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What? You believed that “Sayonara” post?

keep-calm-youve-been-prankedHello, friends! 🙂

If you didn’t figure it out by now, I’m not going anywhere. My post, “Sayonara, TechCommGeekMom,” was an April Fool’s Day prank. I was put up to the task by none other than Al Martine and Connie Giordano, editors of TechWhirl. They approached me with the idea to add an article to their annual April Fool’s Day edition of TechWhirl. It was actually Al’s idea for me to write a send-off for my blog, and hopefully, I succeeded in my first attempt at writing satire. The scary thing is, much of that article wasn’t that far-fetched! I wouldn’t mind having a PhD in either History or Tech Comm, working at a yarn store (I do know how to knit, and I actually do understand the differences between types of wool), or pursuing genealogy as a profession. The reality is that none of that is happening anytime soon, and I’m not giving up tech comm or this blog. (Although, it seems that my “demise” garnered many hits on my blog. I’m hoping that it’s because you’d all miss me!)

If anything, I’m more dedicated than ever to keep this little blog going.  It’s been quite the journey already, and with the all-time hits approaching the 20,000 mark, and over 600 curated and original posts here, I don’t want to lose momentum. In my eyes, I’m still growing this blog, and it’s still a baby.  Would I like to attain the kind of readership that someone like, say, Tom Johnson, has? Absolutely. Tom has a head start on me, having been a tech writer for a longer time, and also having kept a tech comm blog for a longer time. And that’s okay. Tom is totally cool, so if I can be like him in eight to ten years of growing my blog, I’m good with that. We’re not in competition anyway, as we don’t necessarily address the same things.  He’s also earned the top tech comm blogger title because he provides insightful and helpful information. Over time, I hope that I am providing that same kind of service. (Hey, I was just thrilled to death when he recognized me at the Intelligent Content Conference last month!)

So, no worries! I’m still here. I’m going to be continuing to write and curate information about blogging, technical writing, e-learning, m-learning, and any other cool tech-geek stuff that I can find that I feel is worth sharing. I’m always open to ideas on how to grow my blog, including having guest bloggers, discussions, polls–anything–to keep ideas fresh and discussions flowing. If you’d like to see a topic covered, let me know!

TechCommGeekMom continues to be built on the concept of creating a tech comm and e-learning community, where newbies like myself could converse with more experienced technical communicators in a relaxed and casual atmosphere, sort of like friends hanging out at the kitchen table at Mom’s house. In this case, it’s TechCommGeekMom’s table, so pull up a chair. I’m sure I’ve got some snacks around here somewhere.

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TechCommGeekMom’s Excellent Adventure – A look back at STC Summit 2013

pogueaud-a1OK, I know it’s been more than a month since the 2013 STC Summit ended, but I promise this is the last blog entry I’m going to do about it. No, seriously. I mean it. I was writing up so many blog posts for the STC and about Adobe Day, that I think I got a little burnt out on writing, so I had to take a slight break for a bit, just to catch my breath, so to speak.

Even so, I’m hoping that you’ll enjoy this post which consists of images of me on the trip, just to prove I was there! Sometimes sharing the photos is much more fun, don’t you think?

