After months (years?) of seeing people asking "what tools do you use for" authoring/editing/indexing/graphics and so on, JTF Associates is pleased to announce TechComm Toolbox.
TCT provides a searchable database of entries organized by categories and alphabetically. And everyone is welcome to submit entries for tools not currently listed.
In addition, consultants and trainers are welcome to submit themselves.
All tools are listed for no charge, with the company name and a link to the appropriate website page. Companies can advertise on TCT by adding blurbs, logos, or both to their listing. In addition, sponsored ads are available on each page.
Visit TechComm Toolbox today!
So over at "What Would Dad Say", GL Hoffman (author of Dig Your Job: Keep it or Find a New One) has asked readers to post their six-word resumes. By 1 January 2009.
With no time to waste, here's mine:
Connecting social media and user assistance. (I think it could have more "punch"...I'll have to work on that.)
(My personal six-word meme is Playing the hand I was dealt.)
What are your six-word memes?
We try to get to Boston's First Night every year, at least for a couple of hours. So every year, I go to their website to see what's new...
(I don't remember seeing the blog in previous years, but the website has undergone a complete update. It's much nicer than what I remember and much better organized. My only complaint is that you have to use Back from the blog to return to the main site. And be sure to click First Night 2009 in the upper left to get to this year's information.)
And if you're going to First Night, let me know! Maybe we can meet up somewhere :-)
In March 2008, my good friend Rhonda Bracey of CyberText presented Techniques for Reviewing a User Interface at the WritersUA Conference. (It was an awesome presentation and she was then asked to give it at AODC and ASTC (NSW).)
After she got back to the office, she set up a page on her website that includes the presentation (through SlideShare and in PDF), a voice recording of the presentation (MP3), handouts (PDF), and a five-page User Interface Checklist (PDF). She has also been offering the checklist in an editable Word version for $4.95USD.
In January, the price of the checklist goes up to $20USD. Get it now and take advantage of the price break!
"How to answer the phone" was Seth Godin's blog entry today, and this one struck a nerve...not because we make customers go through nine prompts when they call us (we answer the phone if we're here and, amazingly enough, don't answer it when we're not here)...but because lately, it seems like every time I try to help someone out by answering a survey, I'm told after answering two questions that I'm not the target market.
As Seth says, "The only reason to answer the phone when a customer calls is to make the customer happy." In his case, after he finally made it through the nine prompts, he was told that he needed to call back after 10 am. Wouldn't it have been so much better to get that information first?
In my case, someone was researching information on a technical communication subject. No problem...I'm glad to help and I'll take your survey. I click the link and get...
- Screen 1: Read the quick introduction and click Continue.
- Screen 2: A qualifying question (think along the lines of "Do you have green eyes?").
- Screen 3: A message ("You do not meet our qualifying criteria.").
I don't have a problem not meeting the criteria. What I do have a problem with is not being told what the criteria are ahead of time. If they had said that they only wanted green-eyed survey takers, I wouldn't have clicked the link.
Now maybe what they wanted to do is get everyone to take their survey so that they know how many non-green-eyed people had applied. (I have no way of knowing if they want to aggregate this information or not.) But if that was part of their goal, they could have asked a couple more questions...maybe "Would you consider wearing green contacts?" or "Does anyone in your house have green eyes?" They should have been able to come up with a few questions so that those of us with eyes of blue or brown or whatever aren't irritated.
Because right now? I am irritated that I was asked to help out when I wasn't the target market. And the next time this company posts a survey, I'll be less likely to help out, which means that they lose my input for future surveys that might apply to blue-eyed people.
I guess you could call this one of my new pet peeves. Do you have any? (We can cover grammar in another post if you'd like!)
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