Pattern recognition for tech comm as STC webinar

If you’ve missed my session on “Pattern Recognition for Technical Communicators” at the STC Summit in Chicago, you now have another chance: On Wednesday, 8 August at 1 pm EDT / 7 pm CEST, I’ll be presenting the session as a live webinar.

Session abstract

Pattern recognition is an essential mental strategy for acquiring and disseminating knowledge, though most of us are not aware of it. When applied consciously, technical communicators can employ pattern recognition processes to develop effective documentation more efficiently and help readers orient themselves.

Learn what pattern recognition is and how it works, what pattern recognition strategies you may already be employing without even knowing it, and how you can employe those strategies to efficiently acquire information, structure documentation, and support users to:

  • Make sense of new subject matter
  • Start to build new documentation
  • Design and structure documentation
  • Support users efficiently

What attendees said

Attendees at the STC Summit came away with these insights (according to session evaluations):

  • “Pattern recognition can help chunk topics, find reuse opportunities, & help your reader navigate.”
  • “The session confirmed what I believe is needed, in that users want to know what to expect in each chapter, or book, that that is done by applying pattern recognition. I just didn’t have a term for it before.”
  • “Classifying TOC as top down, search/index as bottom up, combining the two to find a balanced form of communication.”

Sign up

You can sign up for the webinar at the STC web site. See you on the 8th! (Well, not really – but we’ll be able to hear each other… 🙂 )

P.S. This will be my second webinar – and I’ll be sure to take the lessons and suggestions from my first one to heart!

Advertisements

How advertising is the opposite of documentation

You know that documentation and advertising are at odds, if you’ve worked in either for any length of time. Here’s a conspicuous definition of advertising that’s pretty much the opposite of what documentation does:

I want to make the public aware of something they don’t quite yet know that they know – or have them feel that way. Because they’ll move on that, do you understand? They’ll think they thought of it first. It’s about transferring information, but at the same time about a certain lack of specificity.

I found this in chapter 7 of William Gibson’s novel Pattern Recognition. Last I heard, the book hadn’t yet become one of the seminal texts in advertising, so take it with a grain of salt… 🙂