Hey folks, my latest WPMUDev blog story posted over the weekend. It’s a summary and preview of HelpHub, the upcoming home for WordPress.org’s user documentation site.

WordPress logo blue
WordPress logo blue (Wikipedia)

I really enjoyed writing this, as it combines two of my primary interests, WordPress and technical communication. I also got to poke around both the Documentation team’s area on Make.WordPress, and its Slack channel. Yes, I somehow found that fun.

What is HelpHub?

HelpHub has been in the pipeline as a potential replacement for the WordPress Codex since 2015, and the project is (at last) nearing the finish line. The hope is that HelpHub is more like other knowledge bases, a bit more useful to the average WordPress user, and will be easier to search.

The HelpHub Staging site
The HelpHub Staging site

The team could always use some help, so if you have some technical writing skills (and I know you’re reading this!) and some volunteer time to share, click that Documentation Team link in the second paragraph.

I am looking forward to seeing this new documentation site go live in 2018, even if I’ll miss the Codex just a little bit.

Next up: ElasticSearch

In the next couple weeks, I’ll have a tutorial in WPMUDev on enabling ElasticSearch on WordPress. ElasticSearch is a faster, more effective search engine than the default WP search. I’m playing with it now.

Have a few choice words about the current state of WordPress documentation? What would you like to see in the new HelpHub? Anything I  should know about ElasticSearch before I write this story? Feel free to drop a comment here. Try to keep it clean, though!

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

Writers are insecure people, as a general rule. This is one of the reasons so many prizes and awards are handed out to writers in any given year.

Image by Roebot via Flickr

In the realm of technical communication, there really aren’t many ways to measure success. There are no Pulitzer or Nobel Prizes in our field. For those of us who write software manuals and other items, getting mentioned in a product review, or getting feedback from a user (or a bunch of users) is about the best thing we can hope for. The Society for Technical Communication annually bestows “Fellow” and “Associate Fellow” status on members who “contribute to the profession and the Society at the highest level, as indicated by their publications, presentations, awards, mentoring, leadership, and community service.”

Around this time last year, MindTouch, a startup that makes what they call a “social knowledge base,” pulled together a list of 25 influential technical communicators, based largely on their participation in the tech-comm community and their social media connections. This year, “by popular demand” MindTouch repeated the list, and expanded it tremendously—to 400 people influential in techcomm and content strategy! One of them (at #57, no less) was me. Thus you see the badge over in the sidebar over there.

I am humbled and honored to be part of this collection of fine communicators, and to share the honor with many folks I’ve met at conferences, trade shows, and the many more I know online. Even Scott Abel, who always belongs on lists like these (click the link to see how he accidentally fell off the big list!).

I pledge to use my influence for good, and the competitor in me will aim for the top 50 next year–it’s a much nicer badge!

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