Category: General

A great way to make the reader RTFM

Kathy Sierra once again wrote a rather passionate blog entry about encouraging the readers to RTFM. A lot of technical writers and information developers might argue that it could all depend on the material, or the context within which a particular piece of information is being written. Or more importantly, it all depends on the end-user whose attention span narrows down with every passing second (i.e., losing passion to learn from TFM).

Sierra’s definitions of characteristics of a “world class” learning material is a little vague, but it they could be interpreted in many ways as long as you have the end-user in mind:

Characteristics of World-Class User Learning Materials

1) User-friendly
Easy to use when, where, and how you need it.

2) Based on sound learning principles
i.e. users actually learn from it, not just refer to it.

3) Motivational
Keeps users willing to push forward to higher “levels”

user manual

Essentially, an “ideal” learning material should be fun, smart and accessible.

Web 2.0 in video

Whether you’re drinking the Kool-Aid, these two videos about web 2.0 might just be worth your while. More than the programming languages used, it’s about people–collaborating, linking, sharing.

I wasn’t planning to get into the Starbucks planner mania this year, but since I and a few friends had been frequenting the Starbucks branch at our building, I thought I might as well try to collect stickers and see if I would get lucky.

starbucks 2007 planner

Good thing, I didn’t have to buy all the 21 brews required to get the planner. Instead, I solicited receipts from everyone, especially those who were either not getting the “freebie” or had already completed the required number of stickers. So, thanks, my “sponsors”.

starbucks 2007 planner

It looks better than last year’s planner, and comes with a pen and a notepad. However, last year’s item had coupons for free brews that customers could use on certain occasions throughout the year, as well as discount coupons for Starbucks items–all of which I never got to use even though I frequented Starbucks too.

Photos from eBay Philippines.

pursue your passions & be the best of what you can be

I’m not sure if I had already posted this advice list. I’d like to veer from too much copy/paste stuff in this blog, but sometimes i stumble upon things that make a lot of sense and the following passage is one of those. Enjoy!

Don’t date because you are desperate.
Don’t marry because you are miserable.
Don’t have kids because you think your genes are superior.
Don’t philander because you think you are irresistible.

Don’t associate with people you can’t trust.
Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Don’t pretend.
Don’t dictate because you are smarter.
Don’t demand because you are stronger.

Don’t sleep around because you think you are old enough & know better.
Don’t hurt your kids because loving them is harder.
Don’t sell yourself, your family, or your ideals.
Don’t stagnate!

Don’t regress.
Don’t live in the past. Time can’t bring anything or anyone back.
Don’t put your life on hold for possibly Mr. Right.
Don’t throw your life away on absolutely Mr. Wrong because your biological clock is ticking.

Learn a new skill.
Find a new friend.
Start a new career.
Sometimes, there is no race to be won, only a price to be paid for some of life’s more hasty decisions.

To terminate your loneliness, reach out to the homeless.
To feed your nurturing instincts, care for the needy.
To fulfill your parenting fantasies, get a puppy.
Don’t bring another life into this world for all the wrong reasons.

To make yourself happy, pursue your passions & be the best of what you can be.
Simplify your life. Take away the clutter.
Get rid of destructive elements: abusive friends, nasty habits, and dangerous liaisons.
Don’t abandon your responsibilities but don’t overdose on duty.

Don’t live life recklessly without thought and feeling for your family.
Be true to yourself.
Don’t commit when you are not ready.
Don’t keep others waiting needlessly.

Go on that trip. Don’t postpone it.
Say those words. Don’t let the moment pass.
Do what you have to, even at society’s scorn.

Write poetry.
Love Deeply.
Walk barefoot.
Dance with wild abandon.
Cry at the movies.

Take care of yourself. Don’t wait for someone to take care of you.
You light up your life.
You drive yourself to your destination.
No one completes you – except YOU.

It isn’t true that life does not get easier with age.
It only gets more challenging.
Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose your capacity to love.
Pursue your passions.

Live your dreams.
Don’t lose faith in God.
Don’t grow old. Just grow YOU!

When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give to someone is your time.
Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E because the essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.

More Thoughts on “A Walk in the Woods”

The beauty of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods is that the reader does not need to be a hiker in order to appreciate the trivia and the author’s recollections of what it’s like to hike the Appalachian Trail. It’s a chocful of information about evolution, geography and a smattering of interesting characters that one could only find along the tracks of a 2000-mile trail. Yet on top of it all are Bryson’s (and his companion’s) often hilarious and quotable thoughts and observations. Here are a few quotes:

“All I know is that from time to time I end up a long way from where I want to be. But it makes life interesting, you know. I’ve met a lot of nice people, had a lot of free meals.”

“Presumably, a confused person would be too addled to recognize that he was confused. Ergo, if you know that you are not confused then you are not confused. Unless, it suddenly occurred to me–and here was an arresting notion–unless persuading yourself that you are not confused is merely a cruel, early symptom of confusion. Or even an advanced symptom. Who could tell? For all I know I could be stumbling into some kind of helpless preconfusional state characterised by the fear on the part of the sufferer that he may be stumbling into some kind of helpless preconfusional state.”

“That’s the trouble with losing your mind; by the time it’s gone, it’s too late to get it back.”

“…looks like some droll evolutionary joke.”

“I don’t know why they couldn’t have put some crocodiles in here and made a real adventure of it.”