Three Technical Communicators discuss trends in technical communication

Scriptorium has published the recording of the webinar it hosted on trends in technical communication. In this webinar, Ellis Pratt, Sarah O’Keefe and Tony Self discussed emerging trends in technical communication.

There was a suprising amount of unanimity between the three of us.


Mark Fidelman

Thanks, I really learned a lot from your presentation. I’ll share some of my notes with your readers if you don’t mind:

XML is now a requirement, things can’t be done with Word files. XML makes info flexible in how it’s delivered. Word is not (maybe infographic?) – extract source code and document it automatically as an example. Value to programmer.

Support/call documentation – best relationship is between tech pubs and support department. – Measure is easier to make more meaningful comparisons between the two. Use web analytics to measure it (but only at high level) with MT it’s at page level.

With metrics can compare your stats with support. Even sales and marketing. reduction in support calls are real. Dollars are real. Deliver reports that show cost benefit of tech docs. Will make tech comms more efficient – can go to decision makers and say fund my budget instead of theirs I am delivering more value.

If docs aren’t effective you can change it. marketing works this way, you’ll need to too. You’re also going to be held accountable.
Content curation – evolve into research and what others have written and deciuding on what to feature from community or external sites. Looking at web analytics and highlighting featuresand problems are people searchign for and not finding. What is not there?

In museum 10% of artifacts are only shown in museum, the other 90% is stored in storage. 10% tells story that they understand when they look at stuff. Will have to have a new responsibility to manage and curate the content from other sites and the internal site that can be brought into the official documentation.

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