IF DOGS COULD WRITE

It is well-known that man’s best friend is a highly intelligent animal. For thousands of years, dogs have walked alongside humans to give them a helping hand at tasks such as hunting, protecting, shepherding, retrieving and more, owing to their heightened senses. Above all, they have been our greatest companions and continue to be. But, what if there was a hypothetical scenario where our furry friends somehow learnt to read and write? What goes inside the mind of a dog and what would they write about? Let’s find out!

Labrador: The intelligent, happy-faced, tail-wagging Labrador Retrievers are big time foodies. Such strong is their passion for food that if you have a pet Lab, he would happily assist an intruder that comes to rob your home, as long as he is lured with a pack of dog biscuits. It is no secret that Labs would turn out to be one of those fancy food bloggers, the kind who travel the world in search of gourmet pleasures, only to make us feel jealous as we read about their adventures.

Labrador

German Shepherd: German Shepherd dogs were bred precisely for their high intelligence. They are easy to train and extremely loyal. No wonder that they are extensively used as police dogs and guard dogs. In the scenario of doggie enlightenment, a GSD would be the first one to discover how to read. His loyal disposition would make him alert his master first. The intelligence agencies would soon discover the fact and GSDs would then be recruited as James Bond style spies, equipped with the latest gadgets. Then years later, after retiring, a well-known spy GSD would publish a bestselling crime novel to be enjoyed by children and adults for generations.

GSD

Chihuahua: Often used as ‘toy dogs’ by famous celebrities, Chihuahuas will make you instantly fall in love with them, thanks to their cute looks. However, they are easily provoked, especially if threatened by large dogs or even humans. When the world becomes aware of this newfound intellect of dogs, Chihuahua owners would soon send their pets to dog schools. Gradually, the members of this breed would end up getting expelled for low grades. They would then spend the rest of their lives tweeting about their designer shoes and trips to exotic vacations, because well, they are only smart enough to write 140 characters.

Chihuahua

Siberian Husky: The intelligent Siberian Husky is the one of the few dog breeds that is closely related to the wolves. The Huskies are a proud breed and consider themselves above everyone else, choosing to howl rather than bark and asking for air-conditioners to protect their precious coats. They are known to be escape artists, trying to jump over the fence when their master is not around. If a Husky learns how to pick up the pen, he would definitely write about his adventures as a runaway dog. His travel diaries would tell the tales of his quest as a nomad in the Siberian mountains, where he felt home.

Husky

 Great Dane: Great Dane is the world’s tallest dog breed. But, don’t go by their size as they are complete darlings at heart, a trait that has earned the breed the nickname, ‘gentle giants’. They get along well with everyone, from humans to other dog breeds and even cats. In a world where dogs and cats are always fighting and plotting against each other, a Great Dane would emerge as a messiah, writing philosophical books about world peace and pleading others to stop fighting, for the greater good. His respect among the living beings would gradually increase and he would be hailed as a great philosopher among coming generations.

Great Dane

Stray Dog (Mongrel): Unlike his pedigree peers, the poor stray dog has no one to teach him the ways of the pen. He is more worried about getting beaten up by stray dog gangs than learning his ABCs. On one fortunate day, a kind human offers him food and gifts him a few old books. Soon, the stray learns how to read and write, under dim streetlamps. Eventually, he becomes a better writer than any of the purebred dogs. He goes on to write an autobiography about his past struggles, and the circumstances he had to overcome in order to reach where he is today. His book ‘Stray dog Millionaire’ becomes a worldwide bestseller, and is soon adapted to an Oscar-winning movie.

Stray Dog

Most dog-lovers know that no love is purer than the love a dog has for his master. Even though they come in different shapes, sizes and colours, loyalty is an undeniable trait that all dogs share. All they need are loving homes and caring owners.

– Ridhima Rathour

PC: Pixabay

IF DOGS COULD WRITE

A Tribute to the Legend – Dhyan Chand

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”– this proverb aptly highlights the importance of physical activities in our life. Sports is not just about training; it’s a culture that should be promoted by all countries. In India, National Sports Day is celebrated every year on 29th August the birthday of the legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand.

He helped India win 3 Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936. He was also the captain of the Indian hockey team from 1933 till the end of his career. One of the most talked about highlights of Dhyan Chand’s career was when India faced Germany in the Finals of the 1936 Olympics. He scored 3 goals in that match in which India crushed Germany 8-1. His awe-inspiring performance in that match had impressed even Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party of Germany.

In a career that spanned more than 22 years, Dhyan Chand scored over 400 goals. Known to be a true sportsman both on and off the field, Dhyan Chand is considered to be a legendary figure in hockey. His astounding skills have been glorified in various apocryphal stories and anecdotes, so much so that he has been dubbed as the “Hockey Wizard”. He was also called as Major Dhyan Chand for his association with the Indian Army.

