Here where I live it’s back-to-school time: a reminder that no matter how long I’ve worked in technical communication, there are always new things to learn.
The skills I’ve already mastered, while still valuable, won’t be enough for me to succeed in a world of new technologies and new ways of consuming information.
What will I be looking to learn this year? The following list is inspired by Joe Welinske’s talk, Key Trends in Software User Assistance, which
he gave last week to the STC Carolina chapter.
Search-engine optimization (SEO)
Joe’s succinct advice, to everyone in the room, was “Learn this.”
No matter what kind of technical content you create, it’s going online. Even the lowly (but still popular) PDF. And your readers will find it using a search engine.
So you need to understand how the right words and phrases, both in text and metadata, make your content bubble to the top of the search results. The best advice: don’t try to game the search engines. Make sure your content is relevant, and use terminology appropriately. Continue reading