Category Archives: Tools

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.

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Content Content podcast episode 4 – Curse of knowledge with Tom Johnson

In this episode, a truly great and fun conversation with prolific and influential technical writer Tom Johnson. Tom joins us from Silicon Valley to talk about his interesting path to technical communication, failed Career Day booths, being a leader in techcomm, content management systems, DITA, static site generators, and much more.

Subscribe to the Content Content podcast in iTunes

Mentioned during the show: Continue reading Content Content podcast episode 4 – Curse of knowledge with Tom Johnson

Content Content Podcast – Time as a Tool – featuring Alan Houser – episode 2

Alan Houser, technical communication consultant and former Society for Technical Communication President, drops by on a very cold President’s Day holiday to talk about his experiences in STC leadership, web standard steering committees, structured authoring and DITA, Markdown, tools, podcasts, and more.

Mentioned during the show:

Content Content podcast, episode 1 featuring Sharon Burton

Alan Houser on Twitter

Alan’s business, Group Wellesley

Society for Technical Communication (STC)

2015 Mid-Atlantic Technical Communication Conference – March 28, 2015 – sponsored by the STC Philly Metro Chapter

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

OASIS

Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Sara’s book Content Everywhere

contentcontent.info

Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA)

DITA 1.3 spec

Markdown language

Tom Johnson – I’d rather be writing

XML and the web: drifting farther apart?

5 by 5 podcast network

Back to Work podcast on 5 by 5

TWiT podcast network

This Week in Tech podcast

Triangulation podcast

Ed Marsh on Twitter

Introducing the Content Content podcast – Offices without tarantulas featuring Sharon Burton – episode 1

In our inaugural podcast, technical communication and customer experience consultant Sharon Burton tells us about California law, offices without tarantulas, documenting the obvious, the file name field, buying buckets of DITA at the DITA Store, and the renaissance of content.

Mentioned during the show:

SharonBurton.com

twitter.com/sharonburton

“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.” – Dolly Parton

University of California Riverside

TechComm Speakers Bureau

contentcontent.info

edmarsh.com

twitter.com/edmarsh

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.
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