Technical Writers

A technical writer (also called a technical communicator) is a professional writer who engages in technical writing wherein he or she designs, creates, and maintains technical documentation. This documentation includes online help, user guides, Instructions for Use or IFU manuals, white papers, design specifications, system manuals etc.

Engineers, scientists, and other professionals may also produce technical writing, usually handing their work to a professional technical writer for proofreading, editing, and formatting. A technical writer produces technical documentation for technical, business, and consumer audiences.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_writer

May also be called: Assembly Instructions Writers; Documentation Writers; Handbook Writers; Manual Writers; Scientific Writers; Specifications Writers; Technical Communicators

What Would I Do?

From about the time of World War I, the occupation of Technical Writer grew out of the need for readable documentation in the military, electronics, aerospace, and manufacturing industries. The highly jargonized writing style of the scientists needed to be more accessible to the decision makers in order for the latter to make informed choices. In other words, Technical Writers put technical information into easily understandable language.

Technical Writers compose communication from product developers for users of the products. They must write in a concise and easy-to-read manner for consumer publications or in highly specialized language for experts, such as scientists and engineers. They also prepare product documentation, such as operating and maintenance manuals, catalogs, assembly instructions, project proposals, and training materials.

Technical Writers may serve as part of a team conducting usability studies to help improve the design of a product that is in the prototype stage. They plan and edit technical materials and oversee the preparation of illustrations, photographs, diagrams, and charts, contributing heavily to the overall layout of publications. Technical Writers also are found in the information technology industry, writing operating instructions for online help and documentation for computer programs.

Technical Writers must be proficient in computers and software, such as computer aided design (CAD), desktop publishing, office suite, and word processing.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

Skill Definitions

Below is a definition for each skill.

  • Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Written Expression: The ability communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Oral Comprehension: The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension: The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Communications and Media: Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Information Ordering: The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Technical Writers usually work at a desk in an office. While some Writers work in comfortable, private offices, others work in noisy rooms filled with the sounds of keyboards, printers, and the voices of other staff. During the planning and production of publications, Writers may be required to travel to other locations to discuss a project with others.

Some Writers keep regular office hours, either to maintain contact with sources and editors or to establish a writing routine, but most Writers set their own hours. Writers must also be willing to work evenings, nights, or weekends to produce a piece acceptable to an editor or client by the publication deadline. Deadline pressures and long, erratic work hours—often part of the daily routine in these jobs—may cause stress or fatigue. In addition, the use of computers for extended periods may cause some individuals to experience back pain, eyestrain, or fatigue. However, proper ergonomic procedures will reduce the likelihood of these hazards.

Union membership for Technical Writers depends on whether the company is unionized. Freelance Technical Writers can join the National Writers Union.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Technical Writer may appeal to those who enjoy working with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. Technical Writers also usually enjoy working with forms, designs, and patterns.

Technical Writers need to have excellent communication skills, especially written, as well as strong listening and learning skills to process the highly technical and scientific information imparted to them.

Wages

The median wage in 2011 for Technical Writers in California was $80,386 annually or $38.65 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

What is the Job Outlook?

The demand for Technical Writers is expected to increase because of the continuing expansion of scientific and technical information, especially in California, and the need to communicate it to others.

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

Many employers prefer applicants with a four-year college degree in communications, journalism, or English, or those possessing a degree or certificate in technical writing. Increasingly, technical writing requires a degree in, or some knowledge about, a specialized field—for example, engineering, business, or one of the sciences. A background in web design, computer graphics, or other technology field is progressively practical, because of the growing use of graphics and representational design in developing technical documentation.

Employers select trainees from among technicians who have background in science, military equipment, and communications. Potential trainees should have good communication skills and be able to convey scientific and technical information accurately and clearly.

Experience

Employers generally prefer two to four years of writing experience, usually of a technical nature, as well as extensive practical experience in desktop publishing, graphic design, or project management.

