DailyAfirmation (dailyafirmation) wrote,

Roundtable Discussion: Technical Communication IRL (In Real Life)

~Wednesday~  Facilitated by Jen Riehle and John Martin at Mitch's Tavern from 7:00 - 9:00 PM.

Faculty sponsor: Sarah Egan-Warren


  • Thank you for being here.
  • Intent: To discuss “real-life” technical communication issues.


  • Your name


  • Your status in the Tech Comm program

    I started the program in January of 2004 and graduated in December of 2007.

  • Where you work and what you do in your job

    I work at NC state, in the IT organization, as a technical communicator. The name of my department is Information & News Services.

  • What piqued your interest enough to come today

    I was asked to co-facilitate the discussion, which I was honored to do.

Discussion Topics

  1. Say you just posted a link to your personal blog thinking you were on your personal Twitter account, but instead you were on your organization's Twitter account that you run as part of your job. Devise a tweet that you'd send out from your organization's Twitter account about the situation.

    This actually did happen to me.

    I sent an announcement of a personal blog entry of mine on our organization's Twitter feed. I did a quick risk assessment about it, and then deleting it from the feed, decided to just wait and see if anyone said anything about it.

    Over the weekend, someone did a reply to it saying something to the effect of, "I didn't get any connection to IT at NC State at that link." I direct messaged the person back explaining what happened and apologized. She responded back, "Oh it's okay. I actually found it kind of entertaining; I just didn't see what it had to do with IT."

  2. [Poll First] How many of you are collecting any kind of metrics about any kind of communication (e.g., publications, Twitter, Facebook)? If you are, how's that going for you? If you're not, what's keeping you from starting to take some measurements?

    Our organization is doing metrics on two of our communication deliverables: a monthly "OIT News" publication, and the tweets on our Twitter Feed, @ncsu_oit.

    How it's going for us is that it's arduous, both in consumption of time and in tediousness. We're using statistics-enabled shortened URLs with "modifiers" appended to them to indicate if we sent the information out via email, on our website, or by Twitter, for instance.

    The challenge is having the time to collect those statistics and then to take time to go back and analyze what they're trying to tell us.

  3. [Poll First] Does your office have a social media policy or guidelines? If so, how did you develop them and why did you choose to? If not, is it something you plan to do or do you think it's unnecessary? Many industries, from education to pharmaceuticals, are lacking policy or even basic plans for how social media should be implemented and accountability of those participating; in some cases he ramifications have been quite serious. How can we start down the road to correcting this?

    The university itself doesn't have any yet, but there is a Social Media Subgroup (of the Web/Digital Communication Subcommittee of the State Communications Committee) working on making a recommendation for some.

    Since university employees are state employees, we're trying to make sure they don't conflict with the State of North Carolina's Social Media Policy.

  4. What is your relationship to Google+ at this time? [Invite Jen to read her examiner.com piece if there is time: Google+: Three Months Later.]

    We didn't get to this question, because the students attending wanted to talk about other things, like ENG 675, the capstone course that several of them will be taking in the spring.

  5. If at all, how has social media changed the way you react to the death of a celebrity?

    We did discuss this briefly, and I'm not going to repeat the answer that I gave to this at Salon on Sunday.
Tags: grad school, sigdoc

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