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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Writing a book gives you an opportunity to provide tangible value. It can establish your brand and increase your professional standing. Information professionals are uniquely positioned to take advantage of self-publishing because we already know how to transform source material to online and print materials and because we have editors, designers, and talented peer reviewers in our network.
While self-publishing is easier than ever, reaching your audience and making money from your book is harder for self-publishers; we do our own marketing and distribution so the audience can find our book.
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Having problems with inconsistently written documentation? Do your user manuals need some help themselves? If so, then you need a style guide for your technical writing team. We’re not talking about what they should wear, but how they should write.
Content couturier Keith Schengili-Roberts (IXIASOFT) talks about what they are, why you need them and how to use them effectively. While not exclusively focusing on DITA, Keith will also talk about why a style guide is a necessity for any team working with DITA.
Continue reading “Style Guides: Fashionable But Also Practical”