My marketing consultant and I recently had a brainstorming session to brand my new blog.
“Why do you want a new blog?” he asked.
“First, I’m not the president so it can’t be the President’s blog and, second, I hate LiveJournal to pieces.”
“OK, sounds like a good business case for starting anew. But what is the goal of your blog? What do you want to write about?”
“Pretty much the same stuff I’m writing about now with a little less emphasis on the day-to-day activities of the STC chapter. Al Hood, our incoming president will be blogging, too. I’d like the name to convey that I’m still around and still blogging about the profession. What about ‘The Activist Technical Communicator’?”
“Borrrrrring. You need to give it some punch. What are the names of some other blogs of your ilk.”
“Techcommdood, that’s a good one.”
“Another blog I read is called The Creative Tech Writer. Heidi Hansen’s blog is just that. Mike Hughes’ moniker is User Assistance. Rahul Prabhakar chose When the muse strikes! and of course, the famous Kathy Sierra ex-blog Creating Passionate Users.”
“Ugh, ‘passionate’ is so overused it’s becoming trite.”
“How ’bout The Dispassionate Technical Communicator?”
And so it went. Luckily, my marketing consultant and I share the same apartment so we were able to continue the discussion throughout the afternoon and well into the evening without concern for billable hours.
In the end, “Don’t call me Tina” was born. Dilbert’s Tina, the Tech Writer, is a nasty stereotype that many in our line of work would like to shed. My blog will be notes about technical communication, the STC, my work, and a little other stuff thrown in.
I plan to pull over some of my LiveJournal content for my archives here. If I get around to it.
At the STC Summit in Minneapolis I got a few blank stares when I mentioned my new blog. But the entire focus of the conference convinced me to stick with the name. Nearly every speaker has explained that we need to pull ourselves out of the past, stop thinking of ourselves as narrow technical writers, and take on the challenge of redefining and promoting our profession.