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In 1956, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award. He is the only hockey player to have received this honour till date. Dhyan Chand contributed to sports even after his retirement; he was the Hockey Coach Chief at the National Institute of Sports and also tutored at several coaching camps.

Even decades after his death, Dhyan Chand’s legacy lives on. Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi has been named after him. In India, the lifetime achievement award in sports, the ‘Dhyan Chand Award’, was initiated in 2002 to honour people who have contributed considerably throughout their career in sports. Other prestigious sports awards like Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Dronacharya Award are also awarded on this day to sports achievers and coaches across various sporting fields. 29th August is also celebrated as the Annual Sports Day in many educational institutes across the country to focus on the importance of sports in the day-to-day life of people. It is also considered to be an occasion for encouraging youngsters to take up sporting activities as a profession and build a reputation not solely for themselves but also for their country as well – one of the dreams of the immortal Dhyan Chand.

– Ankan Bhattacharyya

PC: askideas.com,

deraileddouchebaggery.com

A Tribute to the Legend – Dhyan Chand

Zodiac Traits- Which writer are you?

The 12 signs of the zodiac tell a lot about one’s personality, characteristics and traits. Every year over 150 million people spend hours in search of content related to zodiac signs. But, ever wondered, how would each zodiac sign write content?

Here is our perception on how each sign would go about doing so:

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Aries – The warriors of the zodiac, Arians would take it head on and go with the flow. They are bold and have a straight-forward approach to almost everything in life. So expect facts, usage of simple sentences, emphasis on highlights and nothing too flowery. Most Arians are spontaneous and are good with technical documentation, as a result, they excel in the fields of both creative as well as technical writing.

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Taurus– The stubborn Taureans will take their time to understand all types of content before making up their minds and sticking their heads in the game. Taureans can also be very imaginative, so expect usage of words you have never heard or read before. Expect Grammar-Nazism, correct usage of commas and a lot of jargons. So the next time you bump into a write-up which has been articulately written, chances are; it was written by a Taurean.

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Gemini– Often depicted as the twins of the zodiac, a properly nurtured Gemini is a content strategist at work. Geminis are good at most of the things they do and hence it can be expected from them to jump from one type of content to the other. Because they like experimenting, a Gemini would probably try their hands at all types of content and go throughout their career without deciding which one to stick with permanently. However, because they are very social and curious, social media writing is highly recommended for those born under this zodiac sign.

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Cancer– Often called as zodiac’s nurturer, Cancer is a sign which likes music, food and other finer things in life. People born under this sign do well when they are writing on subjects they are very interested in. Like other water signs, Cancerians are very emotional and that can often be seen in their write-ups. Expect usage of a lot of adjectives and exclamations.

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Leo– Leos are often depicted as the lions of the zodiac, the royalty and the lords of the light. And as such their content barely gets unnoticed. People born under this sign like to highlight their content and want their content to be seen, read and applauded. Because of their association with the 5th house of the zodiac, which is the house of creativity, spirituality and flare, Leos would probably be at their best in creative writing.

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Virgo– The virgin, the vixen and the perfectionist, these are nicknames given to the 6th sign of the zodiac. Virgos are very conscious of themselves and want their work to be perfect. They are also very analytical, articulate and have a terrific sense of humour. A content writer born under this sign will make sure that everything has been done properly, whether it is the punctuation of the sentence or the grammar. So, you can almost always expect a properly typed, self-scrutinized and polished write-up from a Virgo.

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Libra- Ruled by Lady Venus herself, Libra is all about beauty, grace and elegance. Content writers who are born under this sign do well in the fields of curation and aesthetic content. They value their write-ups like an artwork and want the readers to cherish them as well. Expect a floral language, usage of a lot of adjectives and a conversational tone of writing. Librans also have the reputation of being the social butterflies of the zodiac, hence they might also take a lot of interest in social media content.

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Scorpio– Because of their drive, passion and resilience, Scorpios enjoy a lot of success at whatever field they are in. Content writers born under this zodiac sign are very likely to experiment especially during the start of their career. And once they start getting the hang of it, they might just end up starting off their own content business. Scorpios are also good at improvising, something which can help them to a great extent when it comes to content writing. However, owing to their selectively social nature, Scorpios may not be interested in social media content, until and unless they find something fascinating to write about.

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Sagittarius– Sagittarius is considered as one of the most philosophical and optimistic signs of the zodiac. People who are born under this zodiac sign tend to have a love for reading, travelling, food and meeting people of different cultures. As a result, they will do well while writing content for travel blogs. Apart from that, Sagittarians are very creative and good story-tellers, a trait which can be very useful for writing creative content. While going through their penned articles, expect the usage of a lot of phrases and jargons.

