The Way We Work
June 11, 2009 by Erica Benton

Since the start of 2009, technical writing has enjoyed an upswing in interest from buyers - a review of technical writing jobs posted on oDesk in May 2009 shows a rapid climb to reach nearly three times what they were a year ago! In honor of this tremendous growth, here are some of the top technical writing blogs we've found  - raising the bar in educational value, tech-savviness and even humor!

tom-johnson-technical-writer-id-rather-be-writing-mozilla-f-06-09-2009-174249Tom Johnson's blog, I'd Rather Be Writing: claims to be a blog about the latest trends in technical communication. And, while it doesn't claim to be funny, personable, and surprising readable for all skill levels - it should. His blog is also the source of original podcasts interviewing tech writing luminaries.

ivan-walsh-the-technical-writers-blog-mozilla-firefox-06-11-2009-140253To say Ivan Walsh has been around the technical communications block would be a vast understatement. As he puts it: "When I started out, it was Lotus 123 not Excel, WordPerfect not Word, and Windows actually had windows. Aldus developed PageMaker, which was bought by Adobe and became a sensation on the Mac platform." His blog posts are short, informative, and heavy on the product reviews - great for finding the latest tools and tips to use them!

a-techie-tech-writer-blog-mozilla-firefox-06-05-2009-1650131Janet Swisher's blog bills itself as "Musings on technical communication, open source software, and related topics," but the blog seems to come alive with "reflections" on various conferences and industry events she attends. Its similar to receiving postcards from a close friend, making candid remarks on everything - from the keynote speaker to the design of the menu in an Amsterdam coffee chain.

the-content-wrangler-mozilla-firefox-06-11-2009-134333 The Content Wrangler seems to make the "most referenced" list in technical writing blogrolls. It's easy to see why - Scott Abel's blog touches wide range of topics, and uses product reviews, book references, conference insights, and expert interviews to support his tagline argument of content being a business asset worthy of management.

justwriteclick-mozilla-firefox-06-05-2009-171148 Anne Gentle's just write click blog covers her many and varied interests, but its clear that her focus in on tech writing and tech writing pubs (with up-to-the-minute commentary on social media).

"Examining documentation and help systems since 2002," Usable Help provides brief snippets linking to current news and thoughts on documentation. Explores timely items such as: "Are games the last bastion of documentation?"

Blogger Gordon McLean states, "I consider myself a jack of most trades, master of few and I’m happy to keep learning." His One Man Writes blog always has short, informative blog posts on the menu, with a dash of British humor for flavor!

Did we miss one of your favorites? Comment on this post to let us know!

Erica Benton

Social Media Guru

Erica Benton joined oDesk in 2009, bringing with her nearly a decade of small business and freelance experience, and a love of all things social. Her passion for startups, technology and marketing was born during her tenure with Kulesa Faul Public Relations, while she learned the art of entrepreneurship firsthand through Equine Alternatives, a business she founded while earning her Bachelor of Science degree from… read more

  • http://technicalwriting.outsourcing-services.net Jusan

    Nice thing about blogging is that I read more of their shared articles and conversations as well as their brilliant ideas. I am sure a lot of readers appreciate for what you shared. Aside from the fact that we learned through this, this is very informative
    also. Thanks!

  • http://www.justwriteclick.com Anne Gentle

    Thanks for mentioning my blog! I often tell writers who ask about freelancing about oDesk.

    Technical writers will also like the DMN Communications blog at http://www.dmncommunications.com/weblog/. And there's Alltop has http://tech-writing.alltop.com/ for the giant collection. I like your compilation with logos. :)

    I do blog quite a bit about social media and my book, Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation continues that discussion in more depth. Look for it next month (July 2009).