Wednesday workshop: peer-to-peer editing and self-editing

logo, Society for Technical Communication, STCThis half-day workshop ran on Wednesday morning atl Front Runner Training for STC members.


  • The importance of effective peer-editing or self-editing in today’s business climate
  • Effective production checks
  • Individual exercises simulating a production check
  • What to look for when editing or proofreading
  • Estimating time frames and adjusting the level of editing
  • Examples of common mistakes
  • Style issues and style guides
  • Improving your proofreading skills
  • Working in a shared authoring environment, such as using a Content Management System
  • Individual proofreading exercises

About Ed Marshall,
Ed Marshall, technical writer Ed Marshall is an independent consulting writer, with over 20 years’ experience writing and producing documentation for highly technical products including Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), Java-based products, Software Developer Kits (SDKs), Web Services, and other tools for developers. He has presented talks at local chapters of the STC, STC Conferences, the WritersUA Conference, and the Pubsnet Conference. Ed lives in Boston, where he operates Marshall Documentation Consulting.


Speaking of communication

When peer-to-peer editing goes wrong…

humorous pictures
see more funny pics

STC Toronto meeting: APIs and SDKs

logo, Society for Technical Communication, STCAt today’s meeting, Ed Marshall speaks on “Documenting APIs and SDKs: Breaking into and Succeeding in a Specialty Market.”

Looking to earn more money? Increase your knowledge of the technical side of technical communication? Looking for more flexibility in what you can offer an employer? Trying to get your employees up to speed on API’s and SDK’s?

Writers should consider this area as the demand for writers is often greater than the supply; hence you they get higher pay than for other types of writing. Also, they often get greater flexibility in telecommuting or working remotely.

During this talk our speaker:

  • defines defines application programming interfaces and software development kits
  • explains the differencs between APIs and SDKs
  • identifies the benefits and drawbacks to doing this type of writing
  • discusses the types of personalities that thrive in this environment
  • provides sources of training
  • explains logistical issues unique to these products
  • mentions commonly used tools to generate the documentation

Ed Marshall, technical writerEd Marshall is an independent consulting writer with over 20 years experience writing and producing documentation for highly technical products. They include APIs, SDKs, Java-based products, Web Services, and other tools for developers. Ed has presented talks on source code control, developer documentation, and editing / proofreading at the local and international levels of the STC and demonstrated several of these areas at the WritersUA Conferences.

The meeting will be held at the North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge Street, concourse level, at 7 p.m. General Admission is $5; STC Members attend for free.

Lost snowmobiler credits survival tips from Les Stroud’s Survivorman

Survivorman Les StroudLes Stroud, who devised the television show Survivorman, is humbled to learn that a snowmobiler lost in Manitoba survived for three days in winter by using tips from the show.

Snowmobiler Chris Traverse of Gypsumville, Man., is the latest to credit Stroud’s show – also a big hit on the Discovery Channel in the U.S. – for saving his life thanks to the tips he picked up from tuning in regularly.

Traverse got separated from his friends and ran out of gas in the woods. He saw a telephone tower in the distance and spent three days walking toward it, from dusk to dawn, eating snow to stay hydrated and making shelters at night out of tree branches.

He finally made his way out of the woods on Wednesday…..

Of all of Traverse’s survival tactics, Stroud says, he was particularly happy to hear that the 24-year-old ate snow – something that is frowned upon by some survivalists who warn that eating snow and ice can reduce body temperature and lead to further dehydration.

“I have always disagreed with that. Being a Canadian who’s around snow a lot, I’ve always said if you don’t have water, and you’re working enough during the day and you’re warm, and this boy apparently was, then just eat snow.

And Chris Traverse wasn’t the only one:

A Utah couple also credited the show last month for helping them survive for 12 days after they got stranded in their truck in the snow.

“They had to cut the material of the seats out of their truck to make snowshoes so they could walk out through the snow, and they said they learned that from me,” said Stroud, a longtime adventurer and survivalist.

Transitional forms: Tiktaalik and others

Here’s a brief review of several lovely transitional fossils in the tetrapod line, which tie together lobe-finned fishes with early land amphibians. The latest discovery is, from 300 million years ago, Tiktaalik roseae:Hello, Beautiful.”

a famous series of transitional fossils in the tetrapod lineage

Tiktaalik is an example of the predictive power of evolutionary theory. The discoverers noted the kind of fossil that they were missing, its expected environment, and the approximate age that it should be, then looked in rocks of the right age and geological origin in northern Canada. And voila! There was their fossil.

About that cell video in Expelled: people who have seen the movie identify it as an identical or close copy of Harvard’s original science animation, “The Inner Life of a Cell.” PZ Myers says,

I was wrong — it’s not the Harvard multimedia video. It’s an independently generated copy. I grabbed a few images from the DVD I got at my truncated visit to the Expelled screening, and here, for instance, is the segment that shows that striking kinesin motor protein towing a vesicle down a microtubule. This is the version in the Expelled movie:


Now here’s an equivalent frame from the actual Harvard video.


Now I’m embarrassed to have mistaken one for the other, since the Expelled version is of much lower resolution and quality. However, do notice that they both have roughly the same layout and the same elements in view; this is a remarkable, umm, coincidence, since these are highly edited, selected renderings, with many molecules omitted … and curiously, they’ve both left out the same things.

[Read more about that cell video in Expelled on Pharyngula.]


%d bloggers like this: