“Lucy, you have some ‘splanin’ to do!”: Considering your ESL Customers

Lucille-Ball-Desi-ArnazContent Rules Inc. was kind enough to extend their invitation to have me blog for them again. This time, it’s on a subject that’s near and dear to their hearts as well as mine.

This article talks about my own personal experiences in trying to use standardized language. Whether you use standardized language in your personal or professional life, it’s something that one needs to keep in mind as a writer, especially when writing for a global audience, and even more so if you are writing for a digital format that is easily accessed through the Internet. It’s not easy to do, but it’s something that should be tucked in the back of every writer’s brain.

Read the article for more:
“Lucy, you have some ‘splanin’ to do!”: Considering your ESL Customers

Many thanks again to Val Swisher and the gang at Content Rules, Inc. for the opportunity!

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What’s lurking in your content?

Fellow technical writers, admit it. You’ve all done it. You’re writing along, and you come to a spot where you need to insert place-holder text. Your creative juices are flowing, and a simple lorem…

Source: larrykunz.wordpress.com

Larry Kunz posted this friendly reminder about text filler. This is definitely proof that you need to remember to FULLY edit everything before it goes to print! Yikes! Read this article, and stay on top of your drafts and final copies before publishing! 


See on Scoop.itM-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications

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Word Crimes

Weird Al Yankovic has released an awesome video from what is reported to be his last album. This particular track is something that every technical writer and editor will especially appreciate!


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Tweet from @WembleyMatters

Admire this school. A child is more than a SATS score pic.twitter.com/tRuHPcMV6d

Source: twitter.com

I saw this courtesy of Colum McAndrew.  Oh, I really hope that more educators in the US get this message, because this is the message that we need to give our kids. My son is learning different, so he doesn’t usually do well in standardized tests, even though certain allowances are made (like extra time, etc.) so he can try to complete them. He’s actually a rather bright boy, and he has rather low self-esteem, so I’m constantly trying to remind him that he’s more than a test (just like adults are more than their resumes).  I, too, didn’t do well in standardized tests as a kid, yet I did well enough in school. (Never took the GRE for grad school, yet had a 4.0 GPA, which should say something!) 


US education system–please wake up, and read this, and learn from it! We need to bring up kids who are more confident in whatever skills they have, even if they are not measurable or conventional. 



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MBA Programs Starting to Emphasize Coding

Companies want to hire technically skilled MBAs, and business schools are finally starting to get it. MBA programs equip students with management techniques, accounting skills a…

Source: mashable.com

YES! This is something I’ve been saying all along. If not big programming languages, at least the basics of HTML so that they understand how websites are built and understand content strategy in relation to digital output, along with all that big data and analytics stuff. Education systems–please listen!


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Wonder Woman Techno-Loving Geek–Present! Celebrate Geekness Day.

wonderwomanlaptopEmbrace Your Geekness Day will be on July 13th this year. Who knew there was such a holiday? Not me! It was brought to my attention by Lisa Margetis of SingleHop (a provider of private cloud services, on-demand servers, and managed hosting*), who asked me if I would write something about how I embrace my geekness.  This makes some sense, since I am the TechComm GEEK Mom!

First, I have to clarify that I think there are a lot of different kinds of geeks. My interests sample several genres, but I’m only naming a few here in this post. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you see geeky stuff dropped in posts quite often. Yet, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I was able to fully embrace my labelling as a geek.

How could any girl NOT want to kick butt like Wonder Woman?

How could any girl NOT want to kick butt like Wonder Woman?

As a kid, unlike most of my female peers, I thought watching superhero shows on TV were the best entertainment. The old 1965-era Batman reruns was just awesome–I wanted to be BatGirl so much! I also loved watching “ElectraWoman and DynaGirl” and “The Secrets of Isis” on Saturday morning. But ultimately, it was Wonder Woman who I loved the most! I think I loved all these female superheroes because, well, there weren’t that many being promoted, and I felt I could be just like them!

After a while, my little bit of comic book joy was being suppressed–it was “childish” and “not cool”. But secretly, I continued to enjoy my female comic book heroines.

I suppose it was at the same age that I discovered computers, or rather I was introduced to them by my dad. He initially started with the Apple II, and we had a few others including the first IBM PCs. I remember my dad teaching me VisiCalc and teaching myself the basics of BASIC language, as well as figuring out how to do simple graphics. I was on a roll! But somewhere along the line, while I showed great early aptitude, I was discouraged being the only girl in computer club, and being told only math people (which I was not one) could be computer programmers. Well, gee, thanks for the encouragement.

BatMom emerged in 2009!

BatMom emerged in 2009! (Yes, that’s me.)

Fast forward to thirty years later…my computer aptitude, despite the lack of a computer science degree, is what gets me ahead in my career. I discovered that while I missed out on getting deep into computer science, I still understood enough that I could link the creative, humanities side of me with the technical side of me through technical communications. At the same time that I discovered technical communications and was completing my Master’s degree, I reconnected with an undergraduate friend on Facebook who was a writer and editor of a website called “Geekmom.com“. A geek…mom? Being glorified? Geeks are cool…even if they are moms? It was reading this website that let me know that my quirky interests were perfectly acceptable and embraced! So with this realization, I found that I could embrace my geekness with pride. TechCommGeekMom was born, and now I express my geeky ways in my blog, and in my life.

Geeks rule!

* PS–If you want more info about SingleHop, check out their new private cloud hosting page.

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The Top 6 Questions to Ask When Creating Your Content Strategy


I will admit that there are a lot of content strategists who have been doing content strategy for a much longer time than I have.  Val is one of those people, and she’s someone I consider to be one of my many wonderful tech comm mentors. So you can believe me when I say that it’s been a great honor to be asked by Val Swisher of Content Rules to do a guest post on the Content Rules Blog that will also be in the Content Rules Newsletter soon. I’ve learned from her and many others over the last few years, and I have some experience under my belt as well now, which has culminated in this article. I hope you enjoy it!

The Top 6 Questions to Ask When Creating Your Content Strategy

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