Technical Communicator’s meeting in Edinburgh: 24th April | Le Monde, George St | from 6:30

The next ISTC meeting will be held on Thursday the 24th April.

The event is free and open to anyone interested in technical communications to talk about the latest news and trends in communication, and to meet other communication professionals.

Venue: Le Monde, George St.

To help us anticipate numbers, please sign up for the event at:https://istcedinburgh-april14.eventbrite.co.uk

North West Group meeting 3rd April

We will be having another workshop. Primarily we will be looking at:

  • Word macros
  • Embedded video in web help – including a look at Camtasia
  • Alternative publishing formats
  • Moodle – the open source learning platform

While the focus will be on the above and depending on interest on the day likely to concentrate on only one or two subjects, we welcome any other topics that attendees would like to look at. If we don’t have time to look at it on the night we can look at it at a later date.

To get the most out of the session a laptop is recommended.

For further details  and booking see eventbrite.

Southern Area Meeting, Guildford 13th May 2014

WordPress Websites, with Graham Armfield

The next ISTC Southern Area meeting will be in Guildford on Tuesday 13th May from 7pm at The Keep in Guildford, from 7pm onwards.

Graham Armfield will talk about WordPress, how it has evolved from a blogging platform into a website creation tool, how it works, and how to set up and maintain a WordPress website. Graham will also explain how to ensure that your WordPress site is accessible, secure and appears in search engines.

Afterwards there will be the usual opportunity for questions, for serious discussion, or light-hearted chat, depending on your mood and inclination.

The event is free, and is open to ISTC members and non-members. But if you are planning to come, please register on Eventbrite here:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wordpress-websites-with-graham-armfield-tickets-10997910045 so we can let the venue know how much space to reserve for us and how many people are likely to want food.

Parking is available in the Tunsgate Multi Storey right next door to the Keep, or the Sydenham Road Multi Storey about 250 yards away, but be aware that some roads in the area are one-way streets, so check your directions carefully!

For more information, contact: southernengland_areagroup@istc.org.uk

West of Scotland area group meeting 25 March 2014: meeting report

The West of Scotland area group gathered on Tuesday 25th March for a networking meeting at the Waxy O’Connor’s pub in Glasgow city centre. We were pleased to welcome a couple of new people to the group and the meeting had a total of seven attendees, making it a relatively busy meeting. One of the main topics of conversation was how to get into technical communication if you have no previous technical writing experience. We also discussed topics such as whether formal technical communication qualificiations are important and how technical communicators fit into organisational structures. Free copies of the latest issue of the Communicator were handed out too, which proved popular.

Summary by Katja McLaughlin

Report on MadSIG Meeting 6th March 2014 Ripley

Nine of us met at 3di’s offices in Ripley on 6th March to eat cake, drink coffee and chat with friends.  Oh, and we may have had a meeting of the MadCap UK and Europe Users Group too, in between mouthfuls of cake and sips of coffee.

I explained how I’d single-sourced content for WebHelp and PDF output, and also for three different products and two different brandings. We had plenty of lively discussion, and learned a lot from each other. The following day also saw several attendees emailing each other to pass on hints and tips from their own experiences as a result of discussions that had taken place the previous evening.

We managed to link in two virtual callers as an experiment as well. This was reasonably successful, so we hope to do this again to enable people who can’t easily get to the venue to attend. Unfortunately, the cake and coffee transfer protocol still eludes us, so virtual attendees will need to provide their own cake and coffee for the foreseeable future.

We’re very grateful to 3di for allowing us to use their offices and facilities, and to 3di’s Erika Norton who gamely managed the presentation technology so that our virtual guinea pigs could participate as fully as the technology allowed.

Here are the slides from the presentation. To get the full benefit of the animations, I suggest you watch them as a slideshow, rather than just opening them in PowerPoint’s default editing mode.

If anyone would like to present a session about some aspect of how they use Flare or the other MadCap products in their work, please do get in touch. This is your group and the sessions will be as interesting as you make them. You don’t need to prepare a polished presentation – you don’t even need to use a single PowerPoint slide unless you want to – a short “show and tell” demonstration will be sufficient. You will find that people will be very willing to contribute to the discussion.

Keep a look out on our LinkedIn page http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=5081593 for details of the next event. If you’re a MadCap user in the UK and Europe, please join us on LinkedIn  if you haven’t already done so. Feel free to start a discussion about what you’d like from the group, or about any other group-related topic. You are very welcome to post there, but note that for general questions about MadCap Flare, you would do better to post on the world-wide LinkedIn group “Users of MadCap Flare” http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Users-MadCap-Flare-86373, or the MadCap forums http://forums.madcapsoftware.com/index.php, as your question will reach a wider audience.

Marjorie Jones


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