Consulting, Publishing, Engineering

Category Archives: Visual Communication

A busy March

So it looks like I’m on the quarterly plan for posting to this blog.  Maybe I’ll do better after this hectic month is over!  On the schedule for March:

RobertAnderson_me_HumbertoPerez_smallSouthbySouthwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) in Austin Texas. This is always a ton of fun, and will be even more fun this year because I’ll be hanging with Phylise Banner!  Also on the social list are Robert Anderson and Humberto Perez (pictured, left), Andy Cochrane, Chris Callilung, Robert Muerte, and maybe Shari Crisan (if I can find her contact info). I hope to spend some time at the NASA booth, as well as attend sessions on storytelling, infographics, big data, and comics. I’m hosting one of the official meetups – this one is called “Do You Library?” It’s all about the ways that libraries are expanding services to foster entrepreneurship, build community, share techonologies, and more. I’m looking forward to stopping by the various lounges, and enjoying other scheduled meetups with librarians, speakers, ISAs, NASA, and V2V (that’s the summertime version of SxSw dedicated to startup businesses). Closing session by Bruce Sterling should be great. I may also take advantage of some of the evening networking opportunities, especially the Fray Cafe storytelling night and the IEEE social. I’m still trying to figure out exactly which sessions to attend, but you can see my “favorites” as I add them. Whew!

me_KevinNicholsJust a few days later, I’ll be heading to San Francisco for the 7th annual Intelligent Content Conference (ICC), now a venture of the Content Marketing Institute.  I’ve really enjoyed ICC in the past, and am looking forward to seeing what changes, if any, the new CMI ownership will make. The good news here is that the program still includes lots of luminaries in the field, and many of my favorite conference buddies.The event starts with a keynote on neuroscience and from Carmen Simon (I really enjoyed a workshop I took from her last year) and ends with a closing keynote about storytelling from Micheal Margolis that looks just fascinating. In between, there are sessions on content strategy, agile development, and lots of case studies.  I’m looking forward to goofy word games with Jim Romano and Melissa Breker; hitting the dance floor with Noz Urbina; and whatever kind of night-life that Scott Abel and Kevin Nichols (pictured, right) might lead me to.

TheInterchange2014n I’ll fly from San Francisco to Boston for the newly reinvigorated Interchange conference, hosted by the New England chapter of STC. I went to this one last year and had a blast! Lowell is a former mill town, and the conference hotel sits right on one of the old canals.  It’s an easy walk to lots of restaurants and local museums, plus it’s kind of cool revisiting my old stomping grounds (I lived in Billerica, the next town over, for 15 years). This year, I’m going to get to spend some time with Paula Berger (who gave me my first tech writing job xx years ago) and Char James-Tanny (one of my co-authors). And I’m hoping for a repeat of last year’s fun evenings with Viqui Dill and Rick Lippincott (far right in the picture on the left) and whoever else can hang out with us. Oh!  And I’m actually giving two presentations at this one – my talk on “The High Cost of Free” that I gave at Lavacon last year, and a new talk called “Digging Deep: Leadership Lessons from Eleanor Roosevelt”.  I’ll post slides after the conference.

After that, I’ll head down to Weymouth, MA, to visit my Mom. She’s had Alzheimer’s for a number of years, but it’s declining pretty fast now.  She and her husband (who has Parkinson’s) still live on their own, but I don’t know how much longer that will last. It’s the kind of thing you have to go check out in person; you can’t tell very much from occasional phone calls.

After THAT, I’ll head home and nap for a couple of days.

Phoenix Comic-con

Actually, that should be Phoenix Comicon (one “c”, all one word) but however you spell it, it was an amazing event! It was at the Phoenix Convention Center for the first time (instead of Mesa, as in prior years) and moved to Memorial Day weekend instead of January. Because of these two things (and some… Continue Reading

Fonts in the news

Newsweek had an interesting story last week about the recent increasing importance of fonts – it turns out that lots of people from Beyonce to Obama have commissioned custom fonts. The article also has a cool video interview with it. Aside from the obvious connection of communication to the visual impact of published text, I… Continue Reading

There’s magic in the air!

While at the IEEE/PCS conference last week, I met two (count ‘em, two!) professors of technical communication who are also magicians. I mean actual card-carrying magicians, the kind that can be sitting around a table and suddenly start performing amazing tricks with pennies. And then I saw this post over at Orange Cone, Mike Kuniavsky’s… Continue Reading

The way you dress as visual communication

ABC News reported on a study on women in the workplace that looked at how a person’s attire at work influenced other people’s perceptions of the subject’s intelligence and abilities. The results showed that a provocatively dressed women in a managerial role evoked hostile emotions and were deemed less intelligent. But when study participants were… Continue Reading