Posts

Why change is required to footballing authorities

Image
Football fans rarely feel the bodies that run the beautiful game have their interests or that of the clubs at heart. Be it FIFA, the Premier League, or the English Football League (EFL), the feeling is that these bodies seem more interested in securing their longterm existence. The perception seems to be they are more focused on keeping sponsors happy, than on the very people who ensure the games go ahead. Clubs like AFC Wimbledon know only too well about the injustice that the footballing authorities can heap on clubs and fans. After all it was nearly 20 years ago that the EFL allowed Wimbledon FC to up sticks from London and create a franchised version of the club 70 miles away. To quote the EFL, it was a decision “In the wider interests of football”. In other words it is OK to see a club fans and community to disappear overnight if it ensures the survival of the game itself. The demands of a global pandemic don’t help, but the underlying feeling is that the priority is in the wrong

Happy New Year

The fireworks have been going off since 5pm here, which can only mean one thing. Folk are so fed up with 2020 that they've started celebrating early. Happy New Year everyone. Let's hope for health and happiness. Start by smiling. It's not hard! pic.twitter.com/HQUh6EmxXZ — The Technical Content Colum(n) (@cmtechtalk) December 31, 2020

The future of Technical Communications: 2021 and beyond

After 2020 we should all give up making predictions! Who'd have thought a year ago, that we'd be struggling to get on top of a highly infectious virus that according to the   World Health Organization's Covid-19   page has so far: Infected over 81,000,000 Killed nearly 1,800,000 But why let old habits die? Check your social media feeds around this time of year, and you'll see lots of people reflecting on the previous year and looking forward to how the next year will make them better people. I'm not doing that. Instead, I want to reflect on what the help writing tools available to Technical Writers must do to help them achieve their objectives well beyond 2021. So what are these predictions that seem so hard to achieve? Localization inside Technical Writing applications Support for smaller (non-laptop) devices Localization Inside Technical Writing Applications Let me introduce this section with a deliberately provocative opinion. Localization support inside technica

My Lockdown: A game of two halves

Image
  Kick Off Back in January 2020 when we first heard about people in China becoming ill with a strange unknown virus, little did we know how it would become THE news story of 2020. Even as events unfolded and my firm took the decision to close its offices, no one thought that nine months later that our desks would be collecting dust all this time. I thought I'd be back in two weeks; a month tops. How wrong was I! Now I'm rarely accused of being the master of understatement, but this year started with the aftermath of a data migration project that could have gone better! OK maybe this time :-) Things hadn't gone well. I won't bore you with all the detail. The management summary was that the data had mostly come across from the previous platform, but it looked pretty crappy. Cue a call to arms and manual fixing of HTML pages. The real kick in the teeth was that I'd spent three years shouting at anyone who would listen about the authoring experience. The move to a new a

An alternative use for the Technical Writer skill set

Image
As someone with a Technical Writing background, I know the value of accurate and easy to follow documentation. Plus having spent all my career in the technology sector, it is good to occasionally use my skills in different ways. Some people think we just produce software manuals, assembly instructions, and the like, but we do so much more than that. Think error messages, video tutorials, user interface copy, and.... err orienteering directions! I'm a keen runner and participant in running events, but the pandemic has curtailed most of these. Strangely working from home since mid March has meant my fitness has increased, as I make it a point to get outdoors every day. Being stuck indoors at a desk isn't something I crave. I never thought I'd say this, but I miss my commute to work! So when I heard of a socially distanced running event reachable by car from home, it piqued my interest. It started and ended in a park close to a town I know. The trouble was whilst I knew the to