Continuing Education

Technical writing requires people who are not only skilled as Writers but are able to keep pace with changing technology. Today, many Technical Writers produce work for online and multimedia publications which require additional specialized software skills.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Advancement for Technical Writers is somewhat limited. In larger organizations, Technical Writers can advance to become information designers, project managers, or senior Technical Writers. Promotion to these positions often takes the form of increased responsibility and pay rises.

Source: http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov

Summary of the “Communicating with Social Technologies” Lecture

My Professor Agnew’s Lecture: http://people.senecac.on.ca/beth.agnew/

Collaboration is people working together to achieve common goals. It’s TEAMWORK. It gets people interacting with each other for a common purpose. And we can have a number of different people collaborating for work, and people collaborating on a social basis as well. For example, if you are interested in a particular thing, you and other people can share that interest and activity regardless of time or space. It is a very exciting way of using social networking technologies to collaborate in the fashion we can help each other. It is a synergy that happens when people work together and social networking technologies will allow this collaboration. These (wikis, Wikipedia and open source (Linux, Apache and Firefox) are very powerful.

Social action is what happens when people work together to create or accomplish something, or change something for the benefit of society, the benefit of those of us who live in a community, a region, a country and even the world. We see social action in a number of ways, for example we see social action on the environment. People are collaborating together, sharing information, communicating with each, other bringing forward issues, taking action on issues, on behalf of the environment. Social action happens through political campaigns, a union, a trade union is an organization for social action. There are many ways that people can take action for the benefit of society, for the benefit of each other. Social networking technologies really make this much easier when people can use these technologies. In a greater sense, social media allow us to work together on things that need attention.

Citizen Journalism is really takes collaboration and social action to the next level, what we’re doing with social networking technologies is presenting our personal opinions or thoughts, on blogs or personal profiles the stance that we take on things and we are presenting this in public. Citizen journalism often includes opinion, where normally the media tries to be objective, but that’s not always the case. The original purpose of the media was to present the facts in an objective form so that people can make up their own minds. They spread like a virus – viral marketing. Viral communication, this is exactly what happens when an idea is picked up and spread very quickly via the Web through these networking technologies that allow you to spread ideas very quickly. So if citizen journalism is something that appeals to you may want to use your blog.

The long tail is the name for a long-known feature of some statistical distributions (such as Zipf, power laws, Pareto distributions and general Lévy distributions). The feature is also known as heavy tails, fat tails, power-law tails, or Pareto tails. In “long-tailed” distributions a high-frequency or high-amplitude population is followed by a low-frequency or low-amplitude population which gradually “tails off” asymptotically. The events at the far end of the tail have a very low probability of occurrence. As a rule of thumb, for such population distributions the majority of occurrences (more than half, and where the Pareto principle applies, 80%) are accounted for by the first 20% of items in the distribution. What is unusual about a long-tailed distribution is that the most frequently-occurring 20% of items represent less than 50% of occurrences; or in other words, the least-frequently-occurring 80% of items are more important as a proportion of the total population.

Social media is “an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos, and audio.” The word blog is irrelevant. What’s important is that it is now common, and will soon be expected, that every intelligent person (and quite a few unintelligent ones) will have a media platform where they share what they care about with the world.”

Demographics are the most recent statistical characteristics of a population. These types of data are used widely in sociology (and especially in the subfield of demography), public policy, and marketing. Commonly examined demographics include gender, race, age, disabilities, mobility, home ownership, employment status, and even location. Demographic trends describe the historical changes in demographics in a population over time (for example, the average age of a population may increase or decrease over time). Both distributions and trends of values within a demographic variable are of interest. Demographics are about the population of a region and the culture of the people there.

Psychographics should not be confused with demographics. For example, historical generations are defined by psychographic variables like attitudes, personality formation, and cultural touchstones. The traditional definition of the “Baby Boom Generation” has been the subject of much criticism[by whom?] because it is based on demographic variables where it should be based on psychographic variables[citation needed]. While all other generations are defined by psychographic variables, the Boomer definition is based on a demographic variable: the fertility rates of its members’ parents.

