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I'd Rather Be Writing Podcast

Technology Podcasts

A technical writing podcast about the latest trends and practices in the field of technical communication. Technical communication includes topics like technical writing (software help), information architecture, usability, API documentation, information design, web design, illustration, DITA, structured authoring, visual communication, and more. If you're a technical writer or interested in technical writing, this is the one of few podcasts in this niche. I also have a blog at https://idratherbewriting.com where the podcasts and other blog topics are published.

A technical writing podcast about the latest trends and practices in the field of technical communication. Technical communication includes topics like technical writing (software help), information architecture, usability, API documentation, information design, web design, illustration, DITA, structured authoring, visual communication, and more. If you're a technical writer or interested in technical writing, this is the one of few podcasts in this niche. I also have a blog at https://idratherbewriting.com where the podcasts and other blog topics are published.

Location:

United States

Description:

A technical writing podcast about the latest trends and practices in the field of technical communication. Technical communication includes topics like technical writing (software help), information architecture, usability, API documentation, information design, web design, illustration, DITA, structured authoring, visual communication, and more. If you're a technical writer or interested in technical writing, this is the one of few podcasts in this niche. I also have a blog at https://idratherbewriting.com where the podcasts and other blog topics are published.

Twitter:

@tomjohnson

Language:

English

Contact:

408-781-2129


Episodes

Presentation recording -- 'Best practices in API docs: Product overviews and getting started tutorials'

10/29/2021
I recently gave an online presentation about product overviews and getting started tutorials in API docs, sponsored by the STC Washington, D.C.-Baltimore Chapter. This post provides a recording of the presentation and related details.

Duration:01:01:32

tcworld China 2021 keynote: 'Tech comm and marketing: How to make your tech comm group more visible to those within your company'

9/16/2021
I recently gave a keynote presentation at tcworld China 2021 on the topic of tech comm and marketing. This post provides a recording of the presentation, slides, and detailed notes for the presentation.

Duration:01:10:42

Recording of 'Product overviews vs. getting started tutorials: striking a balance between read-first and try-first user behaviors'

8/7/2021
I recently gave a webinar to tekom Europe about product overviews and getting started tutorials. The recording and slides are below.

Duration:00:53:54

Videocast: Micro content and Flare -- Conversation with Kate Schneider

3/21/2021
In this videocast, I chat with Kate Schneider about micro content and Flare. Kate shares micro content examples from her current documentation and explains the strategies she considers when creating micro content. She shows specifically how to leverage analytics in determining micro content topics.

Duration:00:36:25

The story behind Document360 -- podcast with founder Saravana Kumar

11/17/2020
In a previous post, I explored how Document360, a new cloud-based documentation platform, handles API documentation scenarios. This time, I decided to record a podcast with Saravana Kumar, founder of Document360, to get the behind-the-scenes story about how Document360 came about, what's driving their fast pace of development, and their roadmap for the future.

Duration:00:36:39

Playing a product design role as a content designer -- podcast with Jonathon Colman

8/24/2020
In this podcast, I chat with Jonathon Colman about an innovative work model they implemented at Intercom with content designers. In their experimental model, content designers were allocated to one project only, and they expanded their roles to include not only content design but product design as well. These content/product designers engaged on a deeper level to help products succeed.

Duration:00:47:26

A tip for doc reviews -- bring a list of questions

7/24/2020
Although doc reviews are a central part of the tech writing process, it's often a challenge to get teams to review docs. One tip is to bring a list of questions to the doc review. This provides more structure and focus to the review meeting.

Duration:00:29:44

Writing productivity tip: Focus sessions

7/12/2020
I'm trying out a new writing productivity tip that seems to be working fairly well for me: focus sessions. A writing focus session is a one-hour session focused on a writing task. I made a goal last week of doing four writing focus sessions (at work) each day. I figured I should at least be able to devote half of my work day as a professional technical writer doing writing. This technique has boosted my writing productivity recently.

Duration:00:09:07

Developer portal strategies for complex landscapes -- conversation with Kristof van Tomme

6/24/2020
Recently I chatted with Kristof van Tomme, CEO and co-founder of Pronovix, about a topic that's become increasingly relevant in the past several months: how to deal with complex, rapidly evolving landscapes. Specifically, we focus on developer portal strategies that involve finding a balance between constraints and flexibility. Too many constraints reduces your ability to adapt to uncertain changes that might require innovative, unknown solutions. Too much flexibility might not lead to any...

