Let's Tech Communicate

February 2018

Let's Tech Communicate We are still looking for one or more volunteers to aid Grant in composing a Let’s Tech Communicate (LTC) column every couple of months. In the meantime, Katie, Emma and Meredith bring you the low-down on everything from bringing tech comms into the modern age with GIFs, to how to write an article in 20 minutes, and just what, exactly, the difference is between a copywriter and a content writer...

Bringing tech comms into the modern age: text or infographic, video or GIF?

For some people, it doesn’t matter whether text or an infographic is more effective – it's enough that infographics are eye-catching. For others, infographics aren’t necessarily a slam dunk. Hilda Bastian breaks down the infographic versus text debate, explores the spectrum of public and professional opinion, and presents the evidence for both sides of the argument in Infographic vs Text: Evidence Throwdown!

While videos have become a bigger piece of the content pie for many technical communication teams, the added complexity of audio production and streaming video hosting can be a limiting factor in their use. One lightweight option worth is the animated GIF. Check out Daniel Foster’s Not Just for Laughs: Putting Animated GIFs to Work for Technical Communication .

Are we writing efficiently?

Irrespective of experience, there are two types of writing behaviour that greatly reduce productivity and confidence. In Two ways to be an inefficient writer Dr Marina Hurley presents two simple tips when it comes to writing: leave out details until later drafts, and allow your writing to be messy and clean it up later. And should you find yourself distracted by anything colourful, shiny, noisy or interesting, click through to her short article: Work-procrastination: important stuff that keeps us from writing .

In a hurry? Writing quickly doesn’t mean compromising on writing well. Jim Estill’s How to Write an Article in 20 Minutes outlines seven tips to get you in and out of that composition box in twenty minutes – without sacrificing quality.

Working from home?

Gemma Church is a specialist science and technology writer who has never worked in her pyjamas. She invites you to boost your business opportunities, productivity and creativity without having to resort to talking to the kettle – by working from a co-working space. She discusses the pros and cons in How To Rock Co-Working Spaces As A Freelance Writer .

What kind of writers are we anyway?

In today’s digital landscape, content marketing has become just as (if not more!) important than traditional copywriting. But what is copy, and what is content? How are they different, and what makes them the same? When these terms are used interchangeably by both brands and freelancers, what type of business should you say you offer? Fear not, Emma Siemasko has (most of) the answers in Copy vs. Content Writing: What’s the Difference?

With thanks to Emma Harding and Meredith Evans for contributing to this month's Let's TC.