Branding yourself means that you create the right kind of emotional response you want people to have when they hear your name, see you online, or meet you in person. This book explains how to use social media to invent or reinvent yourself and how to build an online presence using social networks and blogs. You promote yourself so you can get even more opportunities, which you can tell people about you. Self-promotion which is also called “branding yourself” will help you make those important connections that will further your career and improve your professional standing.

Below is a List of Ways You Can Start Branding Your Website:

  • Domain name: Use your domain name as part of your branding strategy. Put it on all of your marketing material.
  • Signature: Implement your Unique Selling Proposition into your signature. Include it with every email you send out. This will be further exposure to your brand.
  • Electronic Magazine Articles: This is a great way to get your message out about who you are and what services or products you offer. This is a free service that allows you to include your defining message and unique selling points. Here is where you include your slogan and why you are the only one that provides a solution to their problem, or a cure for their pain. At the end of your article put your name and a link to your web site, with short teaser copy to get people to click on your link.
  • Social Media Sites: With thousands of sites and forums to choose from and more popping up every day, the demand for quality content is immense. Make sure you define your demographics for these sites. There’s no use wasting time blogging on one site to find out that this is not your target market. Do your research. Time is money!
  • Thank you page: You should have an online form with a free giveaway to capture your website visitors contact information. Set up an auto responder with a “thank you” page to thank your visitors for visiting your website. This is an excellent place to position your logo and slogan. Don’t clutter with lots of banners and marketing material. Keep it plain and simple. Give away more free quality information with a link back to your site. It’s much easier to keep an existing customer then it is to find a new one.
  • Auto responders: Auto responders are great as they work 24 hours a day without any intervention on your part. Use them to send visitor’s free reports, articles, list of links, etc. And add your branding copy, logo, slogan, USP etc. Both at the top and bottom of the auto responder message include a link back to your Web site.

The Five Key Points to Branding:

  1. WHO – Who is your target market. Who can use your product?
  2. WHAT – What are some of the challenges you face to get your message out?
  3. WHERE – Where is your target market. Where and how can you find them?
  4. WHEN – When is your target date to launch your business or website?
  5. WHY – Why should your target market care about you?

5 Cs of Good Writing:

  1. Clear – easy to understand, plain language
  2. Concise – no extra, unnecessary words or information
  3. Correct – accurate, honest
  4. Complete – nothing missing, all questions are answered, thorough
  5. Considerate – takes the audience into consideration, is respectful of the reader’s time

Useful Sites:

Main points of the Groundswell Book

The groundswell is a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations. (P9)

The groundswell trend is not a flash in the pan. This is an important, irreversible, completely different way for people to relate to companies and to each other. (P10)

The groundswell comes from the collision of three forces: people, IT technologies and online economics. These three trends – people’s desire to connect, new interactive technologies, and online economics- have created a new era. This is the fast-growing phenomenon which is called the groundswell. (P10)

Groundswell Thinking

  • Marketing through social networks
  • Enabling your customers to support each other
  • Gaining advantage from the groundswell

Offline, people don’t change behaviors quickly, so companies can develop loyal customers. Online, people can switch behaviors as soon as they see something better. It’s the force of these millions of people, combined with the rapid evolution of new technologies by trial and error that makes the groundswell so protean in form and so tough for traditional businesses to deal with.

The Long Tail has pointed out shelf space creates far less power when there’s nearly infinite selection online. (P13)

The principle for mastering the groundswell is concentrated on the relationships, not the technologies. In the groundswell, relationships are everything. The way people connect with each other – the community that is created – determines how the power shifts.

The big principle versus the component technologies: First, the technologies change rapidly. Second, the technologies are not the point.  (P18)

  • You must understand “how bodies move”, not just learn a single block or throw.
  • You must develop a feel for the groundswell.
  • Mastering the groundswell: concentrate on the relationships, not the technologies.
  • In the groundswell, relationships are everything.

