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What you so afraid of? Part II – The Tech Comm Edition

What you so afraid of? Part II – The Tech Comm Edition | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
I’ve been reflecting a lot, lately, into what makes me continue to pursue a technical career, especially in technical communications. I’ve been thinking about what I’ve been doing...
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M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications
A collection of all the tech comm topics I find most timely or helpful, with a special emphasis on e-learning and m-learning
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A Confession: I am a Fraud

A Confession: I am a Fraud | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

My friend, Nick Kellet, co-founder of List.ly, has this on his LinkedIn feed.

 

I confess...I am a fraud, too. You hadn't figured that out yet? Really. It's so obvious. Heck, I'm a fraud for posting this article about being a fraud, for heaven's sake. 

 

A big part of content strategy is learning how to reuse information in order to reshape it into something different and new. There are some great examples of this sort of thing in the article, and I'm sure you can think of many more. 

 

Based on this article, are you fraudulent, too?  Confess your sins below, and let's commiserate. 

--techcommgeekmom

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I told you so...The Time for Global Content Strategy has Arrived | Content Rules, Inc.

I told you so...The Time for Global Content Strategy has Arrived | Content Rules, Inc. | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Two short years ago, I left a conference feeling demoralized. How could people care more about metrics than about their global content? This year was different.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

I think almost everyone knows how much I love Val Swisher. I think I've learned a lot over the last 2-3 years from her that I've been able to apply towards my current job. I have to say that as I was coming into the content strategy scene, I wondered about the emphasis on metrics, too. It wasn't something that I knew a lot about, and in my work I usually didn't have to get too deeply involved in that part of it. This isn't to say that metrics aren't important, but rather I didn't understand how that would supercede how one would have to look at the big picture, much like Val describes (and she's in deep with this stuff much more than I am, so she would know). So, I can understand her joy in seeing this switch over time. It makes more sense to me, too. Read this! 

--techcommgeekmom

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Natural Born Auditors | TechWhirl

Natural Born Auditors | TechWhirl | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Are technical writers born to be auditors? Dan Goldstein makes an interesting case on the instincts and skills both have.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Interesting article by Dan Goldstein on TechWhirl. I don't think I'd ever thought as myself as a potential auditor, but then again, I never thought that I'd become a tech writer either. Read this, and see if you think you'd make the cut...

--techcommgeekmom

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Men as the public face in a female dominated field

Men as the public face in a female dominated field | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
In the world of technical communication tools, the public faces of the companies are men, yet the field is predominately female. is this a bad marketing strategy?
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Sharon Burton reposted this September 2012 blog post today, and it's interesting to see that even two years later, the points that she makes are still valid. I always noticed that gender imbalance as well. Do you agree with her assessment? Put your comments below. 

--techcommgeekmom

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The Hidden Benefits of Learning History

The Hidden Benefits of Learning History | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
When you think about history, you probably think about dates, events, and other boring information you were forced to memorize in school. Instead, you should think of history as medicine that can be prescribed to your modern problems.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is a great video and article brought to my attention by Craig Cardimon. As someone with a Bachelor's degree in History, and raised by a historian father, I concur with this video. History, above all else, provides perspective and understanding of how we got to be where we are now, why our culture is the way it is wherever we are, why language has developed the way it has, etc.  Understanding history of anything--even something like the development of a product in tech writing--has its merits. Check out the video on this page, and think about it. What do you think? Do you think history has its place?

--techcommgeekmom

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Mick Tierney's curator insight, November 14, 6:55 PM

Real history, that is - not the manipulated, agenda driven tripe that characterizes today's efforts. Example: in December at Berkeley, some of those who successfully initiated the "Free Speech Movement" will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, those who currently populate the Berkeley campus no longer believe in it or tolerate it. Sic transit gloria.

