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The Monarch on sale

Core Dump 2.0 - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 09:13

The Monarch: A Thriller, a novel by local author, Jack Soren, is on sale on for $2.99. The blurb says: “Fans of thrilling adventures and international suspense will love Jack Soren’s whirlwind debut novel—a tale of two thieves detoured on the road to redemption.”

Normally, I wouldn’t be interested (I like thrillers, but given the number of SF novels I’ve bought but haven’t read yet, I just (more)

Renovate or rebuild? Construction as a content strategy model

Scriptorium blog - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 08:45
Does your house have good bones? Ugly paint, terrible carpet, and dated appliances are all fixable. But if a room is too small, a door is in the wrong place, or the rooms don’t match your requirements (need a downstairs master … Continue reading → (more)

Why business writing is so difficult

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 06:41
“Everyone is taught to write at school, so surely everyone can write in business?” Although the quotation above would seem to make sense, the reality is that many people find it hard to...

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

A Word 2013 annoyance

Core Dump 2.0 - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 18:36

I was recently upgraded from Word 2010 to Word 2013 at work and generally, I like it. But I have found one annoying change that I first thought was a bug.

In earlier versions of Word, turning on text boundaries showed you the overall text boundaries for your page – in other words, the area bounded by your margins. This was handy for judging the layout for things like tables that might extend past the margin boundaries.  Now, in Word 2013, the text boundaries show for each paragraph. This is essentially useless information and can be visually distracting to the point where (more)

2015 Aurora Award nominees

Core Dump 2.0 - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 12:44

The nominees for the 2015 Aurora Awards have been announced. The Aurora Awards are for Canadian science fiction, fantasy, and fan achievement and will be announced at SF Contario 6 in November. The novel category is particularly strong this year – at least three of them would have been legitimate contenders for the Hugo this year had not the Puppies peed in the dish.

We are proud to announce the 2015 Aurora award ballot for work done in 2014 by Canadians. Voting for the awards will begin for members of C (more)

API technical writing course on Udemy, from Peter Gruenbaum, and some thoughts on documenting JSON - Fri, 05/22/2015 - 10:12
Peter Gruenbaum’s API technical writing course on Udemy is an excellent starting point for learning API documentation. He explores one of the more difficult parts of API documentation, which is describing JSON and XML data structures (usually in responses). Finally, a course on API doc One of the frequent questions people ask me is where Continue Reading » (more)

API tech writing workshop in Sydney – you’re invited

ffeathers - a technical writer's blog - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 22:23

On Monday 27th July we’re running a full-day workshop in Sydney, on API technical writing. It’s free, and you’re invited. There’s free food too!

The workshop is happening in collaboration with the Australian Society for Technical Communication (ASTC), also known as the TWIA. Anyone interested in learning about this role is welcome to attend – you don’t need to be a member of the ASTC/TWIA.

Quick signup link: (more)

The Counterpoint of Content Flow

The Content - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:00

By Karl Montevirgen, special to The Content Wrangler

Karl Montevirgen

As content creators and consumers, we’re all aware of the multiple dynamics at play when it comes to viewing and creating content. Content has a kind of flow.  It directs movement within and between pieces of content, exhibiting diverse rhythms, densities, and forms. Content flow, as we perceive it, plays a significant role in shaping the reader/viewer’s experience. Ultimately, the impact of this experience can be critical, as it often (more)

Trends in technical communication – the funny airline safety video

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:08
The airline safety video is about actions that could save your life, but it can be very dull and mundane if you’ve flown more than once. So airlines are using the third aspect in good design...

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

Trailer for Childhood’s End

Core Dump 2.0 - Thu, 05/21/2015 - 05:17

Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End is one of my favourite books – I’ve read it at least six times and when I taught an SF course years ago, it was the movel I used as an example of 1950s SF. It still holds up and hasn’t dated badly at all. Now SyFy is making it into a three-part mini-series and the first trailer is out. And it looks promising. I am cautiously optimistic, although the comments on the SF Signal site are much less so.

Written (more)

The Hugo Controversy makes the WSJ

Core Dump 2.0 - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 05:49

Well, the Hugo controversy has hit the big time – it’s come to the notice of the Wall Street Journal.

The success of the Puppies stunned and outraged many authors and fans. They say the Puppies’ claims are nonsense and that their real beef is with science fiction’s move toward greater diversity, with growing prominence in recent years for women, minority and gay authors and an increased focus on social and gender issues. To them, the Puppies’ supporters are carpetbagger (more)

Content as an API – Google’s engineering documentation

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 04:40
Google’s Riona MacNamara presented at the Write The Docs North America conference on “Documentation, Disrupted: How Two Technical Writers Changed Google Engineering Culture“. In the...

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

Content as an API – Mozilla Developer Network

Cherryleaf Technical Authors blog - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 04:11
Mozilla is an organisation that always seems to be doing innovative things with their documentation. One of the experimental functions it has introduced to its Kuma wiki platform for the Mozilla...

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

Use gaming peripherals to be more productive

Core Dump 2.0 - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 18:43

Gizmodo points out that you can use gaming keyboards and mice to increase your productivity with business applications. As well as being more ergonomic than the (typically junky) keyboards/mice found on most business PCs, they come with extra keys, buttons, and software that you can you to automate common tasks.

Here are some of the key advantages I’ve discovered:

  • Dedicated buttons means less finger gymnastics: One of the most annoying things about making custom keybo (more)

Treat Docs like Code: Doc Bugs and Issues

just write click - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 09:33

This is a follow on to a post on about using git and GitHub for technical documentation. In the article, I discuss reviews and keeping up with contributions. This post talks about fixes and patches.

What about doc issues in GitHub, how do you get through all those?

In OpenStack, we (more)

What makes a good leader—and a successful content strategy

Scriptorium blog - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 08:45
General Stanley McChrystal offers sage leadership advice you can apply to your content strategy. Here are your marching orders: Acknowledge change resistance Within the US Army, General McChrystal encountered high change resistance because people in the organization become very attached … Continue reading → (more)

Fake plane crash shuts down Yonge Street

Core Dump 2.0 - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 06:49

Movie and television shoots are a common sight in downtown Toronto, especially during the summer. I almost made it into a scene in Red a few years ago, as I was walking by the Royal York. Occasionally they take over an entire street, as happened this weekend on Yonge Street with the movie, Suicide Squad. I’ll have to see this one, just to see how many of the locations I can identify – although it’s harder than you might think.


Hugo Thoughts – Skin Game

Core Dump 2.0 - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 16:32

This is the first in what will be a series of posts recording my thoughts on this year’s Hugo nominations. As a result of the hijacking of the nominations by the Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies (yes, really), I registered as a supporting member in Sasquan, the World Science Fiction Convention, which administers the Hugo voting. As part of the voting process, recent Worldcons have been electronically distributing a voters packet to registered members, containing most of the short fiction, novels (either full or ex (more)

The two Soos

Core Dump 2.0 - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 13:49

Here’s an article from the Chicago Tribune comparing the two Soos, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario. Being from the Ontario Soo, I could quibble about a few points (like poutine being one of the Soo’s main dishes – it’d be several spots down in the list behind pizza, lasagna, whitefish,  cabbage rolls, and perogi) but otherwise, a good overview of the area.

These two communities are twin cities by name but not appearance, attractions or size. (more)

Three takeaways from Intelligent Conference Conference (ICC)

Firehead - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 08:01
This week, we’ve been catching up on the conference wisdom from recent content events in our areas of recruitment, such as Intelligent Content (covering content marketing), the IA Summit (information architecture) and TC Europe (tech comm). Here’s our first pick … Continue reading →

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