M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications
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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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DITA Terms and Their Plain Language Meanings | TechWhirl

DITA Terms and Their Plain Language Meanings | TechWhirl | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Technical communicators often see DITA as hard to understand or master. Both newbies and veterans can use this chart of DITA terms to make sense of DITA.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Jacquie Samuels does an excellent job (as always) of translating common DITA terms  into plain language. This is a great go-to guide for those of us trying to still get a grasp of DITA lingo as we learn more about content strategy and reuse using DITA-friendly systems.

--techcommgeekmom

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The Secret Power Of The Generalist - And How They'll Rule The Future

The Secret Power Of The Generalist - And How They'll  Rule The Future | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it

We’ve become a society that’s data rich and meaning poor. A rise in specialists in all areas - science, math, history, psychology - has resulted in tremendous content. But how valuable is that knowledge without context?

 

Despite the corporate world’s insistence on specialization, the workers most likely to come out on top are generalists - but not just because of their innate ability to adapt to new workplaces, job descriptions or cultural shifts. Instead, according to writer Carter Phipps, author of Evolutionaries generalists will thrive in a culture where it’s becoming increasingly valuable to know “a little bit about a lot.”

 

Meaning that where you fall on the spectrum of specialist to generalist could be one of the most important aspects of your personality - and your survival in an ever-changing workplace.


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen, Dana Maloney (Holley), Deanna Mascle
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

I like this article because it's the argument I've been making for several years, especially when looking for positions. I know plenty about lots of things, but I'm not a specialist in just one topic. This makes me much more flexible and able to see the bigger picture in different contexts. I would think that the ability to be that flexible would be seen as an asset, not count against me. Fortunately, the company I work for now did see that as an asset, and continues to find value in what I can contribute for them.  Many companies missed this opportunity where I know I could've helped them out, because they were too narrow minded in what they wanted.  Hence, this is why I advocate self-promotion as a multi-specialist. I hope more companies come around with their way of thinking sooner than later. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, March 15, 2014 7:36 PM

Complexity scientists, such as John Holland, see specialists and generalists playing complementary roles. The challenge might be we have moved so far to the specialist and expert end that generalists are not valued. It may be less about one being dominant and more about an integrative value being seen in both roles.

DKW Online's curator insight, March 17, 2014 1:49 AM

This is certainly becoming an essential trait to have.

SITKOWSKA Marta's curator insight, March 18, 2014 5:59 AM

"...  because a single-minded person can’t predict variables they don’t know anything about" 

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ICC2014 Observation: Too Many Communication Silos - TechWhirl

ICC2014 Observation: Too Many Communication Silos - TechWhirl | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Al Martine's observations on Intelligent Content Conference 2014: The silos communicators are in are hurting their careers and their companies.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is a very good article by Al Martine of TechWhirl. I observed the same thing at ICC2014, yet I think Al articulates it well here. A must-read. 

--techcommgeekmom

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It’s Unclearly Defined, but Telecommuting Is Fast on the Rise

It’s Unclearly Defined, but Telecommuting Is Fast on the Rise | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Aided by technology, telecommuting is becoming more common, and while it has its challenges, studies show that it tends to create happier, better workers.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

As a telecommuter myself, I love my set-up. I've always gone into the office at least once a month minimally to make sure I've had some face time with my bosses (I have two) and be available to those who are in my home office. The commute to the office is about 50 miles away, which in NJ rush hour time is about 1.5 hours of driving on average, so I don't miss commuting in that respect. Nowadays, my commute is done once a week on average, which is still not too bad. I will agree with this article in that I think I get a lot more done and am more productive working from home. I don't think everyone is cut out for telecommuting, but for me, it works.

