CJ Walker and Fiona Cullinan
This is the Firehead Community blog, where we discuss job skills, trends in the industry, the future of content.
Ellis Pratt and Ginny Critcher
Cherryleaf and Firehead work together as partners, so of course I appreciate their content a lot. Ellis and Ginny are experts in user assistance, in all its variations. They offer training and recruitment in techcomm in the UK. Ellis has also started the Cherryleaf Podcast, where he interviews some pretty interesting people in all facets of our field.
Paul Ballard and the 3di team
3di are experts in localization as well as techcomm. Localization runs a bit ahead of techcomm when it comes to technology and structured content. 3di have a network of global contacts and in an amazing variety of languages managed by multi-lingual project managers and localization engineers. They also specialize in technical communication and are tools experts. Firehead and 3di are partners.
Kaveer Beharee is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Ubiquity AI – a company specializing in AI chatbots and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Kaveer is also an expert in NLP, and we work on several projects together using this in the world of new technology. Ubiquity and Firehead are partners.
World Economic Forum – Fourth Industrial Revolution reporting
The most current analysis of strategic trends and research about how AI will change our world. Specific examples of what the robots and automation are actually doing.
Joe Gollner and Marie Girard
A seminal blog post from Joe Gollner of Gnoxtycs Research Inc, including a model he developed with Marie Girard of IBM of Content 4.0. He explains the context so well from the history to its current and future uses.
Information 4.0 Consortium
This is the official blog site of the Info4.0 Consortium. It’s still a bit “young” but some very good minds go there to share.
I discuss the future of the techcomm job market in the age of robots. Spoiler: it’s good news, if you keep up.
This is from the Info4.0 blog. Marie is so clear and talented at explaining. I recommend this post as a great way to start your journey.
A Customer and a chatbot walk into a bar…
(31 May 2019)
“Every snippet is snippet one” A great overview blogpost of what’s coming for techcomm, including emphasizing that there is a difference between a bot, a chatbot and a robot (with a reference to more about those differences).
Crossing Boundaries: Implications for the Content Industries
Authors : Ray Gallon and Neus Lorenzo Galés
A white paper for Adobe on the future of content. Content professionals are facing the breakdown of traditional boundaries that affect their subject matter as well as their professional functions.
Blog post on the Firehead blog by Ray Gallon
Ray describes how he sees the future of techcomm in the next ten years. In these changing times and technology and market, it’s encouraging. He says: “The best time to be a technical communicator is still ahead.”
Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits
Rahel Bailie and Noz Urbina
Back in 2013, Rahel and Noz authored a new and necessary kind of content strategy book: one about making the business case for content strategy to the decision makers. After so much talk about what they said back then, still holds today. A good read.
Letting Go of the Words
This was the first book I read about moving content to the web, back in the early 2000s. It made a huge impression on me about how digital is different. It started a whole cascade of research and practice that I’m still chasing! Ginny’s book has stood the test of time because it is clear and well written.
Peter Morville is a very smart man. He makes an articulate case for how so many things are connected, and digital is overlapping opportunities even more. It’s interesting to see things in a larger context – I find it inspires my work.
The Elements of User Experience
Jesse James Garret
I liked this book because Jesse James Garret (in addition to his cool name), puts forth the tenants of user experience in a concise, manageable book. This is where I started my journey.
Content Strategy for the Web
This is THE reference book for web content strategy. I read it back in 2009 and still use it as a reference when talking to clients and making proposals.
Why you need a content team. And how to build one
This book is one of the newer ones on my list, but it has proven invaluable for me promoting content to businesses. It helps me recruit because she articulates content roles – and their overlaps – so thoroughly that I can get into my customers’ minds when they explain their needs and come up with original, bespoke suggestions to solve their problems.
Strengths Finder 2.0
When you’re looking to re-invent your professional work, a careful self-inventory is vital. There are lots of good books and consulting info out there, but this is one I find down-to-earth useful.
The Accidental Taxonomist
I liked this book because she makes a good argument for where taxonomy fits in to corporate needs – and why so little is known about it. Also, it makes a good case for what taxonomy really is and can be used for, in world where it’s become a bit of a buzzword misused by people talking about organization or structure in general. Taxonomy has a real and valuable approach and practice in data categorization for the upcoming AI age, enabling many new technologies to function on more levels.
Get Content, Get Customers
This was my first book about content marketing. Good thing is was someone as intelligent and ethical as Joe Pulizzi! He explains well what it is and how it can be used for genuine engagement. I see a lot of misuse out there, and Joe shows how and why it can be done right, for the good of everyone.
Clout (and The Content Advantage Clout 2.0)
Colleen Jones is also a very smart woman who loves content. Her books and blogs have helped me identify and articulate content problems to hundreds of customers. She identifies issues on the cutting edge, is engaging and articulate, and supplies solid real-world suggestions.
Every Page is Page One
This book was an eye-opener to me when it came out. (I like the title too.) The idea of deconstructing content for a different strategy – to create better content is not new, but I learned how it’s different, and empowering – in context of the web. Mark made a great cautionary tale about automation being good for eliminating repeatable manual tasks, but at the end, the user has to be the center of the experience. The discussion is still going…
So Good They Can’t Ignore You
The subtitle is “Why skills trump passion in the quest for the work you love”. This is one of those helpful books for career changers who want to explore new directions a little more deeply than just “follow you passion”. There are many reasons why skills bring job satisfaction and he covers this nicely.
This is to the field of content design, what Kristina Halvorson's “Content Strategy for the Web” was to content strategy – a reference to keep on your shelf and refer to over and over again. Content design as a field seems to have a different meaning in the UK as the way it is being used in the US. I’m still researching this…
How to Make Sense of Any Mess
“Identify the mess, state your intent, face reality, choose a direction, measure the distance, play with structure, prepare to adjust.” I love that.
The Industries of the Future
This is a real future-of-work geek book! Alec Ross looks at global trends and changes as well as developments in technology to analyze how they will affect the labor market of the future. While it is not techcomm-specific, we will be writing both about and as an intregal part of the systems in this new technology.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
Mr. Schwab is the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. He describes the Fourth Industrial Revolution from the standpoint of a global economist. He describes its effects on society, government, business and individuals. It’s good reading for context about the AI age.
Shaping the Future of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
In this book, Mr. Schwab drills a little deeper into what we can do now to help shape a better future for humans in the AI age. It’s not science fiction – he’s looking at social and leadership issues. Will AI and robotics put millions of people out of work, or will they help us augment our human potential?