My Grammar Pet Peeve: The Apostrophe Crisis | Thrive Global

The phenomenon is spreading so rapidly, it’s practically an apostrodemic.

Source: My Grammar Pet Peeve: The Apostrophe Crisis | Thrive Global

YES, YES, YES! Arianna Huffington–THANK YOU.  In addition to my huge issues with people not using adverbs correctly–or at all–anymore, this is another thing that shouldn’t be a pet peeve. It’s just plain sloppy!

Listen, any good editor should be able to know the difference and pick up when apostrophes are misused.  This is stuff you learn in third grades! Seriously!

Read this article, and tell me what you think. Ms. Huffington is totally on point with this article, and as technical communicators–especially those of us who write and edit all the time, we should be working hard to prevent this abuse of grammar from happening! It’s getting worse!

What do you think? Is this just “language evolution” or laziness on the part of writers and editors who overly rely on “autocorrect” to write content? Include your comments below.


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Lifehacks for Technical Writers | Technical Writing Blog

Source: Lifehacks for Technical Writers | Technical Writing Blog

While I’m not familiar with the company or products for ClickHelp, these were some great tips and reminders for technical writers to help with the writing process and keep the creative brain activity flowing!  I can say with the first one, I only do halfway, as my physical desk is always a wreck (supposedly the sign of intelligence), but my digital workspace is always clean and organized. I’m a stickler for that, just to keep track of everything!

Do you agree that these life hacks are helpful? Do you have any to add? Include your thoughts in the comments below.


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Klout, the scoring system for social media influence, is shutting down – Business Insider

It’s the end of an era, as Klout, the service that measures your social cred, is shutting down.

Source: Klout, the scoring system for social media influence, is shutting down – Business Insider

Wow. A few years ago, it was a very big deal to have a high Klout score. For a while, I worked at it, but after a while, it didn’t seem like it was worth the effort. I think with the evolution of social media, over time, there were too many influencers to really put one person at the top. Klout didn’t measure quality, but rather quantity, from what I remember. So, this might actually be a good thing (except for those working at Klout and those who invested in it.)

(Out of curiosity, since I never deleted the account, I looked at my Klout score. It was a 51 right now, but I think in the past it had been a little higher. Even so, it said that I was also in the top 0.2% of people talking about Content Marketing, top 0.1% of people talking about Content Strategy, top 0.1% of people talking about Online Learning, and top 0.1% of people talking about Technical Writing. Who knew? And that’s even considering that I don’t blog as much as I used to. I guess that’s not too bad as things are waning.)

What do you think? Is this a good thing that Klout is going down, or a bad thing? I think it’s actually good. Include your comments below.


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The STC-PMC Election of 2018: Results

The results are in, and we’d like to give a thank you to everyone who nominated themselves and others, our nominees, and all who voted. The results our in, and we’d love for you to meet…

Source: The STC-PMC Election of 2018: Results

This is very exciting! I’m moving up the ranks! It’s been a challenging but rewarding last two years as the Vice-President of the Philadelphia Metro Chapter of the STC. And now, I’m honored to be elected President! Our outgoing President, Tim Esposito, has done a great job the last two years, and has been (and will continue to be) a great mentor in leadership. I have a big task in keeping up the momentum, as during his tenure, the chapter won two Platinum awards and two Pacesetter Awards from the STC. No pressure, right? But I’m looking forward to being the new President of this fabulous chapter, and working with a fantastic new team.

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A 2-Year Stanford Study Shows the Astonishing Productivity Boost of Working From Home | Thrive Global

There’s been a lot of debate about working from home, but this Stanford study has put the dispute to rest.

Source: A 2-Year Stanford Study Shows the Astonishing Productivity Boost of Working From Home | Thrive Global

Leave it to Arianna Huffington to post this on LinkedIn. There have always been company trials to see if working remotely actually works, and now do we not only have proof, but it was actually studied at an academic level, and proven that it does help!

The author says that working a few days a week is good, but loneliness can settle in. That’s true, but for some, that’s okay to a point. This is why, even if you live thousands of miles away from your employer, it helps to have a couple trips planned to connect with the people you work with when you can. Trips like that actually give me something to look forward to. But otherwise, I’m one of those people who doesn’t mind the “loneliness”. I like the quiet and no (or very few) interruptions. I usually can get a lot done as a result.  This is also why I get involved with social media and local professional groups, like STC, to connect with like-minded people who can help be sounding boards when I have questions, or just provide some actual social banter online. STC has definitely been very helpful in that regard. There are also social media groups out there for remote and nomad workers, so even if it’s not the same field, there’s a way to be connected.

What do you think of this study? I’m excited that it actually proves what I’ve said all along, and also supports what I said about the spread of urbanization dominating job opportunities. As the article said, the reasons are clear, and it’s not for all jobs. But in the tech comm world, this is a very viable solution, and it really shouldn’t be ignored.

Include your comments below on what you think about this article.


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Google’s AI Assistant kicks it up a few notches!

This just came out in the news today, which I saw through the Mashable feed.  Google’s AI Assistant is really learning how to interact using natural language in a big way. The future, if it’s not now, is coming very soon!

If this is truly working, and I’m guessing it’ll be available to the public soon enough, it’s going to be kicking the back end of Siri and Alexa and Cortana.  I’ve used Siri for a while now, and it’s not perfect, but it’s okay–it’s gotten better over the years.  Alexa has been a bit of a disappointment to me–Siri can usually do better.  With mixed results from those two, I haven’t really ventured into trying Cortana, but I’m willing to bet that it’s still not as developed as the Google Assistant.

How does this affect technical communicators? Big time.  From what I can tell, this is about the chatbots and machine language learning that’s been talked about recently. But at the same time, it affects how we communicate through rhetoric or voice.  Sometimes we take actual speaking for granted, and it’s when we try to describe something that one sees clearly that it becomes difficult. Or, sometimes we can write it out well, but can’t explain well in voice.  This means that plain and very clear language is going to be helpful going forward as we develop the content for these AI assistants that will be developing.

Soon enough, we’ll be talking to HAL or to our starship’s computer with ease.

Scotty talking to a computer mouse.

When going back in time in Star Trek IV, Chief Engineer Scott forgot that there wasn’t AI in the late 1980s.

What do you think about this development? It’s exciting to me–enough to make me want to purchase a Google Assistant! It definitely raises the bar for Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, for sure. Let some healthy competition begin! (And more tech comm jobs associated with it!) Include your thoughts below.

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10 Mobile Learning Trends For 2018 – eLearning Industry

Source: 10 Mobile Learning Trends For 2018 – eLearning Industry

This article popped up in my Twitter feed, and it’s actually rather good. I think one of the introductory lines in the article said (and I’m paraphrasing here), that there is no need to separate e-learning and m-learning as it should really all be the same thing now. Not so true when I first became interested in the field! But I totally agree with that assessment, and the recommendations in this article are a great reflection of the evolution of where not only web design and UX have evolved in the last six to eight years, but also how online learning has evolved in how it’s presented.

Take a look….Do you like what you are reading for this? Do you agree with the author’s assessment? I thought this was generally a better article about e-learning trends than others I’d seen more recently. Share your thoughts in the comments.


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