A Confession: I am a Fraud

Source: www.linkedin.com

My friend, Nick Kellet, co-founder of List.ly, has this on his LinkedIn feed.

 

I confess…I am a fraud, too. You hadn’t figured that out yet? Really. It’s so obvious. Heck, I’m a fraud for posting this article about being a fraud, for heaven’s sake. 

 

A big part of content strategy is learning how to reuse information in order to reshape it into something different and new. There are some great examples of this sort of thing in the article, and I’m sure you can think of many more. 

 

Based on this article, are you fraudulent, too?  Confess your sins below, and let’s commiserate. 

–techcommgeekmom

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Will We Use Commas in the Future?

There’s no denying that commas are helpful little flecks of punctuation. They allow us to separate written clauses and do good work when especially numerous or complicated groups of things exist in a single sentence. But do we really need them? That’s a trickier question. In some ways commas are…

Source: www.slate.com

This is an intriguing article brought to my attention by Scott Abel on his Facebook page. The article sparked an interesting discussion on his feed. I will agree with one comment made on his feed (by my friend, Barry S.) which stated that the debate about commas will probably rage on, but what will start to become more obsolete is printed dictionaries, since language is always changing and the Internet can keep up with those changes much more quickly now. (The same probably applies to the thesaurus, too, I suppose.) 

 

I will admit that I’m very much an "old school" grammarian, in that I cherish my Oxford commas. While there might be general understanding without the commas, there is better understanding WITH the commas and other punctuation. Social media, especially Twitter, is not made for being grammatically correct. You only have 140 characters to work with, after all! (Although I try my best to use proper grammar in tweets as much as I can.)  But social media is not a report, a book, an informational pamplet, or an instructional manual. In these types of publications, whether in print or digital, proper grammar is highly necessary to ensure that the message or instruction is understood completely. If certain commas were left out of instructions for a medical procedure, that could have dire consequences! Seriously! Think about it.  While it might seem "ancient practices" to use commas and some other grammatical marks, for more formalized writing, they really need to stay. They’ve lasted a few hundred years already successfully. Don’t fix what isn’t broken! 

 

What do you think? Put your comments below.

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I told you so…The Time for Global Content Strategy has Arrived | Content Rules, Inc.

Two short years ago, I left a conference feeling demoralized. How could people care more about metrics than about their global content? This year was different.

Source: www.contentrules.com

I think almost everyone knows how much I love Val Swisher. I think I’ve learned a lot over the last 2-3 years from her that I’ve been able to apply towards my current job. I have to say that as I was coming into the content strategy scene, I wondered about the emphasis on metrics, too. It wasn’t something that I knew a lot about, and in my work I usually didn’t have to get too deeply involved in that part of it. This isn’t to say that metrics aren’t important, but rather I didn’t understand how that would supercede how one would have to look at the big picture, much like Val describes (and she’s in deep with this stuff much more than I am, so she would know). So, I can understand her joy in seeing this switch over time. It makes more sense to me, too. Read this! 

–techcommgeekmom

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10 Responsive Design Problems and Fixes | UX Magazine

Source: uxmag.com

This article was brought to my attention by Rick Sapir on Google+. As I am part of a global team putting together a responsive design website right now, the timing of this article is impeccable. I knew some of these issues (some from learning about it, some by trial and error), but there were some other that I don’t know were taken into consideration until after the fact. It happens. A good guide to review. 

–techcommgeekmom

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Natural Born Auditors | TechWhirl

Are technical writers born to be auditors? Dan Goldstein makes an interesting case on the instincts and skills both have.

Source: techwhirl.com

Interesting article by Dan Goldstein on TechWhirl. I don’t think I’d ever thought as myself as a potential auditor, but then again, I never thought that I’d become a tech writer either. Read this, and see if you think you’d make the cut…

–techcommgeekmom

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The Infosnacker’s Guide to the 2014 LavaCon Tweet Stream

Marcia Johnston demonstrates how much data can be gleaned and experience shared from a conference Tweet stream like those for LavaCon 2014.

Source: techwhirl.com

Hashtags are not flawless, but they are a great way to track a trend. I’ve often recommended to people to use hashtag searches when trying to find people with common interests, like #techomm or #elearning or #mlearning or #contentstrategy (you get the idea).  You can use hashtags to participate in a conversation, Twitter, the ones that predominantly lead the way with hashtags, is a great resource this way. (I don’t know if they started the hashtag movement, but they sure made it their own!) 

 

My friend Marcia Riefer Johnston wrote this interesting article about how Twitter hashtags came into play during the 2014 LavaCon conference (I was among some of those Twitter posts counted).  Doing analytics on this kind of social media stream is not perfect, as Marcia points out, but her study shows the impact of the hashtag for this event. 

 

Take a look. Really. Right now. Put your comments on what you think about the impact of hashtags below. 

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Men as the public face in a female dominated field

In the world of technical communication tools, the public faces of the companies are men, yet the field is predominately female. is this a bad marketing strategy?

Source: www.sharonburton.com

Sharon Burton reposted this September 2012 blog post today, and it’s interesting to see that even two years later, the points that she makes are still valid. I always noticed that gender imbalance as well. Do you agree with her assessment? Put your comments below. 

–techcommgeekmom

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