James Somers is releasing an add-on for Google Docs, Draftback, that enables you to play back and analyse the creation of any Google Doc you have permission to edit.
It means you can see how a writer created the document, the sections they spent time rewriting and rearranging, the elements that were pasted into the document from elsewhere, and so on.
From an organisation’s perspective, the graphs Draftback that produces potentially could be used to show when and where the writer spent most of their time:
I could see this illustrating the impact of last minute changes to a product, review comments and other external factors. Potentially, it could also highlight areas where a writer might need assistance or training.
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?
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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’ve noticed a few slidedecks and blogs recently that have been looking at the value of technical communication in marketing a product successfully. With the trend towards earning revenues over a lifetime (rather than in a single upfront payment), the marketing strategies employed by organisations is changing.
Scott Abel has posted a slidedeck called “The Future of Technical Communication is Marketing”, which you can see below:
Our migration to new computers and IT systems went pretty smoothly last week, and we now have a new webinar system. This platform supports up to 250 delegates, who can attend via a Web browser or a desktop application.
It’s been a while since we ran webinars (these would be free), so it would be a good time to find out which topics people would be interested in us discussing. If you have any suggestions, please use the comment box below, or send us an email.