Archive for August, 2010

LinkedIn Gems

I’m on LinkedIn, complete with profile, recommendation, picture and memberships in various LinkedIn groups, neatly selected to feed my different areas of interests. Needless to say, the latter keep my mailbox busy. With daily or weekly digests, there are always some discussions, comments, news and links that need to be shared. While this may be clogging up my mailbox from time to time (I heartily admit that I spent at least an hour each day going through these emails), I have found the odd information gems in the forms of interesting people to connect with, blogs and websites to check out, and new knowledge to keep my brain cells alive.

These gems aren’t always just of value to myself but also and often more so for my wider network of family, friends and colleagues. There may be someone looking for a service or product, and you may just happen to have the right contact for them, or someone shares where to publish your first e-book and you know that one of your closest friends had been considering this for the past months. Sometimes, of course, I do also stumble across a contribution that should have better been left un-posted, or a discussion that turned rather heated. So the selection below constitutes an eclectic array of all of the above – enjoy the sparkle!

Socially responsible sparkle: Give Family a Break

Go on a break and support a good cause – if that doesn’t make you feel good, I don’t know what will! From 1 to 30 August, you can bid for $1 reserve accommodation and dining options throughout New Zealand’s InterContinental  Hotels Group (IHG) to raise money for the Salvation Army on The money raised will help up to 40 disadvantaged New Zealand families have a one-week holiday this coming summer.

Request sparkle

As stated in the introduction above, many LinkedIn users are looking for information or resources. Rosemarie Begbie, owner at Enterprising Women, a networking group for women that are running their own businesses in New Zealand, is looking for inspiring women speakers. This has sparked a long list of valuable responses for Rosemarie, and an invitation to come along to a Zonta group meeting. It looks like Wellington women in business can look forward to a number of interesting networking events!

Twitter sparkle: Oldest Twitter user passed away

Ivy Bean, an English lady who was widely considered to be the oldest Twitter user, died at the age of 104. She had over 56,000 followers on Twitter, and she was also an avid user of Facebook.

Regional sparkle: New Courses at the Business Centre, Wellington

Gabby Simpson, Operations Manager at the Business Centre in Wellington, announces the centre’s upcoming courses and events for August (what’s left of it) and September. TACTICS has been partnering with the Business Centre and we just offered a couple of free one-hour workshops in Wellington. If you missed out this time, sign up for our newsletter on our website and we’ll keep you posted.

Now it’s your time to shine – send me a comment to share your LinkedIn gems (or grime) with me.


August 20, 2010 at 12:18 am 1 comment

Useful Tools for Technical Writers – Part I

This post is the first in a series with the aim to introduce tools that are:

  • useful for technical, professional and business writers
  • accessible online
  • easy to use, and
  • free.

Each tool is described briefly and accompanied by a screenshot that shows the tool ‘in action’.

Note: Tools are introduced in no particular order.

1. FreeMind

FreeMind is an open-source tool.  It is a mind-mapping software that allows you to create electronic mind maps.  A mind map is a diagram that you can use to represent words, ideas, tasks, content structures, etc.  It allows you to:

  • structure your information using branches and groupings
  • connect related portions of the information, and
  • name groups of information.

This relates to the information mapping principles of chunking, relevance and labelling.

As a writer, you can use FreeMind to analyse and plan the structure of your document or your website content.


FreeMind is easy to download.

2. Writeboard – Write, share, revise, compare.

Writeboard is a collaborative writing software.  It makes editing a document a safe and easy process as it creates a new version every time the user saves an edit.  Writeboard is not meant to produce the final, formatted document; rather you would use it during the writing process, particularly if you are collaborating with multiple writers. This can be particularly useful if you include your audiences in the writing process.


Writeboard works with Internet Explorer 6.x, Safari, or Firefox.

3. Stickies

Stickies is an electronic version of post-it notes.  Stickies can store text or images.  You can attach them to a web site, document or folder.  You can also set an alarm to a sticky if you want to be reminded of your note at a certain point in time.


Stickies is a useful tool if you get lost in all your physical post-it notes (or they get lost on you).

Stickies is easy to download.

Final word

If you want more information or need help with any of these tools, drop us a line.  Alternatively, if you know any awesome tools we should be blogging about, tell us.

Happy tooling!

August 6, 2010 at 1:55 am Leave a comment

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