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Like most people, I try to keep up to date with what is going on out there in the world of software tools for Technical Communicators. We all have a million things to do in our busy day, and it's not always easy to do, but we try to make that effort. Usually, I breeze through alerts and skim the surface so I can carefully choose what gets my attention. Time is a precious commodity.

With so many different aspects in the world of Technical Communications, you can imagine the volume of alerts I receive on a regular basis. Good thing I am an avid reader and I enjoy my professional field. I also have a natural curiosity for how others do things. You just never know where your next morsel of wisdom will come from (sometimes it's not from the obvious places).

During one of my scans, I ran across something that caught my eye and my attention. It literally made me stop and really focus fully on the information being presented to me. Those who know me the best, know this is not an easy thing to do as I am often divided at least in two.

So what was it that had me so engaged? Madcap Flare and their promotional video called "The Writing Game" where the game show host tries to set up Blanche Snipit with her dream authoring tool. (Don't worry I'll give you the link in a moment!) In fact, I was so engaged that I watched part one and two and back tracked and watched the other videos featuring Simon. Not only did I watch them, but I sent the links to other associates as well and they watched them.

I've always been a fan of Madcap and I had the chance to spend a little bit of time with Mike Hamilton, VP of Product Evangelism, when he came to participate in our first TC Camp in January 2013. He demonstrated authoring and publishing using Flare. They have a pretty slick tool set that is very user friendly and worth a look if you are evaluating tool solutions.

But this time I tip my beanie cap to Madcap and the marketing department on their very clever and very entertaining informational video presentations.

Before you hit the links, a few of us were talking about the videos and how entertaining and clever they were. Then we started talking about the role of an Author in Technical Communications. There is an important tip we can learn from MadCap's Marketing group: How to a little bit of creativity will capture an audience.

Are there ways we can get outside of the box when we author that would entertain our audience so we can capture their full attention?

Updated: 2022-05
It appears that the four Writing Game videos are long gone. We're sorry you can't enjoy them.

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