I’ve been hiding a bit from the larger world of technical communication because I have been quite busy plugging away at work and continuing my master of science program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend the 2018 Society for Technical Communication Summit. This was purely my own decision.
What have I been working on?
In 2017, I had quite a year of fun projects at work, hobby, and school which I am continuing to improve my craft as a technical communicator. Here’s a rundown of what I have done:
Website Usability Study (Masters Program)
- Conducted a usability study for a website
- Understood various usability study methods
Possible Thesis Study (Masters Program)
- Developed a prospectus to investigate and define the field of content strategy
- Studied how technical communication and content strategy are intertwined co-fields
CNM.edu Website Team Project
- Contributed to the UI/UX initial discovery phase
- Performed card sorting exercises for a specific navigation function
- Conducted back-end testing on a new template
- Documented new processes for content contributors
Social Media Promotions
- Ran regular advertisements for enrollment
- Created different ad sets based on target audiences
- Analyzed advertisement results to find a baseline
- Improved consistency of posting for various social media channels I manage
WordPress Maintenance + Improvements
- Reverse-engineered a few websites
- Migrated websites from HTTP to HTTPS
- Automated certain processes to simplify WordPress maintenance
Glad you asked! (Instead, I asked myself this question). I’ve been doing some awesome new marketing tactics as my work is moving toward the world of social media. But that doesn’t mean I’m losing my roots in technical communication. I know that the social world is a fun new role which I get to practice writing FAR more efficient than normal.
Instead of writing in long swooping sentences. How can I edit and distill information in a way that is high-impact, relevant, punchy, and still maintain that voice. It is a completely different animal and I’m gonna begin learning and honing that craft. I know that social media was my first foray in the professional world of technical communication (I co-presented in 2008 in Atlanta about social media). This time, after ten years, there is so much more to learn from social media since it is becoming something we see more often instead of traditional media.
Is Traditional Media Dead?
I am not sure traditional medias are out, but they are being transformed into their digital cousins. I can’t necessarily rule out traditional media. We still have paper and it’s being duplicated by digital. Rather than dying out, there is movement to make smaller productions and reset the expectations traditional media had. Most of this happens to be the shift to mobile devices. We are having to do more with fewer resources (primarily stretching our money further) and shift to trends. The data proves it. Google it. The library did a similar transformation years ago and the places that did so are thriving in a surprisingly positive way.