you’ll learn how computers and code work together to create the magic that we take for granted daily. Business week author Paul Ford explores the topic in this three minute clip.

The post [VIDEO] What is Code? appeared first on The Content Wrangler.


When strategy meets the storm

Scriptorium blog - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 08:00

Just before the blizzard that crippled a significant portion of the East Coast, I was returning from a business trip. I did eventually make it home, but the return flight included a bonus three-day layover in Charlotte, NC. I’ll spare … Continue reading →

The post When strategy meets the storm appeared first on Scriptorium Publishing.


Brother PT-D400AD label printer

Core Dump 2.0 - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 04:07

We broke down and bought a Brother Personal Touch labeller today. I got tired of digging through the freezer trying to figure out the difference between a chicken soup and a pork gravy meal. For anyone interested, it’s a PT-D400AD.

A couple of comments. The basic label printing functions are fine. It will do a lot of fancy stuff but all I want is a simple label with type big enough for me to read. (It uses up to 18 mm. tape). The main limitation is (more)

My YAML tutorial in the context of Jekyll - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 03:00

Not many technical writers use YAML in their authoring tools. However, in the Jekyll environment, YAML is commonly used as an approach for creating a table of contents and other lists of content.

Most commonly, you store each item in your table of contents in a YAML file. You then iterate through that YAML file using Liquid syntax in order to push each item into a more complex HTML structure.

When I first learned that this is the approach to creating a table of contents in Jekyll, it struck me as odd. But as I have used it for a while now, I’ve found this is the best way t (more)

The third API course from Peter Gruenbaum on Udemy - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 03:00

Peter Gruenbaum recently published a third course on writing API documentation on Udemy. I reviewed the other two courses in previous posts here and here. Peter’s third course is called The Art of API Documentation.


Upcoming REST API documentation workshop in Sacramento - Mon, 02/08/2016 - 03:00

Here is a description of the API workshop I’m giving in Sacramento:

Workshop on Documenting REST APIs

At its core, REST API documentation focuses on documenting requests and responses. You describe the various endpoints available, their methods, parameters, and other details. And you also document sample responses from the endpoints, usually describing each element and providing sample code.

In this workshop, you’ll learn the basics of REST API documentation. We’ll dive deeply into the following (more)