Imagine RIT

During this upcoming weekend, on May 4th RIT is holding their Imagine RIT Festival. Check out new technology, upcoming innovations, and fun things that we can do here at RIT!


Imagine RIT is designed to demonstrate what can be accomplished when, as RIT President Bill Destler likes to say, “the right and left brain collide.” Visitors have witnessed a robot that serves hot dogs, a concrete canoe that floats and dozens of musical and theatrical performances. Children have made freeze-dried ice cream, test driven Segways and jumped around in a bounce house.

Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival is a campus-wide event that showcases the innovative and creative spirit of RIT students, faculty and staff. Visitors experience the breadth and depth of RIT through interactive presentations, hands-on demonstrations, exhibitions, and research projects set up throughout campus. Inflatables, games and multiple performance stages with live music and entertainment are also a hit with visitors of all ages. Held annually each spring, Imagine RIT is the kickoff to Rochester’s rich festival season.

Date & Time: Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 10am to 5pm, rain or shine.

Cost: Free and open to the public!

After you attend the festival leave a comment on your favorite station, activity, or event. If you’re feeling ambitious look around and see if there are any forms of technical communication or technical communicators at Imagine RIT.


10 Questions to Answer Before You Join Another Social Network

Today there are many different social networking sites out there. In our technical writing class we are gaining experience through different social networking sites. Our class has created pages or groups on several different social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blog, and even Pinterest, Tumbl’r, and Instagram!

The author of this post came up with 10 different questions for you to ask yourself before joining a new social network.

  • Is your audience there?
  • Does the network solve a unique problem for your audience?
  • Will it make it easier for your audience to share your content?
  • How much effort is required to be successful?
  • Will it help you reach new audiences?
  • Is it the best tool for reaching your goals?
  • How do you measure success?
  • Do you have buy-in from management?
  • can you describe your success to your colleagues
  • Will you know how and when to cut and run?

This article gives several interesting different questions that can help you find which social network may be right for you. In my opinion, I would say if you have the time you could use a few different social networks and see which one works best for you. It may be hard to answer some of these questions straight on, so I would recommend trying some sites out and experimenting and seeing what works best.

Web Design

We have all encountered a terrible website now and then. The STC Body of Knowledge article on web design sets forth some simple rules to help avoid a terrible design. Many of these guidelines seem simple enough, but often we will encounter web sites that don’t follow these parameters.

A good starting point suggested by the article is to first determine your audience. Once you have determined your audience it is time to figure out your purpose. A website designed for five-year-olds to play games from the back of their favorite cereal box is going to be very different than an IRS website that you can submit your tax returns on.

After determining your audience and purpose you should determine what pages will contain what information on your website. When laying out content keep things simple and straightforward. There is nothing worse than a website with great information, but a background or typeface that makes the content impossible to view.

Persona Design & Development

Personas are a very important aspect of technical communication. I decided to write my final paper for, Professional Technical Communications, because I want to discuss the importance of personas, and how utilizing them in the correct fashion may drastically increase your relationship with your audience.

While surfing the internet for some sources on data analytics and personas I came across a blog post by, Mark Hughes, which discusses the basic steps of persona development.

Steps to Persona development according to Mark Hughes

  • name
  • job title
  • lists of demographic and biographical details
  • a quotation illustrating the context of a persona’s problem
  • personal attributes of a persona
  • typical tasks a persona performed in his or her work
  • information goals or needs
  • a scenario illustrating how a persona might use the body of knowledge to meet a specific information goal or need

Personas have the ability to assist the user in completing tasks that require a set list of instructions. They are almost like a personal aid. Personas offer the user the ability to view the message being communicated, visually from their perspective. Successful personas attempt to fit what the typical audience experiences. This increases the relationship with the audience, because it feels as if you really know your audience. According to Mr. Hughes, personas can be used to access information. You want your user to be able to understand how to access the message and information being presented with ease.

Understanding your audience is a key part of persona design and development. This can be achieved with the usage of data, acquired from data analytic tools. Google analytics is one of the more popular, and arguably the most user friendly tools used presently. It presents on a particular sites web traffic, which can help in narrowing down who your particular audience is, and commonalities between the users. This helps strengthen the persona being developed, because this data offers an immense amount of insight on the audience.

You can access Mark Hughe’s blog here:

I hope I was able spark your interest in personas.



PowerPoint Presentations

While browsing through articles on STC TCBOK I came across this one (here). I thought it would be interesting to post about this as we have a power point due for our final essay.

Since our younger years we have been assigned to due so many PowerPoints, it’s impossible to keep track. With this, I feel we lose track of the point of a PowerPoint and how one should be organized and delivered. First, it is important to not overwhelm your readers. Although words are the key point of a slide, it is important to not flood the slides with words. You should only be using the text and images on your slides to prompt and open up your speaking rather than vice versa. Nowadays it seems people just read straight from their slides and don’t even give any thought to what they are reading. With this the audience gets lost as well.

What I found very interesting about this article was that Seth Godin states you should never have any more than 6 words per slide. This seems very little to me, I understand it is necessary to not have many words, but this is way too little.

You can read more about it here!