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Job Search Simplified: Employma Disrupts the Industry

Job Search Simplified: Employma Disrupts the Industry | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Have you been on a job hunt lately? The pain is like getting one root canal after another. I searched for a job 2 years ago after deciding on a career change. I enjoyed my time teaching English at...
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Oh, Darin Hammond has articulated what I've experienced more than once in the last 5 years, Since 2009, I was unemployed for about half of that time (a little less, but not much) due to this crazy process that he describes here, so I truly know the pain he describes only too well. While I haven't gone freelance yet, and my contract job seems fairly secure for now, the PTSD from the experience still lingers a bit. Ironically, I work with the HR department where I work, and when I can, I try to advise them from a user perspective that they shouldn't spend a lot of time on certain sections of their career site because frankly, a true job seekers isn't going to be spending much time on particular pages, and will spend a lot of time on others--based on my own experiences.  This "Employma" does sound intriguing, and I hope it succeeds and delivers the way it says it will. Time will tell.  Read this is you are curious about job seekings and its prospects. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Mylène BOUSQUET's curator insight, November 13, 3:25 AM

Because we all have been on a job hunt at least once ! ....

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Justine Bateman On Pulling Off A Major Midlife Career Pivot

Justine Bateman On Pulling Off A Major Midlife Career Pivot | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
The former Family Ties stara 48-year-old UCLA junior and computer science majorshares her advice on making your second act count.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Justine is just a hair older than me, and started at an older age than me, but her story is similar to mine going to grad school in the last few years. I don't regret going to grad school, and hope I can get to do my PhD eventually (time and money are preventing it right now). But it's so fantastic to read about someone who is part of my generation who rediscovered a way to get involved with a STEM-related career at a later age. Just proves you are never too old to learn! I love this story because I can relate to it so well. Read it! It's really good. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Terri Rice's curator insight, November 7, 12:35 PM

Danielle is right. This story by Justine Bateman is similar to many of us older women trying to get degrees and find our way back into the workforce. Im in my mid-fifties and Im working on my Master's. It is very tiring and frustrating to ask a question and have a blank look stare back at you. Honestly, finding a way to communicate with other generations is very challenging. I would love to develop a forum for women of all ages and pursuits to come together and share their stories, encouragements, and failures so the rest of us could know we are not alone. But Im still learning how to find my way around this technical stuff. Bless you, Danielle for sharing this story.

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Any technology you use should be "Googlable"

Any technology you use should be "Googlable" | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
'Any technology you use should be "Googlable"'. These are the words of Bill Scott,  VP Engineering, Merchant | Retail | Online Payments at PayPal, as reported by the amazing Sarah Maddox. (I say am...
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Another great article by Mark Baker. It doesn't seem like enough to make it searchable, as explained here. How is your content "Googlable"? 

--techcommgeekmom

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Securitron.ca's curator insight, November 18, 9:32 AM

Look out Google is the next Apple but this time it's much bigger

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Are technical communicators the "fall guys"?

Are technical communicators the "fall guys"? | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
While plugging away at the big project I'm doing for work, a problem arose from how some features worked, and developers cluttered up the CMS architecture of the site I'm working on. When I tried t...
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How the US Government is Avoiding Gobbledygook with Plain Language

How the US Government is Avoiding Gobbledygook with Plain Language | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
The purpose of the Plain Writing Act of 2010 is to mandate the use of clear and simple English writing for all federal agencies. Here's how it's being used.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is a fantastic article by Val Swisher of Content Rules. I'm so glad to see that plain language is slowly but surely starting to take over! I never understood the need for writing in a way other than in plain language, especially when it came to legal terms. Perhaps ancient lawyers wanted a way to show off their higher education to sound more important, but it made law more complicated for the common person. This is a step in the right direction. 

--techcommgeekmom

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In our opinion: Technology in today's schools — Getting an early start is crucial, and costly

In our opinion: Technology in today's schools — Getting an early start is crucial, and costly | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Early education in computers and computer programming in some European schools is starting to pay dividends. Utah needs to find ways to stay up to speed as well in high-tech learning — but the h
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is another great article promoting the argument that coding and other digital literacy courses need to be included in today's curriculum in schools. I know it's expensive but some of this stuff is really even just the basics--I don't understand how the US doesn't make more of an effort so that it doesn't fall behind. Even my son's special education school makes the effort to use technology whenever possible. Read this, and tell me what you think. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Terri Rice's curator insight, October 23, 9:25 PM

Danielle, I think this topic is extremely hot right now. Unfortunately, it is not just parents who should foot the bill. These devices are pricey, yet school districts probably are not considering that as much as the adult board members simply are not tech savvy enough to grasp the dire need for this training.

