We look at using sequential art/comics/graphic novels in business. We discuss:

  • What is a comic?
  • Examples of comics used in a business context
  • Why use a comic?
  • Tools and resources you can use if you have no drawing skills
  • How to structure the story

Links:

Google on Google Chrome - comic book

Kubernetes, powered by Google Cloud comic

Scott McCloud: The visual magic of comics | TED Talk

COMICS WITH PROBLEMS

Will Eisner's M-16 Rifle Manual

The Content Twins (content strategy graphic novel)

The DITA Man (the business benefits of DITA graphic novel)

The CEO and the technical communicator (making the business case for technical documentation graphic novel)

Tools:

Comic Life Magic

Google Storyboard

Adobe e-Learning Assets

 

Cherryleaf creates instructional content that helps people use a product or complete a task. It can stop them getting stuck, frustrated and making mistakes. See the Cherryleaf website for more information. 

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We look at one way the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) used to promote technical communication at the University of Cambridge's Careers fair. 

Lego TIE Striker™ Microfighter

Video - What is technical communication?

ISTC

Please rate the Cherryleaf Podcast on iTunes

Cherryleaf website

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January 13, 2018

Equipped for elearning?

We look at the equipment you can use for creating elearning content. 

Zoom H6 recorder

Camtasia

Captivate

Mimic

Cherryleaf training courses

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It’s not quite 2018 yet, but here are our predictions for technical communication in 2018 and beyond. We also look back at the predictions we made for 2017.

 

Predictions for technical communication in 2017 and beyond

Five predictions for technical communication in 2016 and beyond

Docs Like Code - Interview with Anne Gentle

Every Page is Page One - Interview with Mark Baker at UAEurope 2017 

Cherryleaf website

 

Flickr image by byronv2 

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November 14, 2017

If not DITA, then what?

We look at the pros and cons of using the DITA standard, and the alternatives.

 

Every Page is Page One - Interview with Mark Baker at UAEurope 2017

Interview with Tony Self - UAEurope 17

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October 30, 2017

Books on technical writing

We look at some of the best books to read on technical writing.

 

Single Sourcing, Kurt Ament

Ron Blicq and Lisa Moretto

Minimalism Beyond the Nurnberg Funnel, John Carroll

Lean for Practitioners, Mark Eaton

Managing Your Documentation Projects, JoAnn Hackos

Information Development, JoAnn Hackos

Modern Technical Writing, Andrew Etter

Docs Like Code, Anne Gentle

Current Practices and Trends in Technical and Professional Communication, Stephen Crabbe

The Language of Technical Communication, Ray Gallon

The Language of Content Srategy, Rahel Bailie

Every Page is Page One, Mark Baker

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, Al Sweigart

Don't Make me Think, Steve Krug

Rocket Surgery Made Easy, Steve Krug

Content Strategy: Connecting the Dots Between Business, Brand, and Benefits, Rahel Bailie and Noz Urbina

Content Design, Sarah Richards

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Advice on writing a CV for Technical Author vacancies.

Links:

Europass

Cherryleaf - how to register as a candidate

Top 25 Content Experience Influencers 2017

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We explore these questions from listeners:

  • What’s your opinion of Zendesk and Mindtouch? Someone in our company thinks it might be a good idea to explore the idea of moving our Help content  – have you heard of anyone doing this and then using it in a way of single sourcing etc? 
  • Our boss wants us to consider the idea of merging our Help content and our “Knowledge base” which is like articles/support troubleshooting etc. Whether this is our content going into the knowledge base or vice versa, we’re not sure in terms of direction. Do you have any opinions on merging article-based content like this into a Help Authoring tool or Help content into a “normal” website like that?

Links

Just-In-Time Documentation: A Practical Guide to Agile Documentation

AI and chatbots in technical communication - A primer

Cherryleaf

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Interview with Anne Gentle, author of Docs Like Code and Product Manager at Cisco. 