--techcommgeekmom

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Getty makes 40 million stock photos available for free | Photography | Creative Bloq

Getty makes 40 million stock photos available for free | Photography | Creative Bloq | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Go to http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/embed and click the blue link: "Search images available to embed"
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Thanks to RJ Jacquez for sharing this. This is good news for all bloggers! Good images are as important as text when writing blog content. I know that I'll be definitely taking advantage of this more often going forward!
--techcommgeekmom 

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Jim Baxter's curator insight, March 18, 2014 11:20 AM

Good news for teachers and students.

Tony Park's curator insight, March 26, 2014 6:10 PM

A positive photo download site

Tony Park

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9 Old-Fashioned Tech Terms You Still Use Today

9 Old-Fashioned Tech Terms You Still Use Today | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Here are nine ancient, obsolete tech terms, such as "dial" and "tune in," that we still say all the time.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Another interesting article about term usage. I don't know so much that they are "tech" terms, since they were all highly mainstream for a long time, but it's interesting to see which ones have stuck around. I think the only one I have never used at all is "clicker", but other than that one, I still use all the others. Read for the rest of them. 

--techcommgeekmom

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We're All Bilingual Now | Content Rules, Inc.

We're All Bilingual Now | Content Rules, Inc. | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
...a new problem for modern people: We must all be bilingual and use the appropriate language depending on context.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Max Swisher makes a good point about "lolspeak", and his mom shows that his point is valid. To me, it shows that due to technology, we may be going through another evolutionary stage of language, in a manner of speaking, so it should be interesting to see how this resolves itself so that "lolspeak" is actually understood clearly by all. Interesting article. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Kenneth Peterson's curator insight, March 14, 2014 3:24 PM

A different type of bilingualism!

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Authoring in Neutral English (And other restricted-dictionary adventures)

Authoring in Neutral English (And other restricted-dictionary adventures) | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it

Part I Most of us work with content that will be consumed by people across the globe. So it makes sense that we should understand the basics of how to optimize content for international use. In add...

Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Shawn Prenzlow is someone I hadn't heard before, but when the Content Wrangler and Content Rules hosted a talk by her today, I was glad that I sat in. The idea of thinking about the differences between different "styles" of English is a predominant topic in content strategy these days, and it was interesting to hear Shawn talk about her own experiences at Microsoft.  This is a great article, which is supplemented with the webinar/interview that I checked out today, which is found at:
https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/8975/101459

 

If you have an interest in "International" or "Standard" English, or even with translation and localization, you should definitely read this.

--techcommgeekmom 

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Low-Stress, High-Paying Jobs

Low-Stress, High-Paying Jobs | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Who doesn't want a high-paying job? Some of these high-pay jobs may come with high stress, but fortunately, we've found jobs that are low in stress and high in pay. Read on for jobs that offer flexibility, freedom, and good working conditions as well as hefty paychecks.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

My friend Craig Cardimon posted this, and pointed out #2 in the article. 

 

I think it truly depends on the job if it's low-stress or not. My last job, essentially doing the same thing, was very high stress, to the point that I thought I was having heart condition issues. My job now--similar job, but definitely significantly less stress involved, and I hope I can stay at this job a long time. High stress job--low paying. Low stress job--pays almost twice as much as the high stress job, plus I get to work primarily from home.  

 

In the end, I think a lot of it has to do with the workload and the attitudes of the company, especially towards all of its workers, contractors or employees, and having realistic expectations. But I think that's probably true of any job. 

 

--techcommgeekmom

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DKW Online's curator insight, March 9, 2014 5:46 AM

We need more of these

Terrence Bristol's curator insight, March 14, 2014 1:01 PM

Low Stress, High Paying Jobs - I am looking to earn over 200K per month as an Entrepreneur . That is just me but if you are comfortable with a day job and the salary listed in the article, knock yourself out.  

