Category Archives: Meeting Archive

Minimalist Writing for Maximum Communication – 2 Mar 2017 [Meeting]

The information age is also the age of the short attention span. We typically write for people who must spend much of each day reading. Many readers would prefer a pill that puts the information in their brain. We can’t give them that—but we can strive to give them the prose equivalent of a pill, rather than the prose equivalent of a meatloaf.

This talk outlines the basics of minimalist writing. Technical writers will find most of the concepts familiar—active voice, short sentences, etc. Minimalist writing stresses these concepts even more than general technical writing. Understanding and practicing minimalist writing benefits any kind of communication, including marketing.

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Creating User Documentation in an Agile World – 2 Feb 2017 [Meeting]

With more and more software development teams switching from traditional waterfall to agile methods of development, technical communicators need to be flexible about their processes to work cleanly and efficiently. Sometimes, though, it feels like we are fitting a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t have to be that way! This presentation will address ways to smooth off that square peg and adapt traditional documentation processes and procedures to make them fit in an agile world.

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The Editor as Collaborator – Communication Makes the Difference – 12 Jan 2017 [Meeting]

Editing skills play an important role in quality technical communication. However, even the most skilled editors need to communicate professionally and effectively with their writers. This presentation explores how effective communication with colleagues and clients can help editors enhance team communication, improve documentation, and provide writers with valuable insights to enhance their writing.

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Version control, writers, and workflows – 3 Nov 2016 [Meeting]

In a highly interactive discussion, we’ll go over the basics of using version control systems to help support documentation of software products. We’ll share ideas and swap war stories about how to set up workspaces and workflows, conduct reviews, deal with product versions, and interact with developers. We’ll look at how (or whether) using these systems affects our decisions about chunking, modularity, and reuse. Spoiler alert: version control systems are not component content management systems.
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Applying Standard Approaches toward Improving Usability – 6 Oct 2016 [Meeting]

Need to rally a team or a stakeholder on the importance of standards for a content development project? This presentation provides an overview of benefits and costs of developing content with standards.

An overview of standards used by technical communicators includes XML, DITA, HTML, CSS, and WAI. In addition, some projects also involve reference to other discipline-specific standards.

On October 6, notions of the applicability of standards for content development projects were explored through an array of values to be obtained by uses of standards. Ron answered questions about applicability and presented specific examples of standards and their many uses.

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Leading and Thriving in a Content-Rich World – 8 Sept 2016 [Meeting]

In a content rich world, Technical Writers are a rich resource of skills that have not been tapped into. Can they evolve into any of the more popular job roles like content strategists, curators, SEO experts, and more?

Attend Eeshita’s session on the evolving role of a content specialist. With 10 years of experience in leading content teams, including hiring novice to seasoned writers, she explains and shares her perspective on how Technical Writers of today can prove to be the most valuable asset for a business.

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Responsive EPUB, Really? – 5 May 2016 [Meeting]

EPUBs are great for delivering content on multiple devices: phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. But how do you ensure it looks good on all those screens without producing multiple versions of the same “book”? The same way you’d do it on a website, use responsive technologies so the layout updates automatically! Yes, an EPUB is just a “website in a box.” You should be able to do most anything you can do in a browser. All EPUB readers are not there yet, but it is getting better, and it makes sense for you to start learning how to take advantage of this delivery method, so you’re ready.

This presentation provides some background on the EPUB format, talks about new features that can be included with the latest version of the specification, and discusses the issues you may encounter on various devices and platforms. We’ll go over the available ebook readers as well as the limitations with the popular techcomm tools that can be used to produce EPUBs. Continue reading