Interview by Ellis Pratt, Cherryleaf

Subscribe to Cherryleaf's newsletter

Cherryleaf training course – Advanced technical writing techniques

For comments and feedback: info@cherryleaf.com

Topics covered: 

  • What is docs as code?
  • Why do it?
  • When might this approach might be applicable?
  • The limitations
  • Docs like code in development sprints
  • Is it only for developer docs?
  • Do you you need to understand programming?
  • Why did you self publish?
  • The benefits of taking this approach
  • The future developments
  • Automating document builds

Links to topics mentioned:

https://www.docslikecode.com/

Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation

Troy Howard Documentarian, Super Genius at Twitter

http://codewerdz.org/ Repository analytics for code and docs

Matt Fleming on Twitter

Docs Like Code GitHub repository

Jekyll

https://docs.openstack.org/pike/

WADL RAML OpenAPI

https://bitbucket.org/

http://docs.metacloud.com/

Liquid scripting

YAML

PrinceXML

Lunr Search Engine 

Solr (Search Engine)

Why we use a ‘docs as code’ approach for technical documentation Jen Lambourne, GDS, GOV.UK

The Definition of Done

Learn Python the Hard Way

AsciiDoc

ReST

GitHub Flavoured Markdown spec

XML Press

REST API

Building Docs Like Code - article

Travis CI 

Jenkins

Circle CI

Webhooks

Bash scripts

An Introduction to Static Site Generators

GitHub Pages 

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Interview with David Farbey of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators, about training, accreditation and CPD in technical communication.

We discuss:

  • Becoming a technical communicator is different from becoming a lawyer, doctor, developer or an accountant in that, in the UK, there is no standard career path from school. How does that affect the profession and starting a career?
  • What training, if any, do you need to be a technical communicator?
  • The ISTC's Professional Development and Recognition
  • Certifying technical communicators
  • The ISTC certified courses.
  • What does a undergraduate or post-graduate course offer someone?
  • Where does CPD fit into this?
  • What are we likely to see in the future with regards to training and certification?

Cherryleaf's ISTC accredited training course: https://www.cherryleaf.com/training/technical-author-basicinduction-training-course/ 

ISTC website: www.istc.org.uk

David's email: education@istc.org.uk 

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We look at the job of a Technical Author/Technical Communicator, and how you can start your career.

 

www.istc.org.uk

Cherryleaf’s online Technical Author/technical writing course

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It seems likely artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-driven chatbots will play a key role in helping users in the future. So what does this mean for technical communicators and for User Assistance?

Part 1 - What are chatbots?

Part 2 - Making a chatbot

Part 3 - What does this mean for technical communicators and for User Assistance?

 

About the speaker

Ellis Pratt is a Director at Cherryleaf, a technical writing services and training company based near London.

He has over 20 years of experience working in the field of documentation, has a BA in Business Studies, and is an Associate of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Ellis is contributor to two books on technical communication. He is also on the management council for the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC), the professional body for technical communicators in the UK.

Contact information

https://www.cherryleaf.com

info@cherryleaf.com

More information

Primer article - https://www.cherryleaf.com/blog/wpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/AI-and-chatbots-in-technical-communication-article.pdf

https://www.cherryleaf.com

https://www.cherryleaf.com/blog

http://intelligent-information.blog/en/

http://intelligent-information.blog/en/blog/2017/07/28/from-ua-reloaded-amplify-the-intelligence-of-your-users-and-your-company/

 

https://tryolabs.com/blog/2017/01/25/building-a-chatbot-analysis--limitations-of-modern-platforms/
https://chatbotsmagazine.com/which-are-the-best-intelligent-chatbots-or-ai-chatbots-available-online-cc49c0f3569d
https://chatbotsmagazine.com/the-complete-beginner-s-guide-to-chatbots-8280b7b906ca
http://contentrules.com/computing-in-the-age-of-cognitive-systems/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/6-trends-ai-assisted-chatbot-service-market-mila-d-antonio
https://cloud.google.com/natural-language/
https://aws.amazon.com/amazon-ai/
https://aws.amazon.com/lex/
https://www.slideshare.net/InfoDevWorld/engineering-content-for-bots-ai-and-marketing-automation-cruce-saunders
https://www.slideshare.net/InfoDevWorld/feeding-the-bots-preparing-product-content-for-the-intelligent-assistance-revolution-with-joe-gelb

 

Robot image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Robot-clip-art-book-covers-feJCV3-clipart.png From From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.

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