Web site annoyances and the state code


You’re about to complete your online transaction. All you need is to enter a two-digit state code in a field. 1-2-done!

But the state code field has a… Continue reading

VSP = ?


Finish this phrase: vsp-closetmaid

VSP is a fun, interactive way to design your perfect…

Continue reading

I might have a “communication” in my heart


Doctors want to continue to examine me in a few weeks to look for a “communication in my heart” that might have caused the stroke. What do they mean by a “communication?” Continue reading

10 ways to be an email rookie


This is going back in time to a post on JWebb’s LoveYourUsers blog, where she had posted a cleverly-written piece about her love-hate relationship with email.

It reminded me of a mindmap I generated after receiving yet another junk email… Continue reading

How to enhance your blog’s usability with the right theme


WordPress themes do more than just change the look of your blog. A carefully-chosen theme can enhance usability, affect findability, and potentially boost reader satisfaction. I’ll explain. Continue reading

In conclusion, let me read this slide to you


Originally posted in flickr by Zach Graham, his photo of a presentation slide symbolizes what not to do with presentation slide software. I can only imagine the painful looks on the faces of the audience. The presenter’s use of a microphone indicates either a large room or a large crowd. Imagine how far back you sat, trying to squint at the slides. Continue reading

5 ways to reduce PowerPoint overload


Bored by 50-slide presentations that drone on, bullet by bullet, slide by slide? Having a hard time keeping audience interest in your point. Then start practicing these five research-based techniques for reducing PowerPoint overload: Continue reading

Getting Things Done (GTD – part 1)


On the best sellers list for two years, David Allen’s “Getting Things Done-The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” goes beyond typical self-help books on time management and priorities.

I picked up the book recently, in hopes of fixing some major symptoms in my life of unproductivity:

  • a bulging e-mail inbox, averagng more than 300 messages at any time, many containing various action items for me
  • a growing trend toward missing deadlines on some projects, small and big
  • an overwhelming sense of overload, wasting several minutes (and hours) at work, staring at blank screens, unable to write due to a sense of too many things calling my attention
  • a growing avalanche of paper file folders, papers, printouts, and clutter spreading across the desk, threatening to raise the attention of the fire marshall

I have not been disappointed by the book and its evidence in my life: Continue reading

Filename generation idiocy.doc


I didn’t create the title of this entry. It was generated for me.

The latest software features meant to aid us often end up vexing us instead. Take the automatic filename generating feature of word processors. Intended to “save time” by reading our mind, it takes more time to undo, and can lead to ludicrous filenames.

Try this:
1. Start with a blank document in Word.
2. Type something for a few lines, like: “Gee my editor is a dork. I wonder if he has a life outside of this blogworld…”
3. Save As.
4. Notice the filename generated by Word.

Eloquently posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum at Language Log.
“Filename Generation Idiocy.doc”

A 2-second Grab


2 seconds is all you ge*
.
.
.

In the online message world, your attention is gained or lost in the first two seconds.

Either you stay to read more or you’re gone.

According to a Nielsen Norman report,

“people are throwing away most of your information, and you can’t fight the trend. Craft your email newsletters to sum up your message in [what they call ‘microcontent’:] subject lines, opening lines and headings…”

Apply this to your e-mail messages, your e-zines, your online newsletters, your blog, your ads.

Thanks for staying with me beyond the first two se
.
.

What’s a Blog?


You ask: “why should I spend time reading a blog named ‘GeeWhiz?'”

I answer:

I am a student of the written word.
My profession: technical communicator. I find out what information my audience needs, then help them find it and turn it into knowledge, so they may use that knowledge to unleash their wisdom.

If this is the information age, we have surely polluted it so with spam, fallacies, drivel, and trivia.

In frustration, we seek out people like me that help cut through the smog.

I aim for accuracy, brevity, and clarity, the abc’s of good communication.