About four years ago, stenographer Mirabai Knight came to the conclusion that stenography had been a walled garden for too long — controlled and marginalized by big companies. She set about creating her own affordable hardware and open source software designed to set stenography free to the masses…
Note that this keyboard does need to be able to recognize multiple simultaneous keystrokes, so gaming keyboards (starting at $50) are the norm.
This could really help us when we’re transcribing the scripts for our online training courses. We’re not aware of any Technical Authors who use stenography – is there anyone out there?
Last week, we completed the third phase of our IT systems migration. With each phase, we’re gaining insights into how information can be best managed inside a company selling and delivering project-based services.
There are a number of basic IT systems needed to run a project-based business, such as ourselves:
Prospect database. This is essentially for sending out mailshots and any freebies offered on a website.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This is for following up new enquiries, past customers and carrying out other sales-related activities. This involves keeping a record of past conversations and next steps.
Project management. This involves keeping a record of conversations, repositories for files and contracts, time spent on a project, and other project-related activities.
Accounting. This involves invoicing and payments.
In numerous companies where I’ve worked there’s been a problem in finding the ideal solution. A single system that does everything may force you to work in a particular way of working, and these systems can be expensive for smaller organisations. Having separate systems can lead to information not being shared across the systems. For example, many of the project teams I’ve worked with have found CRM systems, such as Salesforce.com, too complex. They simply don’t use them often enough.
We have been asked to forward this message regarding the launch of Adobe Tech Comm Survey 2014:
The purpose of the survey is to understand how you create, publish and distribute content; and how you measure the effectiveness of content. We want to understand which tools you use, how you use them and how they can be improved.
It does not matter if you use Adobe products or not. As long as you are a Tech Comm professional and want your voice to be heard, you can fill out the survey. Please spare 20 minutes of your precious time to fill out the survey and stand a chance to win one of the 20 exciting prizes!
We’re changing some of our IT systems this week, including our email system. This involves some changes to DNS and TXT records that may take a while to propagate around the Internet.
If you send us an email and it seems like we’re taking an unusually long time to reply, please feel free to call us on 0207 100 4513. If we detect any serious problems that might take days to fix, we have a backup alternative gmail account we can ask you to use temporarily instead.
I’ve had some time in the last few days to initiate some the ideas mentioned in my post Marketing the technical communication profession. This relates to improving the marketing of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators. Most of the work we do for clients is confidential, so it’s a pleasant change to be able to talk about a project as it’s progressing.
I’ve been asked to join the ISTC’s Council and take on the responsibility for marketing the organisation. The ISTC is is the largest UK body representing information development professionals (it’s the UK version of the STC or tekom), and this is a volunteer, unpaid, part time, role.
Happily, I’m building upon the work carried out by Rachel Potts (who was the previous ISTC Marketing lead) and other ISTC volunteers.
Increasing the awareness of the technical communication profession
In addition to encouraging people to join the ISTC, it’s important to increase awareness in the wider world of the profession. If the ISTC can encourage companies to use technical communicators, it’s likely there will be more technical communications who could potentially join the ISTC. This should also benefit Cherryleaf and others who provide technical writing services.
Below are some initial ideas I’ve had for how the ISTC can increase the awareness of the profession.