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The secrets of writing smart, long-form articles that go absolutely viral
Over the last several years many professional writers and journalists have lamented what's been called the BuzzFeedification of the Internet. This is an Internet where, it seems, a steady stream of churn-and-burn content is king, and anything of substance is only second best. It's an Internet where if you want to get a job writing for one of the hottest media companies on the Web, your knowledge of how and why information is shared online is as important as your writing talent.
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Broaden your writing horizons to improve your skills
The Huffington Post
Quite often, and probably far too often, aspiring-writers and writers alike, follow the mantra of "write what you know." There are multiple things wrong with that sentence. Deliberately, the distinction between aspiring-writers and writers was made. What does it mean to be an aspiring-writer? Simply put, an aspiring-writer is someone who does not write. A writer writes. If your work can be found on Amazon, in increasingly sparse brick and mortar locations like Barnes & Noble, on a major website or print publication, a personal blog or even just on a computer desktop for your eyes to see, you're a writer.
Digital storytelling 101: Creating stories to rise above the noise
There's an old saying: "If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound?" That saying certainly has a proximity to digital storytelling in today's world and creating stories that connect. If a brand is creating stories that don't connect with an audience, are those even really considered stories? A story is defined as "an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment." If said stories are not entertaining or engaging, should they be considered stories at all?
Users' advocate: Structured content and the needs of the user
Structured writing is contentious in the tech comm world. Many authors feel that structured authoring constrains them from meeting their readers' needs. In some cases, this may be ego. Some writers may feel that they are so skillful as writers that they do not need any artificial guide or constraint to help shape their work or make it consistent. In this, writers tend to stand alone among the professions. Virtually every other profession understands the value of structure in what they do and actively seeks out tools to help them constrain and shape their work.
The new rules of content monetization
The Next Web
Content monetization in 2015 involves learning new ways to distribute and market content so that you can reach incremental buyers and leads on platforms that offer a large number of engaged users who are there for one reason: to buy premium digital content. The days when keyword-optimized landing pages with downloadable PDFs, powered by PayPal and video testimonials performed best are long over.
You Don't Need the Luck o' the Irish to Save a Bit of Green and Win
There's no better time to renew your STC membership for 2015 than right now. Classic, TC Professional, and Student memberships are now 10% off and, as a limited-time offer in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, all new and renewing members will be entered to win an Amazon Fire TV. Must renew or join no later than Tuesday, 17 March to be entered to win.
Brand New Course Being Offered Next Month: TechComm in Business
Are you having trouble understanding how technical content affects different areas of your business? If you’ve ever felt like technical communication is important but didn't know how to articulate it, STC has a brand new course just for you! "Technical Communication in the Business Environment," our newest original course aimed toward people who develop technical communication in a B2B or B2C environment, is designed to help you understand how and why technical communication impacts multiple groups and the bottom line. Instructor Sharon Burton of Anthrobytes Consulting will explain everything from how a business works financially to how to tie your technical content to overall business goals. Don't delay, seats are limited so sign up today!
Big Changes Are On the Way at This Year's Summit
We have big changes in store at this year’s Summit, 21-24 June in Columbus, OH! First, the Summit now offers three networking receptions included in your registration (the Opening Reception, Communities Reception, and new Honors Reception). Take advantage of all three opportunities to network with your colleagues and peers! Second, the education tracks have been reworked based on direct feedback from Summit attendees and the latest industry trends. Lastly, wrap up your time at the Summit not with the traditional lunch, but instead with closing keynote speaker Denise Jacobs as she speaks on Infinite Possibilities in the workplace. All of these changes were made with previous attendees’ feedback in mind, so we hope you enjoy these changes and we can count on seeing you there!
STC Election Dates Have Changed
STC members — election dates for 2015 STC positions have changed. Voting will now begin 16 March and end 6 April. Be sure to check out information on each of the candidates, or even ask them a question in the election forum!
Exhibit Space and Sponsorship Packages to Fit Any Budget
Now is a great time to get involved and grow your customer base. The STC Summit and Expo attracts over 650+ attendees with titles including technical writers, documentation managers, content strategists, information architects, and more. Attendees also include technical communicators from municipal, county, state, and Federal governments, as well as individuals from private industry, large and small corporations, and academic institutions. Over 60% of our attendees are the decision-makers or have the direct influence over their departments or clients’ purchasing decisions. Register today! Expo space is limited and sold on a first-come first-served basis.
A Year of Growth: STC 2014 Year In Review
The Society for Technical Communication is pleased to publish its 2014 Year in Review, highlighting accomplishments, major initiatives, and updates to programming that advance the mission of the STC.
Content creators leave social networks when messaging gets too easy
It's not much harder or more expensive to send a tweet or a Facebook post to hundreds or even thousands of people than to just a handful. So you'd think that the ease of communicating with lots of people via social networks would result in more and more people sharing their thoughts, political views and cat videos. But that's not the case, says Associate Professor Zsolt Katona at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. The flood of tweets and posts washing across cyberspace has created a huge imbalance in the number of people creating content and the number of people who receive it.
10 ways to make your content more shareable
Small Business Trends
The surefire way to drive traffic to your website is to publish highly engaging and shareable content. Not only does this help enhance your SEO rankings, but also the higher social curation — provided it's being shared — means that more people will see it. In turn, this will naturally increase your traffic, leads and sales. The problem is, while shareable content might as well be a guaranteed method to increase traffic, there are no guarantees that the created content will become viral.
Straight to audiobook: Authors write original works meant to be heard
In recent years while e-books were plowing their way through the publishing industry like a big noisy steam engine, audiobooks were chugging along in the background like the Little Engine That Could. These days, that sometimes overlooked segment of the book business is growing at a rapid pace and the industry is looking for new ways to catch listeners' ears. Robin Whitten, editor and founder of Audiofile magazine, began writing about audiobooks in 1992. Back then, few people had ever heard of them. Now they're a $1 billion industry with more than 35,000 titles published in 2013 alone. Whitten says audiobooks really took off once it became possible to listen to them on a variety of devices.
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5 ways to get your brand noticed online
With the ever increasing pace of change and disruption driven by technological advancements, organizations today need to deliver real products and services quickly.
Digital agency the Reading Room has released a whitepaper on digital psychology. This study brings together digital disciplines and the behavioral sciences to introduce a toolkit to help brands garner insight into user behaviors and intent to create a more meaningful engagement with target audiences.
Here are five consolidated steps for better engaging audiences.
In the future, robots will write news that's all about you
Here come the robot reporters. AP recently announced it will use software to automatically generate news stories about college sports that it didn't previously cover. Specifically, it's turning to a content generation tool called Wordsmith, created by a Durham, North Carolina-based company called Automated Insights. The AP — which is an investor in Automated Insights — already uses Wordsmith to generate stories on corporate quarterly earnings reports.
Study: Millennials find YouTube content more entertaining, relatable than TV
Younger audiences watch more hours of video on YouTube and other digital outlets than TV — simply because they find it more enjoyable and relevant to their lives, according to a new study. Consumers aged 13-24 spend 11.3 hours weekly watching free online video compared with 8.3 hours for regularly scheduled TV, according to a study conducted in the fall of 2014 by Hunter Qualitative Research commissioned by digital-media firm Defy Media.
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