Category Archives: technology

MSTPC - Communication Strategies for Emerging Media

Musings on Communication Strategies for Emerging Media

Last fall, I participated in the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) Master of Science in Technical and Professional Communication (MSTPC) program class on communication strategies for emerging media.

During the class, our assignment was to write blog articles about the assigned readings and discuss with the class about our take on this field. Below are my blog posts. Feel free to read them as I make my journey to become a master in the field of technical communication.

Each of these posts I wrote has a compelling story as well as a fresh perspective on the field. My approach in this class was to write in a casual and professional mode. My intent was to write to a wide audience who would enjoy reading about technical communication, communication strategies, and emerging media. Let me know in the comments what you think and maybe point to any topic I should cover next on my own blog!

I’ll be back regularly posting about my experience with usability testing, user experience studies, and content strategy soon. There has been a lot I have been working on in the last few years that I want to share with you.

Template Refresh for 2015 and Beyond

Over the weekend I changed the theme of my website once again. This theme is the third iteration since 2011. I decided to go to with a theme created by Automattic, the people who create WordPress.

WriteTechie - Light Theme Color

Write Techie – September 2011

Why was it time to change? I wanted to start with a clean slate. As a web developer, I experimented with minor improvements to an old theme for better functionality. At some point those changes got in the way and caused more harm than good.

I decided that trashing an old design I’ve customized for years and start something new was a better solution. In this case, it’s not as new as you might think. I chose a familiar WordPress theme that I’ve used on another website for a few years.

Write Techie - September 2015

Write Techie – September 2015

I also want to emphasize the current trends of web design and writing in this version of my template refresh.


Despite higher screen resolutions on mobile devices, sans-serif fonts are still better to read than serifs. They’re still great to use, but serifs are better for printed material. I chose to cut the serif fonts in favor of sans-serif for the reason that it is easier to read on screens.

Responsive Design

There is nothing new here except to make sure that any website is responsive to an unlimited number of screen sizes and resolutions. There is no excuse for websites to show up incorrectly on an iPhone, a 32-inch monitor, or a display on Times Square.


Web writing is a completely different world than other types of writing. Keeping it simple will give users the right information the first time and show them how to do the tasks they came for.


As with any template refresh, so comes the content. The more concise, the better.

Portland Landmark Sign

Guide to Attending LavaCon 2014

Hi everyone–I wanted to drop a note before I head to Portland, Oregon to say that I’ll be at LavaCon 2014! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me! If you are missing LavaCon this year, you can register for the online track that you can attend from home or work.

If you need me to help troubleshoot technology issues (WiFi, laptops, tablets, smart phones) or general directions around Downtown Portland, find me on Twitter at @RogerRenteria or call/text me at 505-750-1057.

Look forward to seeing you soon! Below is my quick guide to attending LavaCon!

Portland Landmark Sign

Portland Landmark Sign

Before we begin next week, I’ve reworked my conference guides from past years for this one. The following guide will help you navigate LavaCon as well as get yourself up to speed with general conference tips.



  • Spend about 20 minutes planning which sessions you want to attend. Read the Conference Program provided to you in your conference bag. Also, use the Lanyrd Conference Website to help you decide!
  • Select primary and secondary sessions for each hour, some session material may be available for preview on SlideShare.
  • Determine within the first 5 minutes if a session excites you; if not, go to your secondary session (it’s not rude–you are attending a conference for professional development!)
  • Ask questions at the end of the session.
    • Be persistent! As a presenter, I love when people ask me questions. So, do it!
  • Complete post-session speaker evaluation(s).
  • Look for presentation slides after the sessions from presenters on SlideShare.


Socializing and Networking

Socializing and Networking

  • Spend about $30 for business cards from VistaPrint if you have none. Remember to pack them.
  • Hand out business cards to anyone you meet.
  • Write a note on the back of each person’s business card to remind you how you met them.

Break Times

Portland Food Carts

Portland Food Carts

  • Offer and/or accept invitations to dine with attendees. We don’t bite.
  • Visit the vendors and check out the bookstore.
  • Attend evening events with attendees.
    • Tweet Up
    • Karaoke
    • Culinary Tour
    • Food Cart and Microbrewery Pub Tour
  • Share your professional experiences.

After the Conference

  • Continue networking via Twitter, LinkedIn, and e-mail.
  • Plan for next year, and convince your company to pay for it!
  • Look for a for Call for Speakers via e-mail; maybe you can present next year.
  • Keep up with current trends—check TechWhirl for LavaCon coverage.

It’s your conference experience and make the most of it! Also, find me during the conference!