Category Archives: technical writing examples

Be like Thomas Pynchon with Pawel Kowaluk – Content Content episode 16

Pawel Kowaluk, a technical writer, self-proclaimed DITA geek, and recruiter, joins us from Krakow, Poland. He talks about the rise of technical communication in Poland, starting a conference, and how to balance a team when hiring.

Pawel Kowaluk
Episode 16 guest Pawel Kowaluk

In this episode

Continue reading Be like Thomas Pynchon with Pawel Kowaluk – Content Content episode 16

What technical writers can learn from a WordPress plugin

I’m evaluating WordPress plugins for our STC chapter’s web site migration. I use WordPress for edmarsh.com, but the requirements for a personal blog as opposed to a full-on web site – particularly plugins – are quite different.

The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin's keyword tab shows writers how their content compares to other sites using the selected keyword
The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin’s keyword tab shows writers how their content compares to other sites using the selected keyword

A post recently appeared on Facebook, advertising the 57 best WordPress plugins. The list felt a bit too self-promotional, but there were some good selections, and I implemented a few. The very first plugin on the list, Yoast SEO, changed the way I feel about writing, particularly for the web.

Continue reading What technical writers can learn from a WordPress plugin

Microsoft Office and the amazing shrinking help icon

I wanted to create an Outlook 2013 email rule to respond to emails sent to a specific account. The rule requires an email template. Not knowing how to create one, I looked for the help icon. And kept looking. I felt old. And as a tech writer, I almost, almost yearned for the days of Clippy.

Then, in the top-right corner, it appeared. Sort of. Now don’t get me started about the ALL CAPS MENUS in Office 2013 (and also Adobe’s Creative Suite), but it’s surprising how the help icon is almost an afterthought.
Continue reading Microsoft Office and the amazing shrinking help icon

Creating a Drupal sandbox with VirtualBox and Drupal Quickstart (Presentation)

I’m a fan enthusiast of Drupal. I’ve been part of the community for four years now, and the amazingly supportive community is what keeps me engaged, as I wrote after attending the Drupal NYCCamp earlier in 2013.

As I started a new personal project that I hope to launch soon, I wanted to use it as a learning experience not only for myself, but for the Drupal community. Though I’m active in the Northern New Jersey Drupal User Group, I’ve been largely a consumer of the group’s knowledge (other than sharing my knowledge of beer). I wanted to give back, especially as this year our host, the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, is moving a lot of their tech infrastructure to Drupal and their computer science students are showing an interest.

When I decided to create the site, instead of creating it on a web server with all of the typical installation and configuration issues (and expense), I started with a free, open-source software called VirtualBox, and the Drupal Quickstart project, both of which I could run locally on my Windows PC. From this, I created a short presentation that I shared with the NNJ Group.

What is Drupal?

Continue reading Creating a Drupal sandbox with VirtualBox and Drupal Quickstart (Presentation)