My idea is stop funneling lottery monies to higher education and bring it down to the level of elementary and middle school age.

  That way, funds can be used for initial equipment and upgrades as well. If parents are affluent enough to afford it, great, but everyone gambles, so why not insist on those funds going to the children who get funds cut all the time. Higher Ed can definitely survive without this revenue, but obviously our children, who are the future, absolutely cannot.

 Just one mom's opinion.

Norberto E. Moreno V's curator insight, November 4, 8:45 AM

En la educación moderna adquiere importancia la tecnología se dice que puede ser algo costoso pero los beneficios son mayores. 

Securitron.ca's curator insight, November 9, 8:46 AM

If we start any young child early they have the capabilities of making great things happen as adults.Technology is the way of the future and can help cure disease.

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Why Typography Matters For Better Visibility - Usability Geek

Why Typography Matters For Better Visibility - Usability Geek | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Expertise in web typography requires creativity that comes with experience but the most important aspect is always ensuring to maintain content legibility
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Rick Sapir shared this on Google+. I became interested in typography more after seeing the movie, "Helvetica" at an STC Summit event this past year. I never really thought about it THAT much, but it really does make a difference! Read this article for some perspective. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Top 10 Ways Successful Technical Women Increase Their Visibility

Top 10 Ways Successful Technical Women Increase Their Visibility | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it

Increasing your visibility is important for advancing your career. Below are ten things that highly successful women say they do in order to increase their visibility throughout the company, industry, and technical community.

Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

NJIT's Continuing Education program posted this on its Facebook page, even though this article came out a few years ago. The information is still applicable today. I know I've tried to follow these guidelines since I graduated from grad school. In my opinion, these rules apply to both women and men who want to get ahead. Take a look. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Will We Use Commas in the Future?

Will We Use Commas in the Future? | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
There’s no denying that commas are helpful little flecks of punctuation. They allow us to separate written clauses and do good work when especially numerous or complicated groups of things exist in a single sentence. But do we really need them? That’s a trickier question. In some ways commas are...
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is an intriguing article brought to my attention by Scott Abel on his Facebook page. The article sparked an interesting discussion on his feed. I will agree with one comment made on his feed (by my friend, Barry S.) which stated that the debate about commas will probably rage on, but what will start to become more obsolete is printed dictionaries, since language is always changing and the Internet can keep up with those changes much more quickly now. (The same probably applies to the thesaurus, too, I suppose.) 

 

I will admit that I'm very much an "old school" grammarian, in that I cherish my Oxford commas. While there might be general understanding without the commas, there is better understanding WITH the commas and other punctuation. Social media, especially Twitter, is not made for being grammatically correct. You only have 140 characters to work with, after all! (Although I try my best to use proper grammar in tweets as much as I can.)  But social media is not a report, a book, an informational pamplet, or an instructional manual. In these types of publications, whether in print or digital, proper grammar is highly necessary to ensure that the message or instruction is understood completely. If certain commas were left out of instructions for a medical procedure, that could have dire consequences! Seriously! Think about it.  While it might seem "ancient practices" to use commas and some other grammatical marks, for more formalized writing, they really need to stay. They've lasted a few hundred years already successfully. Don't fix what isn't broken! 

 

What do you think? Put your comments below.

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10 Responsive Design Problems and Fixes | UX Magazine

Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This article was brought to my attention by Rick Sapir on Google+. As I am part of a global team putting together a responsive design website right now, the timing of this article is impeccable. I knew some of these issues (some from learning about it, some by trial and error), but there were some other that I don't know were taken into consideration until after the fact. It happens. A good guide to review. 

