Category Archives: Criticism

Profession Realignment

Today I’m comparing the list of program tracks at the STC Summit for 2011 and 2012. Notice the difference in names of tracks. Maybe that’s telling us something about the profession. Here are last year’s tracks (“Before”): Usability and Accessibility … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Criticism, Profession, Professional Association | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Profession in Search of a Metaphor

The challenge for technical communication is the same one that business schools face – there is no underlying discipline that already exists in the academy on which to build it. Engineers have physics, but engineering is not physics. Doctors have … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, Information Architecture, Philosphy, Profession | Tagged | 1 Comment

Disruption is the New Trend

The webcast on Scriptorium, Trends in Technical Communication, 2011 by Sarah O’Keefe of Scriptorium and Nicky Bleiel of ComponentOne is a great discussion starter. They were all over the place with ideas about what’s happening in the workplace. Here is … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, Future, Information Architecture, Interface, Profession, Roles | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments


Isn’t there just this urge to organize and systematize information? If only we could get it all under control. Well I have a small idea in that regard. I came across Clive Shepherd’s blog whose latest blog posts about informal … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, Design, Information Architecture, Review | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 5 Reasons to Avoid a Tech Comm Conference

Warning: There is some ranting in this post that may sound like STC bashing. I intend it solely as constructive criticism and fodder for brainstorming sessions for the benefit of the profession and of STC. Once again, Tom Johnson fulfills … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Criticism, Information Architecture, Profession, Professional Association, Social Networking | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

User Participation Design

I’m getting tired of focusing on user interface design. At my work, lately, we have been using the car analogy – referring to the back end software as the engine (which does all the important work) and the user interface … Continue reading

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Valuing the Total Technical Writer

Michael Harvey offers a good starting point for talking about marketable skills and business value in our profession. His latest article Timeless Skills for Technical Writers suggests that writing (or communicating) is our crucial skill. He starts with some good … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, Philosphy, Profession, Resources | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

(Technical) Language and (Technical) Thought

I had an interesting email exchange with my brother, Carl, about language and thought. He works for Cray as a programmer and is working on his doctorate. While our discussion did not relate directly to either his employment or school … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, language, Philosphy | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Heart of Technical Communication

Tools and trends in information technology are changing the way we communicate and, at the same time, the way we communicate is transforming the technological arena in which we work. Technical communicators are at the heart of these trends and … Continue reading

Posted in Criticism, Future, Philosphy, Profession | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Foundational Skills in Engineering

Every once in a while I become philosophical about my work and about the schooling I’ve received. This is something I have wanted to write for a long time (and on which I may expand more later). In my study … Continue reading

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