As the headline states, we’ve upgraded the software that runs our shopping cart and provides access to our e-learning courses. The main difference delegates will notice is an improved page for the links to the modules contained in a course. There are some minor improvements: how the VAT element is processed, integration with the payment gateways, and to the invoices. We think we’ve ironed out all the bugs, but if you experience any issues, do let us know.
Cherryleaf has been working on a project which shows people how to teach non-readers to read. We’ve been working with Elizabeth Ainley, who has written a book, go for it!, which can be used to teach illiterate and/or dyslexic adults.
Elizabeth asked Cherryleaf to help her re-write the existing instructions aimed at the adult coaches who will be using go for it! This involved making the instructions clearer, and clarifying the learning outcomes.
Schoolchildren in Sierra Leone have been the first users of the project. It means a 12 year old child who can read can now teach others. The school is run by Miriam mason-Sesay MBE for the Educaid, who sent Elizabeth these photos of the teaching materials in use:
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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 been putting together some short length videos that we can use on the Cherryleaf website. These are “quick and dirty”, three to four minute videos, shot
behind in front of a green screen.
One explains why technical communication is changing:
Another looks at recruiting a Technical Author:
Each video takes a couple of hours to create, and we hope to add more over time.
This Autumn, we’ll be in a number of cities around England, meeting up with people involved with content strategy and technical communication.
This is a great opportunity to tell us what you’re involved with at the moment, pick our brains, or discover more about our services.
You never know – if you have a content-related issue, we may be able to help.
Here is the current itinerary:
- Week commencing 16th September – London
- Week commencing 23rd September – Bristol
- Week commencing 30th October – Brighton
- Week commencing 7th October – London
- Week commencing 14th October – Oxford
- Week commencing 21st October – Cambridge
- Week commencing 28th October – London
- Week commencing 11th November – Reading
- Week commencing 18th November – Birmingham
- Week commencing 2nd December – Manchester
We’ll also be in Wiesbaden, Germany on 7th and 8th November.
If you’d like to meet up with us, simply contact us and we’ll get back to you.
If those dates don’t suit, but you’d still like to meet us, drop us a line. Together, we should be able to find a suitable date.
The magazine also includes an article by Sarah Maddox (now at Google) on how technical communicators can use Twitter in technical communication.
We’re not certain when/if the online version will be uploaded to the tcworld site, but we’ll add a link to the article as soon as we can.
Update: You can view it online.
The Society for Technical Communication, the professional body for technical communicators in the USA, is introducing a number of specially selected guest bloggers to its official blog. The first guest blogger is, we’re pleased to say, Cherryleaf’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Ellis Pratt.
These posts, called “Letter from the UK”, will explore what’s happening for technical communicators in the UK and mainland Europe. You’ll find the first post on the “STC Notebook blog” today:
STC’s Notebook has long been a great source for STC-related news, information and conversation. Now it hopes to become the same for topics relating to technical communications. We’re delighted to be involved and participating in this initiative, and we hope you’ll find these posts of interest.