--techcommgeekmom

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The Infosnacker’s Guide to the 2014 LavaCon Tweet Stream

The Infosnacker’s Guide to the 2014 LavaCon Tweet Stream | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Marcia Johnston demonstrates how much data can be gleaned and experience shared from a conference Tweet stream like those for LavaCon 2014.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Hashtags are not flawless, but they are a great way to track a trend. I've often recommended to people to use hashtag searches when trying to find people with common interests, like #techomm or #elearning or #mlearning or #contentstrategy (you get the idea).  You can use hashtags to participate in a conversation, Twitter, the ones that predominantly lead the way with hashtags, is a great resource this way. (I don't know if they started the hashtag movement, but they sure made it their own!) 

 

My friend Marcia Riefer Johnston wrote this interesting article about how Twitter hashtags came into play during the 2014 LavaCon conference (I was among some of those Twitter posts counted).  Doing analytics on this kind of social media stream is not perfect, as Marcia points out, but her study shows the impact of the hashtag for this event. 

 

Take a look. Really. Right now. Put your comments on what you think about the impact of hashtags below. 

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Shattered Glass: The Thrill Is Gone | LinkedIn

Shattered Glass: The Thrill Is Gone | LinkedIn | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Interesting article. As wearable tech evolves, it's interesting to read the perspective of this author, and listing the ups and downs of being a Google Glass tester. It makes me glad that I ended up returning mine. I still think that Glass could've had potential, but even after a year of development, I had expected more when I had temporarily received mine. Perhaps one day it will explode with many uses. Perhaps the world isn't ready for something like this device or something like it, but with each new wrist wearable and other personalized wearable devices, we get closer to the ideal that Glass was aiming for, and that's what counts. 

--techcommgeekmom

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10 Words and Phrases That Cause Confusion Between Brits and Americans

10 Words and Phrases That Cause Confusion Between Brits and Americans | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
There are many opportunities for linguistic confusion between Brits and Americans—slang, Southern slang and pronunciations can all cause blank looks, […]
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Ah, the little nuances of the English language between those on either side of the "pond".  Read this one--it's great. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Push or Pull? Content Creators Stop the Terminology Management Tug of War

Push or Pull? Content Creators Stop the Terminology Management Tug of War | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
There's a huge divide in the thought processes around terminology management and a large difference between how translators use tools and how content creators use tools. I'll explain here.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Val Swisher of Content Rules, Inc. wrote a fantastic article here about terminology management and the opposing approaches to it. Even though I don't work directly with localization and translation issues, it's something that interests me, and I agree that even with presentations I've heard, these different approaches confuse me. I think Val does a great job to help parse out the different elements involved and sort out this confusion. Read this! 

--techcommgeekmom

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Am I missing the TechComm party?

Am I missing the TechComm party? | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
I'll come out and say it--I like going to conferences. It's a great opportunity to learn new information that can hopefully be applied upon my return from the conference. It's also fantastic opport...
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5 "Ahas" on Content Strategy from Scott Abel | LinkedIn

5 "Ahas" on Content Strategy from Scott Abel | LinkedIn | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

My friend Scott Abel has some good information here that is so basic, but highly important and gets down to the bottom line. I'm looking forward to seeing his new book in the near future! He's always a engaging presenter at the conference sessions I've attended. Read now!

--techcommgeekmom

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Why These Neuroscientists Are Prescribing Video Games

Why These Neuroscientists Are Prescribing Video Games | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Video games as therapy? While most virtual reality falls under the category of mindless entertainment, a group of researchers believe the gaming world may offer some benefit to those on the autism spectrum.

A team comprised of cognitive neurosci...
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is a great article about how gamification works especially well with autistic people. I couldn't agree more from experience! Read the details here--gamification isn't a waste of time when done right! 

--techcommgeekmom

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Lorraine Elvire Wagenaar's curator insight, October 30, 6:20 AM

voeg uw inzicht ...

Frédéric STOJICEVIC's curator insight, October 30, 9:47 AM

Le Serious Game au service de la pharma et de la neuroscience. Interactions sociales personnalisées en fonction des réactions du patient grâce à la reconnaissance faciale.

