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And it’s goodbye from him…

Six years ago I realised that I had some thoughts and things to say about the Technical Communications profession. I had just changed jobs and with that came a renewed passion for my career. I started reading more, started interacting with others through their blogs, Twitter and was lucky enough to start attending conferences.

I already had a personal blog, and so I wrote a few of my thoughts down and posted them there, never really being comfortable that it was of interest to anyone bar me. The next step seemed pretty obvious and so, One Man Writes was born.

The new position came with a level of latitude that allowed me to take the team in a new direction, I wasn’t tied to a particular methodology or set of deliverables, and so we could look at single sourcing, putting our content on the web, and generally moving away from a document-centric view of the world.

So, almost six years to the day since I started this blog (and whilst the slightly OCD part of me would like to hang on and post this on the 1st of March, I think it’s better to get this over with now) it’s time to bring it to an end.

I have a new career, a focus away from Technical Communications and I know myself well enough to know that this blog will slowly fade away if I don’t make the decision to close it.

I’ve had a lot of fun writing posts for this blog, and I’ve been lucky that it has sparked a lot of fantastic conversations and given me some amazing opportunities to speak at conferences, meet some fascinating and engaging people in the technical communications community and a large part of me is sad to be closing this door.

I’ll be leaving the posts here and the site will stay live for a couple of years at least. I’m still getting traffic to older posts and if there is value there for others than I’m happy to keep it available.

It’s been a blast, see you all on the flip side!!

Ho Ho HOLIDAY!!

The festive season is upon us, cards have been posted, presents have been bought, and in a couple of hours I’ll head home, leaving work behind until early January.

2012 has been an interesting year.

We started the year with a challenge, one of making the information we produce ‘findable’. Cutting across more than 20,000 topics of information, it was always going to be a big project, particularly as we still needed to keep up with product development. As the year draws to a close the final pieces of this mammoth project are falling into place and should, fingers crossed, be launched in the first couple of weeks in January.

From my viewpoint, it’s been an excellent example of giving people the space to do great things. I’ve not interferred much with this project, gently pushed it when it was needed, made decisions when required but by and large left the team to get on with it. The results are looking good.

Of course plans were impacted when the company I work for was merged with KANA software. Thankfully it was, for us, a mostly seamless experience. The day to day activities of the team haven’t changed (yet), but there has certainly been a lot more for me to pick up as the requests for documentation resource started to come in from other parts of the organisation. We are still figuring out how best to provide a service but it’s already looking like we will need to hire to backfill some gaps in other geographies.

Elsewhere I finally managed to get the new ISTC website launched, and have since enhanced it in a few places, adding in new Area Group pages, and generally beefing up the functionality in the background. Plans are coming together for the next set of changes so keep an eye out for those.

So, plenty to keep me busy in 2013, and that’s without covering off the building of a new community website at work …

One highlight for me has been getting back into the blogging habit here and generally feeling a bit more excited about my profession, hopefully I will continue to get a lot of value from sharing my thoughts here in the future!

That said, I’m off on holiday now but will be back in the first week of January. If you celebrate it, have a very Merry Christmas, and all the best to you all for 2013, thanks for reading!!

Censored

Have you noticed anything different here? Maybe not, but those of you who have been reading for a while (thank you!) may have noticed that I’ve been managing to post here a couple of times a week recently.

Don’t worry if you didn’t notice, there is no test at the end.

I’ve been pushing myself to write to try and get my blogging mojo back, partly because I enjoy the process and the fact that it helps me keep in touch with what’s going on in our wider profession, and partly because there is a lot going on and I like to capture some of it.

But I can’t capture it all.

Looking back at this blog, there are some posts which hint at some things which ended up coming to pass. The signs are subtle and obviously I’m more tuned in to them than anyone else as I wrote it but they are there. It’s not that I want to be cryptic, more that I know that a sensible level of awareness and self-censorship are one of the most important skills to learn as a blogger. Whilst the opinions stated here are mine, and mine alone, I simply can’t post things which might compromise the company I work for in any way shape or form.

And so, as I started to pull together some notes with a view to publishing them on this blog I realised I wouldn’t be able to, not at the moment.

Suffice to say that the next few months could see some interesting challenges and changes, and as soon as I can I’ll be discussing them here (and my Twitter feed is likely to be reduced to a serious of exasperated noises). I am feeling excited, nervous and ready for what lies ahead and hopefully as we learn lessons here, I can share some of them with you.

That said, if there is anything you’d like me to tackle, any questions to ask, please get in touch. Always happy to help.

 

On not blogging

A product release is imminent.

A trip to visit two customers in the US of A.

Ongoing complications with the new ISTC website (soon, soon!).

Planning for 2012, including a major restructure of our content.

Actual writing some documentation (a rare occurrence!).

Plus all the usual things that life is wont to throw at us.

Maybe look for me on Twitter instead?

How rude

There is one thing I haven’t done here for quite a while. It’s rather remiss of me so please accept my apologies.

Quite simply, I wanted to say thank you. To you. Yes YOU.

Thank you for visiting this blog, and more importantly, thank you for coming back and visiting again. A lot of the ideas I talk about here are made better by your comments, and I continue to find blogging to be a useful way to work through some of the thoughts and random ponderings that float around in my head.

I tend, like many, to do most of my blog reading through RSS and I know that making the effort to comment on a blog is something that not everyone will do, and which some blogs can struggle with. It continues to amaze and delight me that anyone reads this blog, let alone takes the time to share their own hard-earned thoughts.

So, sincerely, thank you.

Not written, yet

Quite a lot going on at the moment, but don’t worry dear blog reader I’ve not forgotten about you, I’ve still got plenty of things to post here just not really finding the time (or requisite brain power) to focus on them and think them through properly.

Here are some of the things I’ve started to write about but not yet posted.

In other words, “here are the posts languishing in DRAFT”.

  • Content from the ISTC and STC publications, why isn’t it all free?
  • Social Media Models, where I try and outline what I think are the models that we, as technical communicators can get the most value from adopting
  • The evils of presumption
  • Embracing user-generated content
  • Small social media. If your ‘community’ is very small, what will work for you?
  • How to stop thinking about documents

I will hopefully revisit some (all?) of these in the future, but before all that I have an eSeminar to prepare for, more details on that soon.

Present and Future

As we roll into the holiday season, I’m going to be pausing this blog until the New Year. I’ve found it tricky at times to get into a regular posting schedule here, so that’s something I’m hoping to rectify in 2010.

Looking back it’s been a good year for me, and I’m hoping to take a lot of things forward in the coming year. All of that will be covered here, of course, and I’ve got some plans to revisit some of the topics that I’ve shared with you this year.

Rather than write up a review I thought I’d just see what Wordle thought of my website, which is interesting in and of itself:

wordle

Thanks to everyone who has commented or emailed me direct. It has really helped me and I hope it’s helped some of you.

All the very best for the coming holiday season, and here’s to a wonderful 2010!