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Is there a product (FrameMaker) expert here? | The RoboColum(n)

How anyone can become proficient in an application’s use if they try.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is a great story about tech comm inititative by Colum McAndrew. His story is important not so much because he learned and thought about finding solutions using Framemaker (which is great in itself), but because it's about how he really thought about better solutions, and sought to find a way to make things more efficient and streamlined the process. It just so happens that Framemaker was the tool of choice in this instance. How often have you looked at a software tool and thought that it could be the answer to all the problems you've had with your documentation, even if it's something that would take a while to make it work? I think this story is definitely worth reading, and it inspires me.  I hope it inspires you, too. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century


Via Ana Cristina Pratas
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is a fantastic whitepaper about the value of participatory culture in elearning and other digital means of education. This is very much the approach I come from in my own standpoint of using social media in elearning and mlearning, and just gathering information in general. The document is not light reading, but it's very well-written, and seems fairly comprehensive. A must-read for those who are in education, elearning or mlearning. Really good stuff. 

--techcommgeekmom

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María Dolores Díaz Noguera's curator insight, February 12, 2014 12:51 PM

Confronting the Challeges of Participatory y Culture. Awesone

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, February 12, 2014 1:54 PM

The table of contents used questions which is interesting. It is a long read, but hopefully addresses issues openly.

 

niftyjock's curator insight, February 12, 2014 4:24 PM

This is an "occasional paper" (I love this idea that it's only occasional) apart from the name it has some old news and some new ideas around how to teach the new literacies.  

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It’s official: Apple sells more computers than all Windows PCs combined

It’s official: Apple sells more computers than all Windows PCs combined | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Apple’s Mac desktops and laptops may still count for a fraction of the global market for PCs, but when you tally up all the computers (iPhones, iPads, etc.) on which people actually get things done, the number of computers sold by Apple exceeds the number of Windows-based PCs shipped worldwide in the fourth quarter of...
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is important, because these numbers are dependent on Apple's mobile sales as well as their desktop/laptop sales. To me, it's proof that this is a more mobile world, and more have to catch up to it. It's amazing to me that more isn't being done to create content for mobile at this point--more than what's already out there.  When it comes to my desktop/laptop, I'm still firmly a PC gal on Windows 7 at the moment. But for mobile, as regular readers here know, I'm firmly an Apple gal, and can't imagine using anything else. I'm not saying that other things are bad, but I do love my iPhone and iPad immensely and have had less issues with them as compared to my husband and son who have Android devices. Just sayin'. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Popular Culture Can Inspire and Entice Girls in Technology - NYTimes.com

Popular Culture Can Inspire and Entice Girls in Technology - NYTimes.com | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Reverse the stereotypes that have kept girls out of science and technology. By Reshma Saujani.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is a really excellent article that came to me via NJIT Continuing Education's Facebook account. . I do relate to it--30+ years ago, there was very little out there for girls, let alone much computer curriculum in schools at all. I was lucky to get some of what I did. I had a knack for it, but it was never encouraged for me. My interests in social sciences were encouraged instead, and I don't regret having my BA in History. But, I just wonder what would've happened if I had gone in a different direction instead... at least girls these days have more options and more opportunities for STEM careers and coursework, and we should definitely encourage it. 

--techcommgeekmom

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10 Reasons Nobody Reads Your Blog and How to Fix It! | The Marketing Nut

10 Reasons Nobody Reads Your Blog and How to Fix It! | The Marketing Nut | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Build it and they will come! This statement couldn't be further from the truth when it comes to online marketing. It is amazing that some business and marketing
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Some of the tips in here echo tips made by Darin L. Hammond, but they are worth repeating! I certainly hope that I'm following most of these tips (I try to make this content worthwhile, at least!)

--techcommgeekmom

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Valary Oleinik's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:12 AM

I could use many of these same arguments when people ask me why their elearning is not being used or viewed.