Groundswell technologies and how to use them (P18)

  1. How they work
  2. How many people use them
  3. How they form part of the groundswell
  4. How they threaten institutional power
  5. What you can do about them

The blogosphere means that for any given topic, there’s a sort of running commentary. The cross-linked blog posts cause these posts to rise in the Google rankings because of the importance Google places on links in its search algorithms. The blogosphere is made up of all blogs and their interconnections. The term implies that blogs exist together as a connected community (or as a collection of connected communities) or as a social.

Wikis are sites that support multiple contributors with a shared responsibility for creating and maintaining content, typically focused around text and pictures.

RSS and widgets can be excellent marketing tools, especially when it comes to pushing out regularly updated content to your customers

Twitter: Send short messages anytime they want. Twitter is intriguing for several reasons.

The groundswell technology test (Evaluating new technologies)

  • Does it enable people to connect with each other in new ways? The groundswell is about making connections.
  • Is it effortless to sign up for? The ones that succeed are also easy to connect up to technologies people already have.
  • Does it shift power from institutions to people?
  • Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself? You need to create value for your followers to sustain yours.
  • Is it an open platform that invites partnerships? This determines whether a product will wither or flourish.

People collaborating: These (Wiki, Wikipedia and open source (Linux, Apache and Firefox) are very powerful.

The groundswell has two key ingredients: technology and people

The Social Technographics Profile: To truly understand the groundswell, you need to dissect and quantify the dynamics that separate different participants. Your strategy must also account for how groups differ. That is goal of the Social Technographics Profile.

  • A, B and C are all active members of the ABC community, but their roles are different.
  • A is creating, B is reacting, and C is reading. In fact, it’s the interactions among them.

The Social Technographics Ladder (P41)

  • Creators, at the top of the ladder, are online consumers who at least once a month publish a blog or article online, maintain a web page, or upload video or audio to sites. (Publish a blog, own web pages, upload video, audio and music you created and write article)
  • Critics react to other content online, posting comments on blogs or online forums, posting ratings or reviews, or editing wikis. (Update status on a social networking site, ratings, review and contribute)
  • Collectors: use RSS feeds add tag, vote for web sites online and add “tags” to we pages or photos
  • Joiners: maintain profile on a social networking site, visit social networking sites (SNS)
  • Spectators: read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch video from other users, read online forums, customer ratings, reviews and tweets.
  • Inactives: none of these activities

* The real power in the social technographics profile is this: with it we can understand how social technologies are being adopted by any group of people. If that group happens to be your customers, you can use their social technographics profile to build an appropriate social strategy.

Social technographics profile

Many companies approach social computing as a list of technologies to be deployed as needed – a blog here, a podcast there – to achieve a marketing goal. But a more coherent approach is to start with your target audience and determine what kind of relationship you want to build with them, based on what they are ready for. Forrester categorizes social computing behaviors into a ladder with six levels of participation; we use the term “Social Technographics” to describe analyzing a population according to its participation in these levels. Brands, Web sites, and any other company pursuing social technologies should analyze their customers’ Social Technographics first, and then create a social strategy based on that profile.

At the heart of Social Technographics is consumer data that looks at how consumers approach social technologies – not just the adoption of individual technologies. We group consumers into six different categories of participation – and participation at one level may or may not overlap with participation at other levels. We use the metaphor of a ladder to show this, with the rungs at the higher end of the ladder indicating a higher level of participation.

Alpha Moms are comfortable with technology, interested in parenting, and have above-average incomes. An article in USA today describes them this way: Alpha moms are educated, tech-savvy, mommy excellence. She is a multitasker, a kid-centric and hands-on. She may or may not work outside the home, but at home, she views motherhood as a job that can be mastered with diligent research.

Alpha Mom is a working mom who is trying to balance her job, children and her stay-at-home husband. Alpha Moms, a group that includes mothers with above-average incomes and a favorable attitudes towards technology. Their profile is shown below. (P47)

The notable thing about the profile of Alpha Moms, as we describe in Chapter 3 of Groundswell, is that they’re more likely to be Critics than Creators – a fact that turned out to be important for the media company that was planning a community for them.

