Creating an Executive Memo

This week I had to work on an end-of-the-year summary memo that was going to an executive. The original draft took me three hours while the next draft took an hour–I kid you not. The next draft will probably take half that time. Why is that? The short answer is that a lot more thought goes into an internal message to the “Big Boss” than you might imagine. Continue reading

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Beaver Dams, Culverts, and Technical Communication

Every once in a while, I find a fun example of technical communication “in the wild,” which is to say in an environment you wouldn’t necessarily expect or associate with technical communication. This week, I offer up the YouTube videos of a young man named David whose posting handle is “post 10.” His video narrations of clearing out street culverts are excellent examples of verbal and video technical communication. No, really. Trust me on this. Continue reading

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Repurposing Content

Back in the early days of this century, I attended the Society for Technical Communication (STC) meeting here in Orlando. One of the hot topics of the time was using XML (the extended markup language, an advanced version of HTML) to speed up the process of tagging and repurposing content. Since that time, 22 years ago, I’ve worked in small, medium, and large businesses, and I have yet to use XML to do any of those things. Instead, I have had to use my own archives and brain to reuse content for different applications. Today I’ll share a few non-XML thoughts on how to perform this task. Continue reading

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Keeping Your Acronyms in Order

I’ve written about acronyms here and there, but occasionally I get a master’s-class-level experience that must be shared. For the past two weeks, in between family get togethers, I’ve been working on a rather hefty proposal for a customer (in case you’re wondering how I missed posting last week). This large proposal naturally included dozens–maybe hundreds–of acronyms. Even working in the space business as I do, I can still be surprised by the different ways those little mixes of alphabet soup can vex me. Continue reading

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More Delays

Sorry, folks…still busy. Work pouring in (billable hours are a good thing), plus some minor surgery this week (ow, but recovering). I’ll try to think of something clever and timely for next week. Meanwhile, be good to¬† yourselves and the people around you.

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