Foreword

Nibu works with the technical publications team at GT Nexus, an Infor company. He's passionate about communications of any kind, and likes to think that the funny bone somewhere in his head has helped him stay out of trouble. In his attempts to think outside the box, he might have inadvertently opened a few. Pandora, especially, is still livid. He has many interests, but most of them are unprintable. Yes, even in an online edition.

Nibu Thomas
and

Anindita is an editor with IBM, India. She has been a technical communicator since 2006. Her interests include DITA, languages, documentation process improvements, and Indology.

Anindita Basu

Udaan. To inspire to soar. Gleefully. Tweet!

... and it was called Udaan. When we started this effort, we promised you that "man shall not live by print alone. And neither shall woman" And like the promise a rainbow brings each time it rains, before we tell you what's inside, we want you to be aware that Udaan was designed to engage all the five senses. And the sixth (for those goose bump moments). The real Udaan experience is online, right here!

Putting together Udaan was nothing short of an exhilarating experience for us. We knew there would be many firsts in Udaan. And we truly hope that it sets a precedent. Identifying the right people and the best topics, getting authors to collaborate and value edit each other's articles, adding interactivity, making podcasts of articles, and getting everyone to see eye-to-eye, is another long and interesting story to tell! And we hope to do so, someday!

But let's start at the beginning. Even before 'once-upon-a-time'. Did you know that there are some insightful Management lessons that children teach us? Surbhi Chattkara's article explains a few of those lessons. Then we have Asha Mokashi to delve into why and how strong people management skills are critical to the technical writing profession. In "No passengers on the battleship", she arms leaders with lessons that have stood her in good stead. And there are origins in "Of Managers and Manuals" by Anindita Basu.

Does your work have a unique signature? How do you distinguish your work from that of others? Can your work be identified as yours even when your name is removed? Vinish Garg explains how to "Be your own story".

A technical editor must have saved your life many times. But what's his perspective about cleaning up after you? Rohit Nair describes "A day in the life of a technical editor". If you don't like your editor, you'll change your mind after reading this humourous article. And making his life easier is Anagha Chandratrey's article on "Commonly confused words", with helpful tips to avoid these sins for ever.

Udaan wouldn't be complete without an article on innovation. Shivi Sivasubramanian's article "Awakening the innovator in you" talks about different ways you can ideate. And when you finally have those big ideas, which one is worth a patent? Alka Acharya and Samartha Vashishtha's article "You too can Patent" explains everything you ever wanted to know about patents. Of course, none of this would be possible without having the right mindset. And that's where Dr. Meghashri Dalvi's article "Internalising a research mindset" comes in.

Communication is all about the receiver. And the message. But somewhere in between, there's a lion in the communication jungle. We won't spoil the fun for you. We'll allow Basreena Basheer to describe how "It's a L10N thing".

From the jungle, let's go back several hundred years. Imagine Shakespeare writing user manuals! What would they read like? Sheece Baghdadi talks to all literature fans in "To be or not to be". Spooky!

And even Shakespeare would be pleased with the two act play that discusses "Who is the user". Ajay, Alfred, Mansi, and Preeti are all fictional characters. But Prajakta Pradhan has to be real!

"This side up" is a recipe. If you are the more-head-less-heart kind of person who asks questions like 'why is sugar sweet', you might have also wondered about what a user really looks for? We mean, really, really looks for? How can we design a better and more efficient message for our users? Can technical communication be more than words? Suyog Ketkar talks about information design in his article, "This side up". You will feel hungry for more after reading this one.

And to all hungry techwriters who are thinking, 'Becoming a doc manager is my birth right. And I will have it', well, your people might end up 'having it' with you. But there is hope. And a checklist. Rajib Borkataki reveals a few tricks of the trade in his article "Ascend naturally". It's 100 percent organic.

We hope you are inspired to soar. Gleefully.