What tech can’t you live without?


Quick. What’s the one technology you can’t live without? Not a day goes by without you using it.

Is it your laptop or desktop computer? HD TV? cell phone? digital camera? GPS device? satellite radio? hand-held game? eBook reader? personal health monitor? universal language translator? transporter? (Oh-ooops, not supposed to tell anyone about that one yet.) Continue reading

A Post a Week in 2011


I want to blog more.
But instead of just thinking about it and saying it, I’m going to do it.
I will post to my blog at least once a week for all of 2011.

Now, I know why my blogging has tailed off in the past few years. When I first began blogging in 2004, there were fewer challengers to my time. But in the last few years, I’ve added social networking through Facebook, business networking through LinkedIn, microblogging through Twitter, and photoblogging through Tumblr.
I’ve graduated from a simple cellphone to an iPhone with all its distractions.
So, my blogging here dropped off.

This year, I’m taking the WordPress challenge. I’m making use of WordPress’ The Daily Post to help me along the way.

If I need help, I get to ask for it. If I can help someone else, I promise to volunteer.

I hope you encourage me with comments and likes.

Here’s to a new 2011.

Team huddle shakes up boring meetings


How are your team meetings?

  • Do they drag on endlessly while your staff watch the clock, aware that work isn’t getting done?
  • Does the staff leave the meetings no closer to producing results than when they came into the meeting?
  • Does the staff leave the meeting unsure of team priorities and “TOP 3” targets for the day or for the week?
  • Does the meeting leave the team’s morale downward at the meeting?

If your team meetings need a kick in the seat of the pants, try something radical, like a structured team huddle. Watch the video of a team huddle and find the six key parts of the huddle.

10 Errors that Drive Me Crazy


Not another list of 10! This one from “Chip’s Blog,” of MacGregor Literary, captures errors that drive an editor crazy.
Chip

My favorite is list item number five.

Worthy of more than a quick retweet, this entry found its way to me on Twitter, thanks to Susannah W Freeman, WriteitSideways.

How to say “I am sorry” to a designer


sorry.jpgI found this in my Stumbleupon wanderings:

swiss-miss.com/2010/02/im-sorry.html

Clever. Inside joke? Not if you use Windows shortcuts. Your designer will appreciate it.

Oh, it’s Command+Z to the designer, most likely a Mac user.

Mixing Old School with today’s tech


old school TV w rabbit ears

rabbit ears and clicky dials

Blending contemporary technology with old school retro designs, these 10 tech finds will take you back to an era when “network” meant three channels and there was a USA but not a USB.
Posted on Mashable.
Hmmm, would you stand three inches over and hold onto the right antenna? Ahh, there.

“Behind the Scenes” on my other blog


On vacation from work for a week during this year’s run of “An Evening in December,” I just blogged about “relying” on someone during unexpected interruptions.

http://behindthescenes.wordpress.com/

Facebook turns itself on its head


fbook-up I think this interface would pose a challenge for us here in the United States. Two questions:

  1. Would it be easier to use if someone was from “down under?”
  2. Will this create a sudden demand for chiropractors?

Now that you’ve strained your neck to view the page, did you notice the language setting at the bottom of the screen capture?

5 Rules for Better Web Writing


5rulesMashable.com’s Josh Catone clearly practices what he preaches when he writes the “5 Rules for Better Web Writing.”

  • For seasoned technical writers, this is nothing new.
  • For newbies and my practicing students who are thrust into the world of technical writing for the Web, pay heed.

How to break writer’s block – Part 2


Are you curious how our writer did on her writer’s block problem? Yesterday, I posted a blog entry on a writer (whom I’ll call “Jay”) facing writer’s block and impending deadlines.

Today, I checked in with Jay and learned the first draft went out to a first reviewer, at a whoppin’ 1,300 word count! Yeah, I’d say the block was broken.

jay's mindmap

jay's mindmap


Jay appreciated the following tips from our brainstorming and mindmapping session. Jay shared that before our session:

“I was overwhelmed on what was important and where to start. During our session, I was able to spit out a lot of topics and then organize afterwards…By seeing the topics in front of me instead of floating around in my head…it made it easier to focus and prioritize the information.”

So, stay tuned for a follow-up post on Jay’s final production piece, as the deadline to production approaches.

How to break writer’s block – Part 1


A fellow writer just mentioned getting stuck in writer’s block. It happens to all of us. So, I spent 10 minutes helping the writer (whom I’ll call “Jay”) overcome writer’s block. How?

I had Jay list the obstacles on sticky notes. “What is keeping me from crossing that divide between here and the finished product?”

why Jay's stuck

why Jay's stuck

Once Jay saw them written, he/she either (a) knew that it was real and had a plan to overcome it or (b) realized it wasn’t a real obstacle after all.

With that out of the way, I had Jay mindmap the written project. In ten minutes, we had an outline of four key points and the four solutions, an intro, and an ending.

Jay had been stuck on the headline. So we put “headline” as a mindmap topic and left it blank for now.

I’ll write a follow-up post on Jay’s progress in a few days. Stay tuned.

What do teachers need?


A new school year starts this month for many school districts. That prompts me to write a blog entry on “Top 10 Things that Teachers Want” in their classrooms. teacher

This is timely, considering the state of our education budgets, increased class sizes, and the growing challenge of students arriving ill-equipped by cash-strapped parents.

So teachers, if ten parents walked up to you and asked what they could contribute to your classroom, how would you answer that? What’s on your shopping list?

Your answers could range from the basics (paper, pencils, etc.) to the pie-in-the-sky (laptop, SmartBoard).

Please use the comments to reply.