* Proper services are forums, ratings, and reviews reactive forms of groundswell content.

The global power of social technographics profiles (P49)

The fundamental emotions that drive people to the groundswell – the desire to connect, to create, to stay in touch, and to help each other – are universal. As a result, we can use the same Social Technographics Profile groups, applying them by demographic variables, or behaviors, anywhere in the world.

Why do people participate in the groundswell? (P60)

Keeping up friendships, Making new friends, Succumbing to social pressure from existing friends, Paying it forward, The altruistic impulse, The prurient impulse, The creative impulse, The validation impulse, The affinity impulse.

The POST method: people, objectives, strategy, and technology (P67)

  • People: What are your customers ready for?
  • Objectives: What are your goals?
  • Strategy: How do you want relationships with your customers to change?
  • Technology: What applications should you build?

Five objectives that companies can pursue in the groundswell (P69)

  1. Listening (Research): Use the groundswell for research and to better understand your customers. This goal is best suited for companies that are seeking customer insights for use in marketing and development. Ongoing monitoring of your customers’ conversations
  2. Talking (Marketing): Use the groundswell to spread messages about your company. Choose this goal if you’re ready to extend your current digital marketing initiatives (banner ads, search ads and email) to more interactive channel. Participating in and stimulating two-way conversations
  3. Energizing (Sales): Find your most enthusiastic customers, and use the groundswell to supercharge the power of their word of mouth. This works best for companies that know that they have brand enthusiasts to energize. Making it possible for your enthusiastic customers to help sell each other
  4. Supporting (Support): Set up groundswell tools to help your customers support each other. This is effective for companies with significant support costs and customers who have a natural affinity for each other. Enabling your customers to support each other
  5. Embracing (Development): Integrate your customers into the way your business works, including using their help to design your products. This is the most challenging of the five goals, and it is best suited to companies that have succeeded with one of the other four goals already. Helping your customers work with each other to come up with ideas to improve your products and services

Thinking through a strategy (P71)

  • Create a plan that starts small but has room to grow.
  • Think through the consequences of your strategy.
  • Put somebody important in charge of it.
  • Use great care in selecting your technology and agency partners.

Two listening strategies (P81)

There are lots of ways to listen to the groundswell. To gain real insight, you are better off working with vendors that provide professional tools. There are two basic ways to do this:

  1. Set up your own private community
  2. Begin brand monitoring.

Listening to the Groundswell explains how to the groundswell for research purpose with tools like private communities and brand monitoring. (P93)

What it means to you, here are six reasons why:

  1. Find out what your brand stands for.
  2. Understand how buzz is shifting.
  3. Save research money; increase research responsiveness.
  4. Find the sources of influence in your market.
  5. Manage PR crises.
  6. Generate new product and marketing ideas.

Succeed with listening to the groundswell: (P95)

  1. Check the social technographics profile of your customers.
  2. Start small, think big.
  3. Make sure your listening vendor has dedicated an experienced team to your effort.
  4. Choose a senior person to interpret this information and integrate it.

How listening will change your organization (P96)

  1. Change the power structure of you organization
  2. The instant availability of information from customers
  3. The no-more-being-stupid factor

Talking with the Groundswell shows how to use the groundswell for marketing and PR, with techniques like user-generated video, blogs, and communities.

The marketing funnel (P101)

In traditional marketing theory, consumers are driven into the big end through awareness activities like advertise like advertising. They proceed through stages – including consideration, preference, and action – to become buyers. Marketers have little control over what happens in the middle stages, but the influence of the groundswell is heaviest there. “Eyeballs → Awareness → Consideration → Preference → Action → Loyalty → Buyers”

Techniques for talking with the groundswell (P102)

  1. Post a viral video
  2. Engage in social networks and user-generated content sites (UGC)
  3. Join the blogsphere
  4. Create a community

When brands should use social networks (P107)

  1. Use the Social Technographics Profile to verify that your customers are in social networks.
  2. Move forward if people love your brand.
  3. See what’s out there already.
  4. Create a presence that encourages interaction.

