Celebrate the short winter evenings and take the opportunity to network in a relaxed environment.

Come and have a Christmas tipple with Cherryleaf. Get in the mood for the party season and have a few drinks whilst catching up with technical authors and other business people. The third of our successful networking events is taking place near Borough Market and London Bridge Station on Thursday 8th December from 6.30pm. Contact us if you’d like to come.

Our Happy Place

We have a folder on our intranet for storing feedback we receive from our customers and partners, which we call “our happy place”. Yesterday , we received some very nice feedback on our presentation at TICAD, which we will add to our collection:

“May I take this opportunity to thank you for your excellent presentation at TICAD 2005. You covered a very difficult subject area with great skill and judgement, and I am very grateful for all the work you have put in to providing such an interesting, well-researched and practical presentation. Many of the delegates that I spoke with after the session felt that your approach to metrics and costing would be of great benefit to them when faced with budget and costing issues in the future.”

Reflections on TICAD

The TICAD conference focussed on process, particularly single sourcing and translation. It was in marked contract to the ISTC conference, which focussed on value – of the outputs technical authors produce.

Ellis spoke on the estimating, reporting and costing of documentation projects. It seemed to be well received.

The last speaker, James Woudhuysen, talked about the future of work. He mentioned the business equivalent of attention deficit disorder, as we’re bombarded with emails and phone calls all day. I know of two people who say they “sell attention” – could this be the start of a new trend?

Orwell on writing good English

Justin found an essay by Orwell on writing good English.

It includes these rules:

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
Never use a long word where a short one will do.
If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
Never use the passive where you can use the active.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Our next networking event

Cherryleaf networking events are (almost) monthly events for software and documentation people. The events have no dress code and are open to anyone. The purpose of the evenings is to mix, network, do business, share ideas and have some fun!

Join us between 18.30 and 22.00 hours on Thursday 8th December for a few drinks and food in central London. Contact us to sign up and get more details.

Ellis Pratt will be holding one hour One-on-Ones earlier in the day in Mayfair and at the networking venue. Maybe you need advice, guidance or want to sound out an idea? Sign-up by contacting Ellis.

80% of the life time cost of software occurs after the sale is made

I was told last week that:

60%-80% of the life time cost of software occurs after the sale is made, and
10% of that is down to poor documentation.

I’ve been trying to track down the original source of this information and it appears to come from Dr Roger Pressman and some Dept. of Defense studies. I’ll be including the sources I’ve found in our next newsletter, due out later this week.

It’s our birthday

November marks the end of our third year in business and the start of Year Four. Thank you if you have been a customer or a supplier of ours during the past three years.

If you have not been a customer, you probably won’t feel that connecting with us will help you directly. And that’s OK, as we hate putting pressure on people.

You probably won’t believe our clients who have found we’ve helped them. You can’t think why they invested so much time and money in using us.

We’re always keen to know what you need so that we can help you or someone you know. Let us know what you were hoping we could do to help you. What is troubling you that you want fixed? Probably nothing …