Key Concept Archive

For more information about how our library science background (and our love of all things metadata) guides the way we catalog information, see the Techcomm and Arbortext Resources page.

The future is decided by your actions today

How do you know what the future holds? How do you know what to do to make sure you’re ready for it? Do you invest in skills? Do you buy a tool? Take a class? What? How do you prepare…

Always be learning: Lessons for writing instructions

You can learn interesting things that apply directly to you…from a totally different discipline. Recently, I was reading a story about Board Game Designers. I may be a board game geek, but that's not why the story was interesting. The…

Techniques for keeping up in your profession

Every year there are hundreds of “trends” articles. Trends don't matter. What matters is whether something is appropriate to your customer and your company's mission. More important, then, is not knowing what trend is coming but knowing how to keep…

Get Trained on Arbortext Styler — from someone who cares about you

We're launching a series of online training sessions designed to facilitate better Stylesheet design using Arbortext Styler. Why? Well, if you saw my outburst on Facebook, you can probably guess the reason. Sadly, this kind of thing happens to us…

From Open Source Volunteer to Full-Time Tech Writer

In this talk, Gale describes a little bit about what open source software is and how she used her volunteer experience as an Apache Taverna committer to become a technical writer at Facebook. She describes the tangible and intangible skills…

Same mess, different tools – Liz Fraley on the Content Content Podcast

In her interview, Liz Fraley talks in detail about the history of structured authoring and how her opinions have changed over 17 years in the technical writing industry. Last month I had the opportunity to talk with Ed Marsh of…

Topic Based Writing: Future-Proofing Your Content?

This is what we'll cover: Topic-Based writing: the basics The nature of a topic Topic morphology: title, short description (optionally) and content The importance of conceptual consistency Topic-Based writing: content creation and management Standing alone versus story telling A theory…

Teaching Martians to make a sandwich–How Technical Writers can improve patient safety

There's a well-known exercise to experienced technical writers: How do you teach a Martian to make a sandwich. It's so well known that we talk about it as an exercise in best practices for user experience and modern instructional design….