Tips for successful blogging (P115)

Start by listening. Determine a goal for the blog. Estimate the ROI. Develop a plan. Rehearse. Develop an editorial process. Design the blog and its connection to your site. Develop a marketing plan so people can find the blog. Remember, blogging is more than writing. Be honest.

Energizing the Groundswell illustrates a key strategy charging up your customers and enabling them to recruit their peers.

Word of mouth succeeds because: (P130)

  1. It is believable.
  2. It is self-reinforcing.
  3. It is self-spreading.
  • Note that friends’ opinions rank higher than reviews in a newspaper, in a magazine, or on TV.
  • Note also that 60% trust reviews on a retailer’s site – reviews from people whom they have never met.

Techniques for energizing enthusiasts (P134)

  1. There are three basic techniques for connecting with your brand’s enthusiasts:
  2. Tap into customers’ enthusiasm with ratings and reviews.
  3. Create a community to energize your customers.
  4. Participate in and energize online communities of your brand enthusiasts.

Advice for energizers (P147)

Here are five steps for applying the techniques of energizing to your own organization.

  1. Figure out if you want to energize the groundswell.
  2. Check the social technographics profile of your customers.
  3. Ask yourself, “What is my customer’s problem”.
  4. Pick a strategy that fits your customers’ social technographics profile and problems.
  5. Don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul.

Helping the Groundswell support itself is about saving money and gaining insight by helping your customers support each other. Clearly, the groundswell is a fantastic support system. Enable people to connect with each other, and they will, making life easier for both themselves and you.

Practical advice for getting started with community (P174)

  1. Start small, but plan for a larger presence.
  2. Reach out to your most active customers.
  3. Plan to drive traffic to your community.
  4. Build in a reputation system.
  5. Let your customers lead you.

Embracing the groundswell is about finding practical ways to tap into customers to help you innovate now – to increase the chance of developing some – thing your customers want. And it’s not just about better products and processes. It’s about innovating faster. (P183)

Crowdsourcing is all the rage right now. It’s especially popular with advertising agencies, which are increasingly asking people to create television ads as part of some sort of contest. (P190)

starts with decentralization, by sourcing tasks traditionally performed by specific individuals to a group of people or community (crowd) through an open call. In this way it is different from sites such as Stack Overflow, Twitter or Facebook, which do not have open call for contributions.

How the groundswell spreads with a customer-centric organization (P198)

There are three essential elements to this transformation. First, it’s important to take this step by step. Second, each of these stepping-stones leads in a natural progression to the next step. Third, you must have executive support.

How can I personally use the power of social media to improve my life?

Social networking can be an essential part of my career building. If I use social technologies efficiently and appropriately they bring a lot of benefits to me. Social technologies such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs are all very powerful and flexible online social media tools. Social media helps in many different ways to build opportunities such as online brand and presence. The three main reasons why I have to use the power of social media are linked to branding yourself (Blog), acquiring or sharing information (Twitter and LinkedIn) and making or maintaining personal connections (Facebook).

Mailing a resume and hoping for the best simply puts my fate in the hands of others. To stay in the running, I have to take control by keeping my information fresh and current in real time. Online social networking is the best way to do this. I promote myself so I can get even more opportunities. Self-promotion, which is also called “branding yourself”, helped me make those important connections in my career and my professional standing. For example, I just wrote down my positive thinking, my future plans, the passion of my studies, my work and my engineering skills. Someone who visited my blog offered me a job after reading them. Thus, I strongly realized the power of social media from this experience. Social media can improve my life, help me achieve my goals and help me to find a suitable job. WordPress is a good tool to promote my skills, experience and knowledge. I can use it as an online resume and promote myself well.

