Category Archives: Technical Communication

“Structuring Topics Without Structured Authoring” at WritersUA Central

I’m excited to be speaking on “Structuring Topics Without Structured Authoring” at WritersUA Central in Chicago on October 21.  This conference for technical communicators has long been one of my favorites, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to attend.

What will I talk about?

I’m going to outline my history of trying to deliver the right information to software users at the right time, and in the right format. Today that means being flexible in developing help for mobile devices, on the web, and for traditional desktop computers.  Using structured, topic-based authoring is one of the best ways to do that. Traditional help authoring tools like Adobe RoboHelp don’t always give you a direct way to enforce structure, but with some self-discipline, it’s possible.

What else is going on at the conference?

Over two days, you can get a lot of information from some pretty smart people in our profession. For example:

  • Former STC president Nicky Bleiel on Interviewing Subject Matter Experts and Collaborating in GitHub
  • Scott DeLoach covering best practices in several areas
  • Leigh White on Organizational Challenges in CMS Implementation
  • Mike Baron on WordPress as a CMS
  • Joe Welinske (the founder of WritersUA) on a variety of topics

Good stuff, huh?

More fun stuff

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago...
Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago as seen from the Chicago river (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The conference is at the Willis Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world. There’s a visit to the Skydeck on the agenda, so you can see all of Chicago at once. There will be networking lunches, and general fun with available adult beverages at the close of Day One.

So count on some fun too.

Monday, August 31 is the last day for early bird pricing for the conference, so head over to the conference website right now!

Hope to see you in Chicago!

New on TechWhirl: Helppier Rescues Users of your Web Navigation and Apps

Epiphany in Web Application mode showing Wikip...
Epiphany in Web Application mode showing Wikipedia’s Main Page (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Looking for a tool that can help users get the most from your web application? I took Helppier for a spin and found it pretty easy to use. See TechWhirl for the complete review:

Helppier Rescues Users of your Web Navigation and Apps

“Unlocking LinkedIn” Slides

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting “Unlocking LinkedIn: Finding Your Dream Job or Client” to my favorite technical writing community, the Wisconsin chapter of the Society for Technical Communication.

Dream Job
Dream Job (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Had to fight through Internet connection troubles, but it was a good conversation with the assembled technical writers.

Have a look at the slides, then use the comments to tell me your LinkedIn stories, or ask a question. I’m all ears.