Duration:02:58:35

API the Docs recording: How Trends in API Documentation Differ from other Tech Comm Trends

6/4/2020
I recently presented a session at the API the Docs virtual series on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, as part of the 5th edition. My session covered dev doc trends, and another session covered API design. A recording of my presentation is available below.

Duration:00:45:01

WTD Australia event recording -- 'Remote discussion: Techcomm in the times of pandemic'

5/31/2020
I recently co-presented in a WTD Australia event titled Techcomm in the times of pandemic on May 28, 2020. The other presenter was professor Kirk St. Amant. A recording is available below.

Duration:01:10:47

Are technical writers increasingly playing non-technical roles? Some thoughts on the evolution of technical writing roles

3/30/2020
How is the role of the technical writer evolving? It seems we're moving away from writing and more towards other roles, such as reviewer/convener, user champion, editor, publisher, and promoter. However, it's difficult to gauge change, especially across different job categories. In some scenarios, writing might never have been why we were hired.

Duration:00:33:12

Podcast: Users as producers of knowledge -- conversation with Nupoor Ranade about how tech writer roles are changing

3/29/2020
How can users shape and influence the documentation you're producing? In this podcast, I chat with Nupoor Ranade, PhD candidate at North Carolina State University, about how the roles of technical writers are changing. Instead of writers authoring content for passive users, users are actively directing and shaping the knowledge that writers produce. In this podcast, we look at ways docs-as-code workflows are facilitating that shift in roles. This podcast is more of a conversation, where I...

Duration:00:58:49

Webinar recording: How Trends in API Documentation Differ from other Tech Comm Trends

3/12/2020
I recently gave a webinar on trends in developer docs to the STC Washington DC chapter on March 12, 2020. In this presentation, I presented the results and analysis of my Trends in Developer Documentation 2020 survey. A recording and audio file is available below.

Duration:00:35:13

Introduction to API documentation - Recording from Los Angeles API documentation workshop

3/11/2020
In January I gave an API documentation workshop in Los Angeles, and I recorded the first section of the workshop. This section provides an introduction to APIs, including an overview of APIs, the API doc market, info about API popularity, how to submit requests through Postman, and other trends. The recording is available as both a video/audio or standalone audio.

Duration:01:35:58

Podcast: How Paligo is filling a niche in the CCMS market for complex documentation, with Anders Svensson

3/9/2020
I recently chatted with Anders Svensson about how Paligo, a cloud-based CCMS, is filling a niche in the CCMS market for complex documentation needs. Complex documentation refers to documentation with multiple product variants, versions, languages, audiences, and more. In these scenarios, content re-use and scalability become more challenging. Paligo is filling a need for documentation teams that have grown beyond their help authoring tools and need the more robust support that a component...

Duration:01:09:39

Podcast with Andrew Davis: Hiring API doc writers -- an inside look at fixing broken processes

2/23/2020
I recently chatted with Andrew Davis, a recruiter for API documentation positions in the San Francisco Bay area, about why it's so difficult to hire technical writers for developer documentation roles. Andrew has more experience and knowledge with developer doc jobs, companies, and recruiting processes than nearly anyone else in the tech comm industry. He actually helped me find my first dev doc job when I transitioned to California years ago. Andrew's company is called Synergistech...

Duration:00:31:43

From API docs to developer portals

2/9/2020
One comment I often hear from API workshop participants and other readers is that they want a more advanced API course. I've been thinking about what that more advanced course would involve, in addition to what might be involved in leveling up at my work, and I've come to a realization that I need to transition more from API documentation to developer portal strategies. Developer portal strategies includes API documentation but also encompasses broader concerns as well, not too different...

Duration:00:41:33

Podcast: API Design and Usability with Arnaud Lauret (API Handyman)

12/7/2019
Arnaud Lauret, also known as the API Handyman, recently published a book called The Design of Web APIs. In this podcast, I chat with Arnaud about his book, specifically exploring best practices for designing web APIs and focusing on the roles technical writers can play.

Duration:00:41:54

Podcast: Dealing with Project Overload -- Strategies to Manage Overflowing Documentation Tasks

10/2/2019
In this podcast, I talk about how to deal with project overload, specifically covering strategies to manage tasks. Scrum is one framework for dealing with project work by allowing you to limit the work you have before you in a more systematic way. I also explain the importance of focusing on a project to build up flow and momentum, without always context switching.

Duration:00:27:16