Dani-at-the-Varsity1
My first night in Atlanta was spent with a college friend of mind whom I hadn’t seen in person in at least twenty years! She took me to the oldest and largest drive-in restaurant in Atlanta called the Varsity. First-timers had to wear the hat! I made the best of it.
This was the greeting I had on the TV in my hotel room. I just thought this was cool. I was already feeling rather welcomed!
This was the greeting I had on the TV in my hotel room. I just thought this was cool. I was already feeling rather welcomed!
The Grand Hyatt in Atlanta was huge! This structure in the middle of the hotel's main lobby certainly captured one's attention!
The Grand Hyatt in Atlanta was huge! This structure in the middle of the hotel’s main lobby certainly captured one’s attention! My son even thought it was crazy seeing it through Skype while I was there.
On the first day of the Summit, I had the privilege of doing the Twitter feed for Adobe Day for Adobe. Thanks,  y'all! I'm there in the center with the light yellow shirt on.  --Photo courtesy of Maxwell Hoffmann
On the first day of the Summit, I had the privilege of doing the Twitter feed for Adobe Day for Adobe. Thanks, y’all! I’m there in the center with the light yellow shirt on.
–Photo courtesy of Maxwell Hoffmann
NJCoke1
I spent my afternoon with fellow STC Summit attendee, Kim L., and we visited the World of Coca-Cola. Here’s an old bottle from my home state of NJ!
Later, on the first night of the Summit itself, all the first timers were asked to stand up during the Summit opening. Again, can't miss me standing in the middle there.
Later, on the first night of the Summit itself, all the first timers were asked to stand up during the Summit opening. Again, can’t miss me standing in the middle there.
–Photo courtesy of  STC
I was shocked, in the middle of the opening presentation, to see my name "up in lights"!
I was shocked, in the middle of the opening presentation, to see my name “up in lights”! Thanks to STC’s Kevin Cuddihy for sending this to me.
The keynote speaker, David Pogue, was fantastic. I really enjoyed his presentation.
The keynote speaker, David Pogue, was fantastic. I really enjoyed his presentation.
VendorEntranceSTC13-1
Here’s the entrance to the vendor showcase…which to me, was more like walking into a tech comm wonderland!
IMG_0044-1
If I only had the supermodel figure to match…Me doing my best presentation pose of the cool typewriter that Adobe was giving away.
–Photo courtesy of Maxwell Hoffmann of Adobe.
techwhirl1
Here I am during one of my many pitstops to talk with my friends Connie and Al from TechWhirl.
–Photo courtesy of Rachel Houghton.
On the last night of the Summit, I took a "field trip" on my own, and went to see a talk by documentary filmmaker, Joe Cross. He used to weigh 100+ lbs more than he does in this photo, and the film he made was about how he lost the weight through juicing for 60 days. If you are looking for inspiration for healthy eating, find the film, "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." It's an awesome movie. And yes, I got to meet Joe in person, obviously.
On the last night of the Summit, I took a “field trip” on my own, and went to see a talk by documentary filmmaker, Joe Cross. He used to weigh 100+ lbs more than he does in this photo (he’s a hottie now!), and the film he made was about how he lost the weight through juicing for 60 days. If you are looking for inspiration for healthy eating, find the film, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” and check out RebootWithJoe.com. It’s an awesome movie. And yes, I got to meet Joe in person, obviously.
Oddly enough, people would come to talk to me not about being TechCommGeekMom, but rather because of my notetaking set-up that was color coordinated! It's just a regular iPad3 and Apple wireless keyboard, but the iPad cover is by Brookstone, and there's a matching "skin" that I got for the keyboard from either Amazon or eBay very cheaply. For whatever reason, it captured a lot of attention! Hey, at least I kept my word that I would use mobile exclusively at the Summit, and I did!
Oddly enough, people would come to talk to me at the education sessions not about being TechCommGeekMom, but rather because of my notetaking set-up that was color-coordinated! It’s just a regular iPad3 and Apple wireless keyboard, but the iPad cover is by Brookstone, and there’s a matching “skin” that I got for the keyboard from either Amazon or eBay very cheaply. For whatever reason, it captured a lot of attention! Hey, at least I kept my word that I would use mobile exclusively at the Summit, and I did!

I will close this with another surprise I got, which I think is appropriate. Jamie Gillenwater did a lightning talk about 101 things to love about tech comm, which included a few quotes of mine. I was honored that she actually used some of the feedback I had sent her! Her last slide was a quote of mine, too, and considering I had forgotten that I gave her this tidbit, I thought it was pretty good, if I do say so myself! I was especially honored that she used this one, as I still find it to be true, especially after my experiences at the 2013 Summit. 

Jamie-presentation-quote1

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little photo essay. I really enjoyed my time at the STC Summit, and I really hope that I’ll be able to go next year to the conference when it’s in Phoenix!

Things have been very busy for me at work, to the point that it’s been difficult to keep up with things here on the blog. But fear not! There is always more to come on TechCommGeekMom! Stay tuned!

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Tech Writer This Week for March 28, 2013 | TechWhirl

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

Tech Writer This Week says goodbye to March and hello to great posts and commentary from bloggers covering tech comm, content strategy, and user experience.

Danielle M. Villegas‘s insight:

Thanks, TechWhirl, for featuring my STC-PMC presentation in this week’s edition! 🙂

See on techwhirl.com

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2012 Top Ten Highlights on TechCommGeekMom

Woman on Computer2012 has been the inaugural year of TechCommGeekMom.com. What started initially as both a class project as well as a personal project with no expectations other than to get a good grade and have a form of expression has blossomed into something else. Who would have guessed? I’ve been blessed that I’ve gained a lot of support over the past nine months that I’ve been writing TechCommGeekMom. Evidently, the combination of both my original posts as well as my curated posts are seen as worthwhile reading! I truly appreciate the support.

