The Personal Top 13 Posts of 2013

Many wishes as you bid farewell to the year that passed and awaken to the new dawn of 2014. This year has been the year of changes for me. The year saw me bestowed with a new relationship and a new job! For the last month, December, I chose to give some rest to my creative side. Of course, the office work continued as scheduled. In fact, I was loaded with releases. But, things went well; we completed everything in time.

It was during this rest that I prepared a list of top 13 posts, which I wrote and shared on this blog. I could have chosen top 3 or top 10, but top 13 looked perfectly in sync with 2013. Also, I am not assigning any ranking to the posts listed here. But, I will still like you to read them in the order in which I have arranged them. So, here’s the list!

Wabi-Sabi in Technical Writing

This article got the maximum number of hits, readers, and discussions. The article, which received appreciation from over 25 countries, is about those who feel that imperfection is a part of their jobs and that they must continue to enjoy their struggle, or journey, towards achieving perfection.

Questioning SME: Smart and Meaningful Engagement

The second most read post, which also got a lot of appreciation from fellow tech writers, appealed to an interesting topic of questioning SMEs to make sure we get the correct information across. Tech writers, who face a wall when it comes to collecting inputs from SMEs note that it is important for us to be creative when searching for answers to our questions.

I didn’t get to say goodbye too!

Yes, I did not get to say goodbye to those who lost touch with me when I switched jobs. Some of them departed on account of some unforeseen circumstances, and others on account of their well-deserved performance reviews. Good or bad; either way departing from friends is always painful. This article sheds light on a different topic.

Who am I?

Now, (a). It has nothing to do with Jackie Chan, and (b) I am sure who I am. The article is about all those tech writers (and, that includes me) who feel that they do a bit of everything, but aren’t considered anything when it comes to earning respect from SMEs. As a tech writer, I do a lot of stuff that counts as a part of someone else’s work, so the article talks about the things that I do because that makes my job easy and perfect.

Rhetoric and Tech Writing: Bring the soul to the body

The soul of writing is not in rhetoric alone, indeed, but the article nevertheless points out how important rhetorical approach is in technical writing. Rhetoric, I feel, is the philosophical side in technical writing, and without it, tech writing is a body without its soul.

Never Say Know!

This is an interesting piece of work. I love wordplay. And, this one is an excellent example of it. I have, after a long time, played with words in it. The reason this post gets listed in the top 13, is that some of us – a lot of my tech writing friends – think that they know everything, which is contrary to the reality (obviously). The article provokes us to affirm our willingness to keep learning and tickles our funny bones to an extent. It is a refresher for sure!

Solopreneurs as Technical Writers

Some serious business talk. The dream job (as I like to refer to tech writing) provides us with an excellent opportunity to step into more than one speedboat at once! It is that part of life which can help us learn, earn, and enjoy, at the same time. The article also shares some thoughts that you must take with a pinch of salt.

The Paper Boat

Hmm, this is another non-technical writing work, which is on this list. It takes me back to my childhood each time I read it. Although I have written a lot about philosophy, it looks like I have some unknown connection with this article. I time-travel as I read this article. I am sure you too will find something in it that matches your days of sand castles or skateboarding!

Standardizing Content

This post tells you why it is strategic, not at all funny, and interesting to follow standardization in your everyday business scenarios. I liked the way I began talking about the impact of standardization in business processes. Frankly, I wanted to write more on standardization and its positive effect on your overall marketing strategy, but I purposefully restricted this article to the technical writing side. I will write about its impact on marketing tactics (at the operational level) and branding strategies (at the organizational, perceptual level) in another post.

Progressive Disclosure: A progressive way of learning

The article is a beautiful, engaging discussion on how we learn to learn. This article scribes the way in which we must serve the information to ensure that it is correctly structured, correctly delivered, and rightly understood. Although the topic of progressive disclosure has found its way into the IT industry only recently, I see that its impact on our daily lives is far deeper than what it appears, or is told in my article.

Minimalism: Talk less, tell more

This article works exactly the same for me, as it works for everyone else! The rules and examples discussed in the article are derived from real life and can have far-stretched benefits for all of us. The article is a quick guide on how to write in fewer words, and yet get understood correctly.

Playing the lingual vigilante

Now, I love playing this ad hoc role. Almost everywhere I go, I am blessed with plenty of “how-not-to-do” examples. And, if you too are the blessed one, then this article is for you. Again, the rules apply to me as well. So, you might play the lingual vigilante when you are reading this article. But, remember that I too am at work!

The not that bad guy: Editor

I agree! The poor, innocent guy, who becomes (Or, is named!) bad for doing good; an editor is someone who is badmouthed (and verbally abused) for being too picky about his attitude towards the printed word.

 

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PS: This is an indicative list, and I would be happy to see if you have changes to suggest to me in either the ranking of these posts or the posts that are there on the list.

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