The Vimeo video-sharing site is something to consider instead of its practically ubiquitous competitor. The quality of the videos tends to be higher, so there’s less dross to sort through. You can find it at www.vimeo.com.
I got what I thought might be a phishing e-mail message. I tried to forward it to the supposed originator. It bounced. Then I tok a look at the originator’s web site. After looking for a while, this is approximately what I sent to them.
Hello from a former customer. I’d like to alert you to a few things that I noticed about your communications.
[I’m using “techie quotes” throughout: no extra punctuation in code text-strings.]
The first is that I got the e-mail below and, finding that it pointed to a non-YourCompany address, suspected it of being part of a lure to get information. However, when I visited your Web site after my message bounced, I found that strange-user-name appears to be really your fulfillment address. You might want to make your return address in your public domain, even if messages are then rerouted to your fulfillment service.
Second, my post to your “phishing” account bounced because you don’t have one. Perhaps I should have tried again with “abuse” (which is a pretty standard address for reporting trouble) or even “root“. However, the people who are likely to forward suspected phony messages probably know what phishing is.
Third, you have no “Contact us” link on your home page. That is now part of expected home page layout. Instead, there’s a welter of FAQs, submission forms, and “If this, send to that” instructions scattered over several pages. And phishing wasn’t covered. So you need that link to a simple contact mechanism, with a visible e-mail address, on the home page. It can open a page that says, ‘This will get to us. For quicker response about different different subjects, send to these. [table of addresses]’ You can slip that page in front of your existing address pages with few changes. Then you can sort incoming general e-mail by keyword or get help-desk staff to route inquiries to the right group.
Am I being helpful or just arrogant?
Snowfall in Brampton, December 16
I was working onsite in Brampton last Tuesday. And I was planning to go home in good time because there was a snowstorm moving in. But I got caught up in my work. I was making an analysis of all likely procedures for implementing a system. I was given a set of procedures but they were for different circumstances. Some didn’t seem to apply. Others applied some of the time. And some precluded others. If you were doing this, it didn’t make sense to do that. So I sorted them out into two cases. There was still a little confusion. Why would you do it such a way?
I took it back to my expert and we had a fruitful meeting late in the day. He pointed out that there were three cases. There was a simple install. There was recovery of backed-up systems or rollout of new systems from the server. And there was a complete restore of the server itself. Each of the cases implied a certain set of procedures in a certain order. Now it all made sense. I wanted to get the new analysis down on paper with procedures in the right places. Then the main tasks of each procedure. And the logical order of cases. There. It was almost 10 p.m. before I had everything neat, right, and backed up to the network.
You might think that technical writing is not creative. But in some ways—organizing information or deciding how to present it—it often is. And when inspiration strikes, it’s best to capture your insights of the moment rather than struggle to re-create them later.
When I left Brampton, a very pretty, fine snow was falling. I drove home carefully and safely on snow tires. And it worked out for me: by putting in too many hours on Tuesday, I was forced to stay away on Friday and miss its snowstorm and traffic chaos.
I just brought in a whole page of Technical Communication links and added them to the Resources page.
Here they are. Anyone finding a broken link or a new resource, please mention them in the comments. You’ll get a tip of the hat and a virtual sweet.
Researchers and Gurus
Technical Communication Groups
Technical Communicators and Content Managers
- Jane Aronovitch, see jane write
- Rahel Bailie, Intentional Design
- Andrew Brooke’s Tech Writer’s World
- Milan Davidovic, alt.milan
- Rob Hanna
- Philip Kahn, Digital Jive
- Benjamin Keevil, Keevil and Associates
- Karen Mardahl
- Key Communications, Peggy McChesney (new)
- Parallel Elements
- Pamela Paterson, Writer Types, Inc.
- Laurie Pearce, Words That Work
- Liz Pilgrim, TechComm, Information Design, & Training
- Todd Race, Constructive Writing
- Jennifer Paton Smith, Sericon Consulting
- Leanne Rollins
- Keith Soltys
- Gilda Spitz, G.S. Consulting
- Bill Swallow, Waxing Techcomm (new)
As this post sinks below the horizon, you can always find the page by clicking “Resources” on the upper right.
WordPress has added a new “App” that will let you echo posts from your blog over to LinkedIn. It works for blogs hosted on WordPress or using WordPress software. You will also have the choice of echoing everything or only posts tagged LinkedIn.
- Visit the LinkedIn Application Directory.
- Select the WordPress App that you want.
- Enter the URL of your blog.
- Choose to display either all of your blog posts or only those tagged with “LinkedIn.”
This works for a WordPress.com or WordPress.org blog.
Your WordPress avatar appears beside the top post. You can use Gravatar to create one.