Yes, you can now listen to technical communication. More specifically, you can listen to podcasts about technical communication at Tech Writer Voices. Tom Johnson is the creative force behind these podcasts. (Thank you, Tom!)
I love the idea of listening to technical communication topics. I have piles of books and articles and magazines that cover many of of these topics. They can keep me busy for days and weeks and months. But the time! That’s where these podcasts prove their value to me. I can listen to them during my daily trip to and from work. From the time I go out my front door until I sit down at my desk at work, I can listen to about 25 minutes worth of podcast. If I used the same time period for reading, I could read about 4 minutes on the Metro and 8-10 minutes on the train. I have been known to read on the walk from the train to the office, but that is only possible with easy-to-handle books – and not on a rainy day! The podcasts are a relaxing way to spend my journey.
The podcasts are not a simple diversion. They are packed with nutritional value for your brain cells! Tom has selected good topics that I am interested in right now. There are also topics that have nothing to do with my daily work. I will listen to most of them anyway.
Why? Because I believe that is what a good technical communicator should do. Keeping up to date with new trends and technology is also common sense, even if from a distance. It keeps you prepared and ready for what your manager or customer might throw on your desk one day. It helps you to plan for the future, whether the future is just around the corner or several years away. In fact, you can hear more reasons from Emma Hamer in one of Tom’s podcasts: How to Increase Collaboration and Performance. I found this one so interesting that I listened to it twice!
For example, Emma Hamer proposes the radical idea of holding performance reviews many times during the year! The idea makes perfect sense as she explains it. I am going to suggest the idea at my workplace. She has several other great ideas, some may even be radical to your way of thinking. Your brain cells will definitely get some exercise.
Do stop by Tech Writer Voices and see what Tom has lined up for your listening and learning pleasure, including links to even more podcasts. Wikipedia can help you on your way if podcast is a new term for you.