Creating a map showing the location of Technical Authors

Sarah Maddox’s post on how she has added “techcomm titbits” onto an interactive map, prompted me to look at whether we could create a map showing the location of Technical Authors around the UK. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for years, and Sarah’s post suggested it was much easier to do these days, thanks to Google’s applications.

The map needs data, so if you are a Technical Author, please add your details to the map:

We will not include your name or email address on the map. However we do need your name and email address in order to check the integrity of the data and to update you of any developments. You can use the postcode of a neighbouring street, if you wish.

We currently have an intermittent problem with our website. If you see an Error Establishing Database connection message, please refresh the page and it should appear.

2014′s Top 50 most influential Techcomm experts

Mindtouch has published its latest (2014) list of most influential Techcomm experts, and, once again, Ellis Pratt of Cherryleaf is ranked as the highest ranked technical communications professional outside of the USA.

Little Bird measures  the popularity and frequency of people’s blog posts, tweets and activities on sites like Facebook and YouTube, so this is a list of of influencers across the social web:

MindTouch has been publishing these reports since 2009 by using data generated from Little Bird to amplify success, create new relationships, and spark discussions.

Who influences you, and how do they influence you? Does the social web have any influence on your role as a technical communicator? Please share your thoughts.

Please take part in our brief survey on Technical Author recruitment

Please take part in our brief survey, and share your thoughts on hiring technical communicators/Technical Authors.Training and recruitment can be closely related, which is partly why we are conducting two surveys.

Here is the link:

Cherryleaf Recruitment Survey

There are eight simple questions, and it should only take a couple of minutes to complete.

By taking part you are helping us to help you by offering the type of recruitment services you really need.

Thank you!

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Please take part in our brief survey on technical communications training

Please take part in our brief survey, and share your thoughts on training courses relating to technical communication:

Cherryleaf Training Survey

There are eight simple questions, and it should only take a couple of minutes to complete.

It will help us understand what training technical communicators want, in order to improve their skills.

Thank you!

Continue reading

Adobe announces a techcomm online survey

Adobe SurveyAdobe is soliciting feedback from technical communication professionals worldwide in a short online survey:

“Doesn’t matter if you use our Adobe products or not, as long as you are a tech comm professional and have opinions about the tools of your choice – this survey will be of interest to you!”

There are 25 simple multiple-choice questions. Adobe is offering prizes, which will be given to seven lucky participants.  The survey closes at 11.59 pm PST on 5th June 2013.

See: Adobe techcomm Perception and Awareness Survey.


Technical Communication’s top influencers

Mindtouch has compiled an updated list of the most influential techcomm bloggers. The top six most influential bloggers are based in the USA; Cherryleaf’s Ellis Pratt comes in at No. 7, making him, according to this list, the most influential techcomms blogger in Europe.

Most Influential Techcomm

It does conjure up images of someone stroking a white persian cat in their mountain lair – do bloggers and tweeters really have a great deal of influence on their community?

Cherryleaf Technical Author survey 2011 – in words

Last month, we conducted an online survey that 226 Technical Authors completed. We also conducted some in depth interviews with UK Documentation Managers to get a better insight into the responses. Below is some feedback we received.

Why user guides are not published on Web sites

The main reasons we heard why user documentation was not published on Web sites (i.e. searchable on Google) were:

  • The application was bespoke and/or specific to a single customer.
  • The Support Department felt it would lead to fewer customers signing up for a Support contract.
  • Competitors might read the content.

Senior management often had a traditional view of what a user guide should look like

Reluctance and resistance to innovative approaches to User Assistance came more from senior management and other departments (i.e. Support and Marketing) than from the Technical Publications department itself.

The exceptions came from

  • Successful organisations where technical documentation was a negligible cost to the overall business. The Technical Publications department had freedom to effectively do what they liked.
  • Organisations where they saw that many users were reading and downloading the user documentation. This was where the content was online and the number of readers could be quantified through Web analytics.

There was little desire for User Generated Content (but there was for getting engineers to contribute content)

In general, they felt not enough users would contribute and there could be legal risks.