Critical Thinking at BHCC's curator insight, October 30, 11:16 AM

            This topic shows the benefits of video games today. They help kids with brain injuries or a disorder. They can also help the brain to repair itself after surgery has been done on the brain. Personally, I think that it's great that we have video games. I also think that video games should be at hospitals to help children develop a technological brain, in this sense it means they will learn how to operate technology in their older years

-Clay

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A Learning Secret: Don’t Take Notes with a Laptop

A Learning Secret: Don’t Take Notes with a Laptop | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Students who used longhand remembered more and had a deeper understanding of the material
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This article came by way of Adriane Hunt on LinkedIn. While I understand the article and its findings, I don't think it's a complete report, because the study is only taking into account typical students, and not including special needs students with learning disabilities. I understand the point they make that handwriting versus typing using different parts of the cognitive brain, and typing tends to be more writing what a professor says verbatim for later retention (although this study says it isn't so), for people like me, even handwriting was still me trying to get as much written verbatim as possible. My cognitive brain, like many who are ADHD or have Aspeger's or similar issues, listening then condensing the thought into something smaller but tangible, then writing it down is a more complicated process than for a typical student. By the time that is all done, the instructor has moved on to the next point, or is even three or four points ahead. Typing on laptops or tablets makes it much easier to facilitate this process. 

 

Even today, I was following some keynote speeches at the IDW conference via video, and trying to tweet the information. This is something I've been working on for years, but it's the same concept, and it's not easy to do at all, especially if the slides aren't up for long to grasp what was said quickly! 

 

Perhaps a reevaluation of this study is in order, to look at the full benefit. The researchers should look at both students--abled and learning disabled, and professionals who have to take notes during meetings. 

 

I still take handwritten notes during meetings, don't get me wrong. But it's not that easy to do, and retain all the key points from the banter happening at breakneck speed. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Trisha Poole's curator insight, October 23, 9:52 PM

Take all advice with a hint of caution: It is possible to take effective notes using a laptop, *if* you have the digital literacy skills to understand how to do it effectively. A common problem that arises when using laptops (or other digital devices) to take notes is that people forget to summarise what they hear and try to write things verbatim. When writing notes by hand, people are more likely to summarise and collate ideas rather than write verbatim. Digital literacy skills are important in this context, and it's also important to know that some articles might not be fully informed.

Miguel Herrera E.'s curator insight, October 24, 11:09 AM

Importante sugerencia

 

Gordon Gunn's curator insight, October 24, 5:36 PM

This is very true - particularly with Year 7 and 8 students.

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Does Job Stability Exist Anymore? | LinkedIn

Does Job Stability Exist Anymore? | LinkedIn | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is an interesting article that I think would especially apply to the technical communications community. I can tell you that my entire career has been nothing but unstable. Gone are the days where you spend so many years someplace and have the devout company loyalty and the mentorship to help you get ahead in that company. I've gotten to the point that while I still crave having a "secure" job (which for me means that I can stay there indefinitely, not be laid off, and am a full-time employee with all the benefits), I've accepted that is highly unlikely to happen anytime in the near future, if ever. I think I'm stuck in consultancy limbo forever. I've learned to make the most of it as best as I can. I am grateful that the current assignment I'm on is an indefinite assignment for the moment--it will be going into my third year in January 2015, and if I complete that year it will be tied with the longest period I've ever spent at any other job. I'm also grateful that I like where I am too. Three years at any one place isn't much. With the economic turmoil of the past few years, I don't see this trend going away. As the author of this article says, job stability is a roller coaster, and you have to be prepared for the ride. I recommend reading this article. 

--techcommgeekmom

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5 reasons why content development vendors have it wrong - Sharon Burton, customer experience consultant

5 reasons why content development vendors have it wrong - Sharon Burton, customer experience consultant | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Content development vendors don't have the workflow right. Here's my top 5 reasons why.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

My friend, Sharon Burton, is right on about this. Everything she explains here is what I've experienced, and in some cases, admittedly, I'm one of those who has to end up redoing everything because the SMEs don't understand the tools. Sometimes I don't understand the tools either, but I get by! Sharon has an interesting take on all of it. Read this article!

--techcommgeekmom

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