The second reason is to share ideas and network with other people for mutual benefit. It is a very exciting way of using social networking technologies to collaborate with each other. We can help each other online anytime and anywhere. It is a synergy that happens when people work together and social networking technologies will allow us to work together on things that need attention. I use LinkedIn as an information-sharing tool. It has professional groups where I can engage in interesting discussions and where I can find jobs related to the specific group. It also can give me valuable insight on how to get a job and get me noticed by other people engaging and reading the discussion mainly for information sharing and discussion topics. Twitter is also breaking news, announcements, or just commenting briefly. I can obtain recent news and trend from schools, professors, engineering clubs and job agencies from it.

The third reason is for keeping in touch with my current and former peers, colleagues, educational contacts, and anyone else interested in my work and my studies. I can find valuable relationships in my field of work and studies. Relationships are built during the education process, and social media provides the me with an opportunity to maintain those I am able to build my connections with people I know through school, university, work or private. My network can, for instance, post jobs on their wall or share job offers or other interesting information. To increase my connections quickly, Facebook is a good tool not only for making more personal connections and to acquire recent news and trend, but also keep in touch with my family, colleagues and friends.

To sum up, each type of social media has strengths and weaknesses. I should utilize the strengths and make up for the weakness. Otherwise, it could cost me my job and unexpectedly damage my career. Social media participation is essential today in networking with professional contacts, branding yourself, making new contacts, recruiting employees, and keeping in touch with the world. If I am not participating in the top social media and networking sites the world is leaving me behind. It enables me to easily stay in touch with family, friends and coworkers in one location.

updated on: 08 Mar, 2012

My “Communicating with Social Technologies” Studies

When I was in a company, about a year ago, I couldn’t use any social programs such as Facebook, Twitter, MSN and so on for security reasons. Also, I had a negative image of social technologies. I thought that they were such time killers. Many people love to use them and spend a lot of time on the social media. I didn’t want to be one who uses them a lot. When I was using these programs, I felt that I was missing something at the same time from my life. I thought that it was better to take care of my family and friends face to face with all my heart.

However, after studying about communicating with social technologies, my conservative thoughts are already changed. I didn’t know their effective utilization. If I use them efficiently and appropriately, the social technologies bring a lot of profits to me. I will use them as  strategic tools not only for sharing work and study experience with others, but also for making more personal connections to acquire knowledge and skills.

My applicable planning of these social technologies is:

  • WordPress.com: To share my engineering studies and work experience
  • Twitter.com: To obtain recent news and trend from schools, professors, engineering clubs and job agency
  • Facebook.com: To keep in touch with family and friends

To use the social technologies efficiently and appropriately, I recommend these books:

  • Groundswell: The groundswell is a social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations. It is a kind of modern marketing book. This book shows how to turn the force of customers connecting to their own advantage. I invested approximately 20 hours to closely reading it during the last three weeks.
  • Branding Yourself: Branding yourself means that you create the right kind of emotional response you want people to have when they hear your name, see you online, or meet you in person. This book explains how to use social media to invent or reinvent yourself and how to build an online presence using social networks and blogs. You promote yourself so you can get even more opportunities, which you can tell people about you. Self-promotion which is also called “branding yourself” will help you make those important connections that will further your career and improve your professional standing.
  • WordPress for Dummies: It is a guidebook to make a blog including how to create, maintain and customize the blog. WordPress is Powerful and sophisticated platform. It is open source software, which means there is a community of users and developers working to improve it and add new features.

It is very important to have the good writing skills for your articles. For improving my writing skills, I regularly visit the learning center which is provided by Seneca College. Also, I ask my friends and professors in my school to correct my writing.

I created my blog three weeks ago and thought about how to use it efficiently. As long as I spend time on my blog, it is getting better. I need more and more time to make it look better. Also, I often visit the course website (http://CUL203YAWinter2012.webs.com) more than twice a day to read and write the forum posts to get some ideas for the posts of my blog by sharing my ideas with peers.

Left is My Blog, Right is My Class

Left is My Blog, Center is My Two Computers, Right is My Class

Here are useful websites for my studies: