Posted in Uncategorized

Flame Wars need not apply.

I had planned for this post to be something a little more lighthearted, but my plan was changed when I received my first insulting comment on this blog. It came in, and made accusations that proved that the person hadn’t read the blog post carefully, and additionally made insult of my relationship with Adobe. I was shaken up by this comment, because it was meant to be insulting, and in no way was the criticism constructive in any way. I was taken aback by it, and when I told my husband about it, he replied, “This is ‘typical’ internet behavior these days… don’t take it personally.” I knew he was right, and but still…it truly bothers me. It certainly doesn’t seem like professional behavior.

I choose my words carefully on this blog. Every entry is not written off the cuff, and I take a lot of time to write and edit each post. I do my best to be as diplomatic as possible when writing, even if I have a very strong opinion about something. I do my best not to insult anyone or anything. I try to dish constructive criticism when I feel it’s necessary. My intentions are to put forward my own thoughts as a new technical communicator who is trying to make her way into the field, and share ideas that I find interesting or educational. If I curate something from the web from my ScoopIt account, it’s because I found something worthy of sharing with my TechCommGeekMom audience.

This blog started out as a class project in graduate school, and it has taken off to have a life of its own. I don’t claim to be an expert. I don’t claim to be highly experienced. I don’t claim that I am familiar with everything that is related to tech comm. I try to be humble with what I do or don’t know. Yes, I have some knowledge and experience, but if you want to read commentary from someone more experienced who is an “expert” in the field, please, be my guest. You can go elsewhere.

I do write a lot about Adobe on my blog, and I feel that I need to clarify that, because if this one individual is questioning it, perhaps others are as well. My current relationship with Adobe was something that happened to me by surprise. I have always been a fan of Adobe products, even before this association happened. I’ve been using Adobe products for the last 15 or so years. I wrote a case study in grad school supporting Adobe’s business practices with Flash a year ago–well before I ever started this blog. So, when Adobe contacted me several months ago, it was a total shock. It was really out of nowhere for me. All I did was promote my blog and a post on my blog that called out Adobe and its competitors for making it a little difficult for students to get their hands on tech comm software. I never expected anyone to respond. If the MadCap Software, the makers of Flare, had responded the way that Adobe had, I’m sure I would be a Flare advocate right now. Same with the makers of Lectora and Articulate. I’m new, and when I wrote that fateful post, I just knew that these software packages have the same main function, and that I needed to learn this kind of software to get a job. Plain and simple.

Out of the many companies that I named in that blog post, Adobe was the only one that actually responded. As I said, I didn’t expect ANYONE to respond– it was just a fairly well articulated rant, if I do say so myself. Evidently, someone at Adobe thought so too, and wanted to help. Since I already liked their products, how could I not respond favorably to them? When offered the chance to do a webinar for their Thought Leadership series, that shocked me as well. What the heck did I have to offer or to say? I’ve been told that because I’m new to the TC world, it was because I had a fresh perspective of the field, and it was great to get a new opinion in the mix. From there, Adobe has provided me with opportunities such as sitting in on a conference call previewing products, attending a pre-conference event hosted by them at a major tech comm conference, and promoting my blog to a global audience. Did I ask them to do that? No, not at all. Am I going to take advantage of such opportunities? Well, I would be very stupid not to do that, especially since it’s still very early in my tech comm career!

Adobe is an advertiser on my page, but they aren’t paying me a salary. I am not employed by Adobe at all. (Although I wish I was! I’d be a great product evangelist!) I would love to have additional advertisers on this blog, as I totally embrace diversity in products and software if it helps get the job done. If Apple, Google, Microsoft, MadCap, Lectora, Articulate, TechSmith or any other software or hardware vendor wants to establish a business partnership to advertise on my blog, I welcome the opportunity! These are among the best of the best, and there are plenty of others out there as well that I’d be happy to include. Adobe happens to be the first to take advantage of my offer there on the right column.

Adobe is like the Doctor Who in my life. They came in unexpectedly, have taken me places and given me opportunities that I would not have had without them, and so there is a certain amount of loyalty they’ve earned from me. Is that so wrong in that context? I don’t think so. Unless they do something really ugly and downright horrible to me, I have no reason not to support them, especially in light of them supporting me and this very young blog that’s only 7 months old. They have never told me or asked me what to write on this blog. They have supported my independent thinking. This is not an Adobe blog. Perhaps it leans towards a “fan blog” sometimes, but it’s not solely concentrated on this.

TechCommGeekMom addresses technical communications, m-learning, e-learning and educational technology from my perspective as a new technical communications professional who is trying to make her way into this field and make a difference. While TechCommGeekMom is meant to be a place where I can share my thoughts and concerns, others can as well. Differing opinions are welcome if they are done in a fair and constructive manner. This blog is meant to embrace and discuss the best practices in the tech comm and e-learning fields as they move forward. If you don’t like what you read, that’s your prerogative, and you can go elsewhere. But I’m not going to change how I write or who I am for anyone. I hope that my regular readers, as well as newer readers, will appreciate my position, and embrace it by continuing to visit this blog.

As a mom, I’d like to quote Thumper in the movie, Bambi,


Danielle M. Villegas is a technical communicator who currently employed at Cox Automotive, Inc., and freelances as her own technical communications consultancy, Dair Communications. She has worked at the International Refugee Committee, MetLife, Novo Nordisk, BASF North America, Merck, and Deloitte, with a background in content strategy, web content management, social media, project management, e-learning, and client services. Danielle is best known in the technical communications world for her blog,, which has continued to flourish since it was launched during her graduate studies at NJIT in 2012. She has presented webinars and seminars for Adobe, the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the IEEE ProComm, TCUK (ISTC) and at Drexel University’s eLearning Conference. She has written articles for the STC Intercom, STC Notebook, the Content Rules blog, and The Content Wrangler as well. She is very active in the STC, as a former chapter president for the STC-Philadelphia Metro Chapter, and is currently serving on three STC Board committees. You can learn more about Danielle on LinkedIn at, on Twitter @techcommgeekmom, or through her blog. All content is the owner's opinions, and does not reflect those of her employers past or present.