• Technical Writing

    Working Remotely

    An interesting blog post from May on Technical Communication and Urbanization caught my eye this morning. I lived in the heart of the Silicon Valley when I started as a tech writer, but moved to be closer to family. You couldn’t pay me enough to move back, or to move to one of the other cities known for tech writing jobs. It’s not the cost that’s keeping me away (although that would be enough on its own). It’s the lifestyle. Here in Salem I’m just over an hour from the coast. I’m a short drive from three of my favorite wineries, and can easily drive a little further to find…

  • Technology

    AI and Tech Writing

    Interesting article on the STC (society for technical communication) website. “One aspect of AI that is often overlooked is the role of the technical writer. Amidst the appeal of new technology, technical writers serve a vital role in development of AI applications, including chatbots, by being the subject experts most equipped to address the content requirements of chatbots.” AI, Chatbots, and Content, Oh My! (or Technical Writers Are Doomed—to Lifelong Employment)

  • Technical Writing

    Technical Documentation and Crowdsourcing

    Extremely interesting post on the I’d Rather Be Writing website about crowdsourcing documentation. My major takeaway is this: “It takes more of a sense of expertise and authoritativeness to write documentation than to answer a forum question.” I agree completely. I also agree with his premise that our jobs aren’t going away any time soon because of that. Read more: http://idratherbewriting.com/2017/08/05/why-stack-overflow-documentation-effort-failed/

  • Technology,  Tips & Helpful Info

    Online Store Checklist

    With the closure of the Amazon Hosted Stores on the horizon (official date sometime in 2016) we’re talking to potential clients who have been using that service. Whether considering other hosted services or doing a “build/host your own” store we’ve noticed that we’re giving clients the same basic list of items to think about when deciding which software/service to move to. The standard set of “store things” are: Ease of associating a custom domain. Ease of adding items (sku, description, weight, price, category, photos). If the photo can be zoomed into by the customer to look at details (Amazon provided that). Being able to group items by category. How to…

  • Client Work,  Tips & Helpful Info

    Redesigning Text-Heavy Handouts

    Here’s a recent response (with a few edits to protect confidentiality) to a question by a PR person who wanted to know how I’d redesign some single-page flyers for a client of theirs. “I think {your client’s} projects are as much “information design” as they are graphic design. In other words the project isn’t just “how do I make this look better” but also involves thinking about how to categorize and “chunk” the information so it has more of an impact, and then design a layout that does a good job of both branding the client and getting the information read. I’d be looking at the text not just as…