Tony Park's curator insight, March 26, 2014 6:06 PM

Some great insights

 

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Technical Writing for the Cloud | Shoap Technical Services

Technical Writing for the Cloud | Shoap Technical Services | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Thanks to Craig Cardimon turned me onto this article. Much of the advice given is similar to best practice advice given for writing for mobile, but it takes it to another level. Another must-read article. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Working LEGO Computer Keyboard - YouTube

This is my latest project, a working computer keyboard custom built using LEGO pieces. The internal sensor pad and circuit board were taken from an old gener...
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Here's a great geeky thing that Guy Kawasaki posted on Google+. Someone built a computer keyboard almost entirely of Legos! In the video, he explains how he did it. If you have the time, patience, and the money to get the specialized keys, this would be a great project for a kid (or a big kid). Fun!

--techcommgeekmom

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Roimata Baker's curator insight, April 20, 2014 6:40 PM

Lego, cardboard, wood, the possibilities are endless.  Fun!

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How content curation helps social media publishing

How content curation helps social media publishing | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
As a social media manager, you're probably aware of many of the pains that come with staying visible online and managing many social media channels at once. Luckily, there's an answer to the woes of social media publishing: content curation. Here are 5 problems that social media publishers face and how content curation helps alleviate the pain. Continue reading →
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Here's another great blogging-related article for today. I'm an advocate of content curation--you reading this article on my blog is an example of this. This article provides good tips about how you should approach the content you want to curate.
--techcommgeekmom 

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New All-Digital Curriculums Hope to Ride High-Tech Push in Schoolrooms

New All-Digital Curriculums Hope to Ride High-Tech Push in Schoolrooms | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Amplify, part of News Corporation, is one of many companies releasing all-digital curriculums for sale to school districts.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Great article from the New York Times about how technology--especially mobile--is making its way more and more into school curriculums. An encouraging article for m-learning, for sure!

--techcommgeekmom

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Diana Costilla's curator insight, March 11, 2014 10:29 AM

La digitalización de libros entra a las escuelas en USA

Kenneth Peterson's curator insight, March 15, 2014 1:10 PM

An interesting article about the introduction of digital English curriculum options

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Grammatical Diversity in North American English | Content Rules, Inc.

Grammatical Diversity in North American English | Content Rules, Inc. | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Val Swisher has posted a fantastic article about localization that goes beyond mere translation. I share Val's interest in this, and find these types of linguistic studies fascinating. She spells it out well in this article. A must-read. 

--techcommgeekmom

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BigRep 3D printer can print whole pieces of furniture

BigRep 3D printer can print whole pieces of furniture | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
A brand new 3D printer has arrived on the scene with the biggest print bed of any consumer model -- large enough to print small pieces of furniture. Read this article by Michelle Starr on CNET.
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Here's another example of how 3D printing is the "wave of the future", and that it's going to be a skill that many people will need to learn in order for manufacturing progress. (In other words, stuff like this shows that learning 3D printing should be in school curriculums, along with coding!) Check it out!

--techcommgeekmom

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Valerie Adler's curator insight, March 3, 2014 10:31 AM

This exciting advance will throw up all sorts of questions, not least about intellectual property, but what fun it will be!

Jeong-Der Ho's curator insight, March 4, 2014 9:04 PM

it 3d prints BIGGER.

Aube Lebel's curator insight, March 24, 2014 3:56 AM

L'impression 3D n'est plus limitée à de petits objets ! 

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Google will explore bringing Fiber to 34 new cities including Portland and Atlanta

Google will explore bringing Fiber to 34 new cities including Portland and Atlanta | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Google just announced that it's invited cities in nine metro areas across the US to explore "what it would take" to bring its Google Fiber gigabit internet service to more locations. "People are...
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

More availability to internet conduits and competition will help drive down prices and make access more...accessible to the masses. It'll be interesting to see how Google Fiber works out!

--techcommgeekmom

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By September coding will be mandatory in British schools. What the hell, America?

