04 July 2011

From Intel to fashion

Only recently did I get a chance to see the videos available on Intel as part of the VisualLife series they are developing (http://www.intel.com/visuallife). From there as it is my nature I jumped and discovered the Sartorialist (http://www.thesartorialist.blogspot.com/). Not just the video but even Scott's blog is extremely interesting. It shows how he just walks around and captures random images. It is an excellent example of how a new medium has allowed an individual to express their creativity in a way they desire, when then want to. He has been around awhile but I discovered his work only recently, still going through some old entries.

08 May 2011

Writing, Lurking or... ?

This blog is titled For the Love of Writing, because I genuinely love to write, but unfortunately I love to read more. And to compound my situation, there are millions (alright 100's) out there who write better than me. Yesterday I read this article that spoke about the 90-9-1 rule. Do read, it is an eye opener (and do come back to read the rest of the post) - http://lithosphere.lithium.com/t5/Building-Community-the-Platform/The-90-9-1-Rule-in-Reality/ba-p/5463 and I realised that I belong to the 90% lurker category, not something I am proud, but I am. I am a proponent of the use of social media in my team and want to seriously come up with plans to use it constructively within our group, however things are easier said than done.
I realised that half the time I do not know what topic to write on, other times I feel that what I have to say is not important. There are times when I do have topics that I want to write but assume that someone would have already written on that and wonder why I have to take the trouble to state the same fact. I barely get time to read these wonderful posts that I am so drained with processing all this information that I give up on any other writing ideas I may have.
I recently joined http://technicalwritingworld.com/ and was surprised with the activity and content available there. I am hoping that I will at least be able to contribute with the discussion forums.
All said and done, the purpose of writing this post was to determine, if I should write to be active in social media or being a lurker works just as well?
Have you faced this conundrum? Also what category do you belong to: 90, 9 or 1?

24 March 2011

Usability 101 - A novice's look at documentation usability

Recently in my team, we formed 3-4 member focus groups to encourage initiatives around operational excellence and personal development. I am part of the group working towards understanding the usability of our documents, conducting analysis and eventually (hopefully) suggesting and/or implementing ideas that will increase the usability and reach of our documentation. There are other teams looking at process improvement and automation.
Earlier to this activity, just out of interest, I prepared a presentation to understand the effect of usability on documentation. I have uploaded the presentation to slideshare here: http://slidesha.re/fWFrBE.
This is a very basic presentation and many an expert may snicker at the simplicity, but I am a novice at this. Any and all comments are welcome. I have to of course acknowledge and thank the many technical communicators from whose blogs and articles I picked content from. The primary contribution was from @tomjohnson website http://idratherbewriting.com/.
How do you include usability within your documentation projects?

10 August 2010

DITA XML Training

So in the last week of July, we finished the training for the migration of our documents to DITA XML. We learned about the infrastructure, tools and the new additions of process, etc. As of last week we attempted the entire document life cycle with one document of a project. We are facing some style sheet issues where some elements are not looking as we would like, but i think the new system has not been as disruptive as hoped. We may need to go through a few documents before we have standardized on reusable templates and topics. Here's hoping for a good ride.

20 April 2010

Great Quote

Found this great quote

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.

-James Michener