At some point, you’ve probably developed documentation to attract clients, educate customers, or provide instruction on the products or services you offer. Considering the effort put into creating the material, as well as the pool of expertise behind it, you might think about re-working some of your content to produce a general release eBook.
You may have heard the term “gamification” floating around and wondered, “What is that?” The answer: Gamification is the new buzz word representing the idea of incorporating gaming concepts and techniques into non-game activities in order to drive a desired behavior. Marketing campaigns can use game mechanics to drive customers to their websites, sales agents can participate in games to drive competition and increase sales, and in our industry, documentation and training groups can build game-like training materials to fully engage the learner.
I used to take Microsoft Paint for granted. I saw it every once in a while in the Accessories folder when I was looking for the Calculator or Notepad but never really used it. Then I starting using screen capture programs at work to take screenshots for user guides, manuals, online helps, etc. When I was on my personal computer, I had no idea how to take a screenshot without a fancy program, and then I finally remembered Paint. Since then, I’ve used it for screenshots, creating and editing pictures/photos, and testing.
It’s quite often that I’m confronted with one of the most typical questions of today: so what do you do? My reply is that I do marketing for a technical writing company. The inquirer’s response: “cool” or “what is technical writing?” and I’ve never really had a good answer.
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly Googling anything and everything and I frequently end up on Wikipedia’s website. One day I was looking at all of the possible languages I could read an entry in and noticed “Simple English” was one of the options. I was reading about something complex and “Simple English” simplified the topic and made it easier to understand (you could say it’s a “red carpet” to the “English” entry).
This week we had an opportunity to claim some free advertising space in a somewhat non-traditional way, and I’m going to tell you how we did it.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, hotlinking is when a website other than your own uses images that reside on your servers by linking to them directly. Even if you aren’t concerned about protecting the content, this is still a cause for concern since you give up a little bit of your bandwidth (which you paid for) every time the other website loads that image, without getting anything in return. It’s like if your neighbor powered their toaster by running an extension cord to an outlet in your garage – not much impact on your bill if it happens once, but it sure adds up when they do it over and over every single day. (The general consensus on the Internet is that this is a Bad Thing.)
So, you ask… how do I turn this into the free advertising that you speak of?