"Will Artificial Intelligence Kill College Writing?" asks a professor in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Micah Mattix gives what I think is a thoughtful response: "This is one of the problems with teaching writing exclusively as a tool. Most tools are replaceable. But I don’t think writing—real writing—is in any danger of being replaced by … Continue reading Whether AI Will Replace Writing
From chapter 48 of Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson: "Fisheye has taken what appears to be an instruction manual from the heavy black suitcase. It is a miniature three-ring binder with pages of laser-printed text. The binder is just a cheap unmarked one bought from a stationery store. In these respects, it is perfectly familiar to … Continue reading Job Security
Design expert Donald Norman has written that when people are anxious, they narrow their thought processes. Conversely when people are happy, they become more creative and imaginative at solving problems. If this is true, it means that one of the best things a technical writer can do is create beautiful content that moves readers to a happier, more adaptive emotional state. Or so I contend.
Technical writers usually think of their job in functional terms: to help end users know or do something. Creating beautiful content is typically not seen as a core part of the equation. But what if technical writers thought of themselves as artists whose aim is to create a thing of beauty? Isn't that, in the end, what makes for a good user experience?
For technical writers, content reuse it a great idea---but way more difficult in practice than it sounds. Here are some of my practical suggestions on how to do it in a sustainable way, based on my years of experience implementing it with tools like Confluence and Madcap Flare.
I just published an article on how documentation can enable sales. Here's an annotated list of the resources I used in my research.
A student from my alma mater reached out to me with questions about the wonderful world of technical communication. Here's a transcript (peppered, of course, with delightful Dilbert comics).
Lent, Rembrandt, and updates on various writing projects (just submitted another article, yay!). Recommended readings on MLK and celibacy.
From the day I started this blog, I haven't committed to a strict blogging cadence. Until I do that (and I really should), if I don't have any well-formed thoughts to publish, I'll settle instead for giving a brief update on what I'm reading and working on.
Of all the boring subjects in the world, page archiving has got to be the most boring one of all. But for organizations whose content starts getting out of control, it's a critical problem to solve. Here's how my team tackled it in a low-cost way.