Key Concept Archive

Collaboration – Love it or Hate it?

This month I wanted to find out if you have come to love or hate collaboration in any of it’s forms.  I’m a big experimenter which often means I’m a big collaborator. In January’s TC Dojo, we had Karl Klashinsky do a session on Git, the open source software version…

What You Need to Know about Agile and Techcomm

When working in an agile environment, technical writers can face some challenges in planning, workload balancing, and execution. But writers can realize numerous benefits in this environment if they follow a few principles to stay flexible and fully engaged on their project teams. This session provides the top five things…

Using Controlled Language to Improve Reuse and Global Readiness

Mindful and enlightened TCs working in a CMS environment maximize re-use and create global-ready content that meets their audiences’ needs while reducing costs and improving efficiency. Controlled Language, implemented correctly, can help you achieve these goals. However, many companies implement Simplified Technical English or other controlled language initiatives, but struggle…

Do you experiment?

Last month Tom Johnson of the I’d Rather be Writing blog interviewed me about why I started TC Camp. He wanted to know why I started something that was so obviously energy and resource intensive? It’s true that I have a lot of things going on. Single-Sourcing Solutions is 11…

How to Use Change Tracking in Arbortext

Arbortext Monster Garage, Season 3, Episode 13 In Arbortext, you can use the Change Tracking feature to track changes to text and markup. Change tracking facilitates collaboration with other authors and editors by highlighting changes and allowing you to accept or reject them. It’s remarkably simple to take advantage of…

Life with Guru D: Adopting a DITA Mindset and Converting Others

DITA methodology is often difficult for people to grasp. It does require a complete shift in how you view and author your content. You can’t take a book and shove it over. It doesn’t work like that. You need to deconstruct and then reconstruct in the new architecture. It doesn’t…

We all solve the same problems

We’ve all been in that position where we are trying to work something out and wish we had someone to bounce ideas off of. Someone who knew us, what we were going through, who had expertise that was the same as ours. Only different. Someone we could leverage in real…

Which do you want to be? A technician or a craftsman?

We usually talk about Style in terms of content structure and layout, but this time I wanted to talk with you about our style. Specifically, our style of service. I was recently on a mentoring team call with one of our newer customers and they said something that really struck…

Creating a Documentation Plan

“Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.” Creating a good documentation plan will help you identify what you’re going to do and can be a valuable political document if the project shifts from under you. Docplans are even more important in a world where you have distributed teams and fragmented documents…

Collaborative Writing in Distributed Teams

This session had a lot of votes, so we found John Hedtke, Master of Remote Collaboration, and found a time when he can come talk John’s last book was written with a co-author on the other side of the country that he’s seen exactly twice, but he’s always worked with…