Since this is the time of year when everyone does year-end reviews, I thought I’d list the top blog posts of 2012 here (at least at this writing) from TechCommGeekMom. Just to clarify the selection process, these were based on the posts that I wrote myself, not on any curated content (some of that got high marks as well). It also does not include my home page.

So, here are the top ten posts of 2012:

1) Upgrade Time! PREVIEW of the NEW Adobe Technical Communications Suite 4!
I have to thank Adobe for the “Adobe bump” on this article. This preview of the Adobe Technical Communications Suite 4 package was made possible by Adobe, as they allowed me to sit in on the preview presentations of the product, and subsequently promoted this article not only on the web, but also for some of their print marketing materials later. Thank you, Adobe!

2) Project Tin Can: Good Communication or just a Tin Can Alley?
Project Tin Can was a hot topic in m-learning this year, and I had the chance to listen in on several conversations and learn about Tin Can highlights myself, and was glad to pass this information along.

3) Whitepaper: The Future of Mobile Learning: Empowering Human Memory and Literacy
I’m especially proud that this particular article was among the top posts this year and that it was so well received. It was originally a paper that I wrote for one of my grad school classes, and I was encouraged by Mayra Aixa Villar (who was my editor for the paper as well as one of my references) to either present at a conference or publish as a Whitepaper. I chose the latter for the sake of ease and time, and really happy that this was so well received.

4) What Hurricane Sandy Taught Me About Mobile Technology and Social Media
Mobile technology is what got me through the hurricane, and got a lot of other people through the hurricane. This kind of technology wasn’t available when Hurricane Katrina hit greater New Orleans area, but it made a world of difference when Hurricane Sandy hit and its aftermath. If anything, hopefully both weather events have taught us how we need to upgrade what we have for continued better communications so that we can minimize all damages.

5) The Meaning of Graduating with a Masters in Technical Communication
This was a big year for me in technical communications, especially because I finished earning my credentials. It took two and a half years of hard work in between both full- and part-time work, running a Cub Scout den, and being a mother to child with Asperger’s, but I did it. Graduation day was a big event in my life. I still miss going to school, and it seems surreal that I’m not still studying, but it was all worth it.

6) Being a specialist or a generalist? Which is better for a technical communicator?
As is often the case, this blog has often been a place where I would explore some of my own concerns about my career as a technical communicator, and I was glad to see that the conundrum I had in this article was relatively universal in the field. I also appreciate TechWhirl promoting this article, because I think it’s something that should be addressed as technical communications continue to change.

7) What did you do to get that Tech Comm job?
This recent posting was the result of everything that’s been done thusfar on this blog and more. I did my best to outline the pointers that I felt would help others, and in the process helped me obtain the new job that I’ll be starting in a week. It was also featured in TechWhirl.

8) Be a warrior with Technical Communications Suite 4!
This was a post that promoted the new Adobe TCS 4 package and subsequent webinar done by my friend, Ankur Jain. I guess a lot of people were excited about the new software to have clicked on it so much!

9) Digital Tablets for Kids–Child’s Play, or should we take it seriously?
My perspective of digital tablets for children and review of some of the latest tablets made especially for kids made this post a popular one. This was an occasion to flex my GeekMom muscles more than my TechComm muscles.

10) My response to RJ Jacquez’s question: Will Tablets replace PCs?
RJ Jacquez, tech comm blogger extraordinaire and m-learning revolutionary, is one of my earliest followers as well as someone who I consider one of my mentors. The sign of a good teacher is having one of your “students” challenge or discuss ideas that have been put forth by the teacher, and that is what this post reflects.

Honorable Mentions:

There are so many more posts that also got some great traffic, but these were all the top ones for this year. I appreciate that so many of you have come to visit this site or follow this site regularly. Please enjoy reading–or re-reading–these posts, and feel free to peruse through the rest of the archives. There are almost 240 posts on this website at this writing, so there is plenty of content to read and enjoy–or hopefully learn and share!

As I’ve mentioned before, with my new job starting in about a week, I’m hoping to be able to keep up with posts when I can, and hopefully the new job will incite ideas for new posts in the next year to come! This blog has literally taken me places I’ve never expected to be, and I hope you continue to enjoy the trip as much as I have. More on my reflections about the year soon.

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Tech Writer This Week For November 22, 2012 | TechWhirl

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

Pre-Thanksgiving roundup of technical communication, content strategy, and user experience commentary for the tech writer hungry for more than just turkey.

I’m the first article listed! Nice! Thanks, TechWhirl!

–techcommgeekmom

See on techwhirl.com