Content journey: from technical to marketing and social media

Most technical communicators I know can be divided into 2 types.

There are the ones who love creating general About/Welcome sections in their docs and get off on illustrating workflows, business value, etc.

And then, the ones who need a whole cake and then some to coax themselves into writing overviews and designing diagrams. It’s much easier for this type to write instructions about tangible, down-to-earth, even techy stuff.

My friend Viktoria Bezsmolna is the definitive type 1. Still, this free-spirited girl landed in our InfoDev department. But soon enough, she eloped to marketing. And then to PR. Now, she is a freelance writer and has her own blog – yay!

I finally decided to get to the bottom of how this journey worked out for her.

Our 1,5-hour interview was very thought-provoking, and here’s how it all summed up in my head.

Continue reading

Diagram Series: Pitfalls of interviews with SMEs

Look at the following broken-line graph (Figure #1). How much time do you need to create one? 5 – 10 minutes? How about two days?

Figure #1 (Click to enlarge)

Now, if I provide an estimate of two days for creating a graph, my Customer will expect to receive a 3D visualization, in color. Then, where is the problem? Why creating a graph with a few broken lines might take that much time?

Continue reading

Hero in you, or how to make your text easier to read

Most of us think that movies and comics are the only places where real heroes dwell. We believe that these mysterious guys just come from nowhere to save the day, and then disappear till the next time when everything goes completely wrong.

But that is not how it actually works. Real heroes surround us, and we meet them every day while commuting, working, or even drinking tea at the nearby restaurant.

Continue reading

An eye for an eyepatch: pirate’s guide to content strategy

To all my underappreciated hard-working
InfoDevs in the world, I dedicate this
dead man’s chest of doc cases.
And a bottle of rum. Harr!

‘No one ever reads documentation, why bother with it?’

Favorite opening line of any techie, heard every time when I introduce myself as an Information Developer. I hope I don’t burn in hell when I say that more often than not, I as an Information Developer agree.

Continue reading

100 Things Information Developer Should Do in the Lifetime

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

…a small group of information developers decided to create a repository of their knowledge and experience, the temple of the interesting facts gathered from the corners of the technical communication world, the maze that should lead others to the informational enlightenment – the Informaze blog. They planted a tiny seed and now they can witness their blog growing high and fast like a huge beautiful tree. Each blogpost on Informaze is carefully and tenderly grown by the information developers like an apple by the gardeners. Today we have 100 fruits on the tree of knowledge – 100 articles on Informaze!

In the 100th article, I’ve decided to accumulate the most essential elements of the “true information developer”, and find out what we should do in the lifetime to have an honor of calling ourselves “masters of information”.

Are you ready to remind yourself what a long, exiting, and breathtaking maze you go through every day? Continue reading