Category Archives: #TechComm


This Writer’s 2012 New Years Blogging Resolutions

Picture of shampaige

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve begun to feel a convergence lately—of tools and motivation, of desire and actual potentials toward reality, of wherewithal and professional and personal need, of hubris and humility. I ain’t all that good at this social media thing—and I need to be. And so I’ve determined to more directly invoke my editorial calendar and focus on the task at hand: writing productivity. Continue reading


Social & Workplace Learning through the 70:20:10 Lens

Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh

Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The shift in focus to workplace and social learning by HR and Learning professionals over the past few years is an significant one. And it’s not just a passing phase or fad. It is reflecting a fundamental change that is happening all around us – the move from a ‘push’ world to a ‘pull’ world, and the move from structure and known processes to a world that is much more fluid and where speed to performance and quality of results are paramount.

Provides background, commentary, and roadmaps around the (wise) L&D proposition that “…lessons learned by successful and effective managers are roughly:

70% from tough jobs

20% from people (mostly the boss)


10% from courses and reading”


Give it to me straight, doc: the 8-step ‘Paramedic’ method for bringing your writing back to life

The ‘Paramedic Method’ involves bringing writing that lacks vitality back to life. Offers an 8-step process for achieving all this.

Richard Lanham, a professor of English at UCLA, invented an easy-to-use method for making your writing clearer and more concise. The Writing Center strongly advocates Lanham’s “Paramedic Method” for your writing. Here’s how to do it…

(Courtesy of the University of Richmond’s Writer’s Web)


“Chicago” is 15!

Now featuring coverage of electronic publishing as well as a grammar and usage chapter all its own, the Chicago Manual of Style is in its 15th edition. Buy it. Read it. Mind the gaps. Perhaps most importantly, remember to (as Linda Halvorson, chief editor, puts it) “break or bend” rules as your needs dictate.


Texaco’s John Old in Fast Company


Knowledge will make you free

Knowledge will make you free (Photo credit: tellatic)

John Old, of Texaco, makes salient—though still fairly broad—statements regarding knowledge management in September’s Fast Company. Mostly it’s about people. First, to paraphrase a paraphrased paraphrase (from David Snowden):

“One, knowledge can only be volunteered; it can’t be conscripted. Two, people always know more than they can tell and can tell more than they can write. And three, people only know what they know when they need to know it.”

And these…

“There are plenty of obstacles, most of them having to do with people and organizations. For example, it’s hard to share knowledge if you don’t have enough time to reflect on what you know or what you need to learn.” “It’s hard enough to think great thoughts—let alone to capture them for a knowledge database. That’s why David Gilmour, the founder, president, and CEO of Tacit Knowledge Systems Inc., in Palo Alto, set out to create applications that capture expertise as it gets created. Tacit’s software and server products scour email, documents—anything digital—to build an ever-changing knowledge bank.”

Heady stuff…


On Rhetoric and Conversation

I read recently about the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy and about other dos and don’ts of debating at Truth Tree, a site offering its share of left-leaning positions in a series of essays,and message boards for each for readers to submit their responses. Not cutting edge site design by any means (nor especially current), but stimulating nonetheless. I was reminded of Dean and Marshall VanDruff’s Conversational Cheap Shots (please pardon my implication of causality), but here we have an effort at community.


Not a band. Not a drug… on the STC: “Professional organizations often help define the professions they serve: Such is the case with the Society for Technical Communication (STC).” Though geared specifically toward jobseekers, the article provides a good overview of what technical communication is and what technical communicators do. Recommended.