Social media and the technical communicator

Joining the (social media) crowd More and more people in our wacky profession seem to be using, if not embracing, social media — things like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and more. But there are still a number who are still on the sidelines, wondering what social media can do for them and how they can contribute or use social media.

Judging whether or not social media is for you isn’t up to me. You really have to make that choice for yourself. But there are a few things you should consider when you’re thinking about making the jump into the social media world or deepening your involvement in that world.

Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Continue reading

Social networking and the introvert

Introvert As you probably know, Aaron and I use a number of social networking sites. We’re heavily engaged on Twitter,, LinkedIn, and are starting to join in at Technical Writing World.

If that wasn’t enough, I have my own footprint on Twitter and write for an online publication that focuses on social media technology. So you’d figure that I’m a very outgoing, assertive, and personable chap.

Not quite.

If know me or have met me in person, you’ll quickly realize that I’m fairly introverted. All of this social stuff, whether online or off, is difficult for me. Very difficult. It takes a lot of effort.

Even with relative anonymity of the online world, it can be hard for people like me to put themselves out there and to stay out there. Here are some thoughts on how to do it.

Continue reading

Consistent terminology is crucial

Terminology Last week, Alan J. Porter published a very interesting blog post about making assumptions. One key lesson that jumped out at me in that post is that having consistent terminology, and using that terminology consistently, is crucial. Not just to support but for technical communicators as well.

Terminology that isn’t consistent, and which isn’t used consistently, can cause more than just a little confusion. And documentation that doesn’t use that terminology consistently can cause more problems than it clears up. Not only with customers, but within your company and project as well.

Let’s take a look at this …

Continue reading