2007 WritersUA Skills and Technologies Survey

6 08 2007

If you’re a technical writer, take the latest Skills and Technologies Survey from WritersUA and help contribute to the body of knowledge about our profession.

It’s all about the writing

6 08 2007

I don’t know Amber Simmons, but I sure like the way she writes. A few days ago she published an article of hers—”Reviving Anorexic Web Writing“—on A List Apart.

She has some powerful things to say, although I think that ultimately it all comes down to “knowing your audience”. While she takes issue with the basic elements of good technical writing—chunked writing, bullet points, scan-able headings, and the like—I definitely believe they have a place. But they’re not applicable to every website out there.

She also has some valid points about writing text for use in ALT tags. And I particularly liked her anatomical analogy: “The content is the heart of the website. I can’t build you a body until you give me a heart.” I’ll have to use that sometime soon.

Oh, the places you’ll see!

6 08 2007

For the past year or so now, I’ve been writing about life and living in my local area. Of course, quite a few of you live outside Western Australia, and even outside Australia and so probably have no clue where I’m talking about! So I thought I’d give you some perspective on where I live.

Here’s a Google map that is centred on Bridgetown, Western Australia: http://tinyurl.com/2l3d6p. Zoom in/out to get a sense of place. Perth is where we used to live; the company I do most of my technical writing work for these days has its head office in Brisbane, Queensland on the other side of Australia!

Dig a hole through the earth

6 08 2007

I just went on to Google Maps and noticed a new feature – you can dig a hole through the earth to see where you come out!

Interestingly, we’d heard about a guy in town building his house in a special orientation as he believed that our town (Bridgetown, Western Australia) was directly opposite the Bermuda Triangle. So I checked – and it is. [cue Twilight Zone music now…]