By September coding will be mandatory in British schools. What the hell, America? | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
The British Government just put America to shame by mandating a programming curriculum in all primary and secondary schools. The UK Department of Education has been fiddling with the idea for awhil...
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is a very hot topic to me.  When I took a proposal writing course last summer, I chose to write a (fake) proposal seeking funding for initiatives to teach 3D printing at my son's school.  While doing the research on STEM curriculum initiatives to support my project proposal, there were a lot of articles about the UK curriculum changes to add more STEM topics to school curriculums starting at the kindergarten level, including the basics of computing and coding. I agree with this article that I don't understand why bigger initiatives aren't being brought to the forefront to make this happen in the US--or anywhere, for that matter. It was just a little bit of coding that I had learned as a child, and a little bit that I learned as an adult that helped me get to where I am today. I am not a developer, but I understand how computing works, and that helps me immensely as a technical communicator.  

 

Having a digital education doesn't mean only understanding how to use a laptop or tablet. It means also understanding how it works, and how to make it work--or at least have an understanding of how it works enough to respect what full-fledged developers do. If any country is going to get ahead, it needs to start now. 

 

I grew up when personal computers were just becoming mainstreamed. I remember my father bringing home an Apple II from work, and I learned some BASIC to draw pictures and such. I didn't learn elementary HTML until 15+ years later--and that was 17 years ago. My son is very used to having computers around him due to having computing parents. He thought one of his friends was "poor" because they didn't have a laptop or desktop out for everyone to use, or at least each person didn't have their own, like we do. (For my husband and I, we both brought our own desktops/laptops into the relationship, and then inherited another machine we let our son use. So, no, we aren't rich. LOL).  But he's very used to being around computers. Not all kids have this advantage, and yet in this day and age, they should. 

 

So, BRAVO to the UK for its forward thinking and initiative. It's going to be a big adjustment, and it'll be a lot of work to keep up with ever-moving technology, but it'll be advantageous to its student population in the end. The rest of the world needs to catch up. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Sony Nextep Computer Concept for 2020 by Hiromi Kiriki » Yanko Design

Sony Nextep Computer Concept for 2020 by Hiromi Kiriki » Yanko Design | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

This is a really cool concept! Imagine...no kid could say, "I forgot my homework," that's for sure. This truly seems like an interesting direction for mobile computing. Talk about portable, provided it's not too heavy on one's wrist! It would be interesting to see how content is written for a device like this--not a typical screen, as it's a hybrid of a smart-device screen and a traditional screen. Would "regular" desktop content be used, what we know as mobile content be used, or some sort of hybrid? It'll be interesting to see if this comes to fruition in several years. 

--techcommgeekmom

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Diana Costilla's curator insight, February 24, 2014 10:28 AM

Ultra Wow  :D       !!!Toma todo mi dinero Sony!!!

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Online Content Promotion through Twitter

Online Content Promotion through Twitter | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it
Blog post at Million Social Help :

No matter how Pulitzer-worthy your content may be, It wouldn’t have much value if none of your target demographic gets to read it. In [..]
Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Former TechCommGeekMom guest blogger, Allie Cooper, wrote this gem.  Great advice in here, Allie!
--techcommgeekmom 

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Sieg Holle's curator insight, February 16, 2014 10:01 AM

Brantford branding miscalculated social media lesson 

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UX the Bruce Lee Way | UX Magazine

UX the Bruce Lee Way | UX Magazine | M-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications | Scoop.it

As a UX professional I take inspiration from a great many things. Since I’m also a big pop culture geek, that’s the biggest well I draw from. I’ve read a lot of entertainment biographies lately, and the latest was about famed martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. As I was reading The Bruce Lee Story (written by his wife) I was pleased to note that he, too, believed in borrowing ideas and techniques from other fields.

Danielle M. Villegas's insight:

Thanks to Rick Sapir for posting this on Google+.  As a big Bruce Lee fan and as a "retired" martial artist myself (black belt in taekwondo), I was interested to see how the author of this article would tie together UX strategy and Bruce Lee philosophies in his analogy, and he did an incredibly  excellent job of it. Definitely read this. It's easy reading, but it's intuitive reading, too. 

--techcommgeekmom

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