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Capricorn– Ambitious, reliable and level-headed are the traits associated with Capricorns. Much like Scorpios, Capricorns are also very good at improvising, a trait which can help them a lot in the field of content. Unlike Librans, Capricorns don’t have the tendency to be too floral with their write-ups. They rather like presenting facts in an aesthetic manner. Expect crisp and factual write-ups from this Saturn-ruled zodiac sign.

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Aquarius– Depicted as the Water-bearer, Aquarius is regarded as one of the most ingenious signs of the zodiac. Their ingenuity helps them in content writing as well. People born under this zodiac sign tend to have a way with words which is often depicted in their write-ups. Owing to their nature and a tremendous sense of humour, satirical, humorous and light-hearted content is highly recommended for this zodiac sign. They are also very organised which makes them good editors.

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Pisces– Symbolised by the fish, Pisces is the last sign of the zodiac and it is often said that those born under this sign have at least one characteristic of all the other 11 signs of the zodiac. Pisceans can be very creative, which is why they do well as creative writers. Expect a floral style of writing with a conversational tone in their thoughtful representation.

Whoa! Now, wasn’t that exciting enough to learn about these interesting factors of each zodiac sign? And again, we understand that every individual has different traits, however, to put a conscious disclaimer -that the above article is purely written on the general basis of the characteristics of each zodiac sign. Hence, without judging, Happy reading!

– Tanay Sengupta and Aditi Banerjee

PC: Pixabay

Zodiac Traits- Which writer are you?

From a Technical Writer to a Documentation Project Manager

After spending a few good years in technical writing or editing, do you get that feeling that probably it’s time to play in the big league – documentation management maybe? Well, that’s great, and rightfully so, but do you know what a documentation or technical publications manager does? What does it take to succeed in a management role? Is it just about sending a few emails, scheduling a few back-to-back meetings, endlessly reviewing spreadsheets, or breathing down your team members’ necks? It’s time to get some of these myths dispelled and to prep you, aspiring managers, to be prepared for a journey of responsibility and ownership.

If you are looking to get hired / or aspire to shift to a Documentation Manager role, here’s a list of indicators that may help you become a better manager:

  • Scoping: Scope well to manage well. Before taking on a project, scope each deliverable extremely well. Anticipate the assumptions, limitations, and risks associated with the project, and carefully document that in your project charter/scoping document. Review the scope with the stakeholders (internal or external), and then freeze the scope. Do not forget to document the “out of scope” tasks as well.
  • Estimation: To estimate each task or sub tasks that lead to the completion of a deliverable is an art. It requires experience, knowledge, expertise, and strong instincts to know how much effort it takes to finish. Always include a suitable buffer to handle cosmetic changes. Set metrics, success and failure points, and a backup/alternative route.
  • Scheduling: Consider the stakeholder timelines and your internal resourcing capabilities and only then put together a schedule for completing the project. Know which tasks can be done sequentially and which can be done in parallel, thereby using your resources optimally. Also, include a buffer for unforeseen circumstances. Remember, downtime on a project is a cost to your company.
  • Tracking: A great manager once told me – “Give your teams 20% less time to complete a task. That way you track the hours and effort better, and you get the best out of your teams”. Use trackers to ensure that the hours allotted to this project are not overspent. Track the budgets to ensure that your project does not go into the red. Track the output of each team member. This will also help you scope future projects better.
  • Resourcing and Hiring: In India, recruiting is a continuous journey. Ask any manager and they’d probably tell you that hiring the right person for the job is a tedious task. Projects do not wait for your teams to be in place. It’s usually a scramble to find the right resources, but if you know how to hire and how to use the right resource mix, you can manage this extremely well.
  • Managing Expectations: Meet regularly with everyone who has a direct or indirect stake in your project – your clients, upper management, team members, vendors, and so on. Keep reviewing their expectations (which tend to change at times), and ensure that they are met. Engage them in meaningful discussions and future roadmap to ensure the longevity of the project and healthy relationship.
  • Escalating: This does not necessarily go according to plan. Sometimes there is a scope creep or mismatch in expectations, or you are unable to meet a deadline – it happens and most people understand as long as you can communicate it the right way. Knowing when, who, and how to escalate is an art and a good manager needs to master that.
  • Getting the job done (cliché but true): As a manager, you don’t have many excuses to offer, and that’s one of the primary reasons you got hired for this role. So, drop those excuses, roll up your sleeves, get the necessary help, if required, BUT, get the job done. You will probably become an unsung hero during project success parties but you may get all the blame should the project fail to meet its milestones. Regardless, take it in your stride and get the job done.
From a Technical Writer to a Documentation Project Manager

7 Facts Budding Technical Writers Need to Know

work-1627703_960_720So you’ve heard about technical writing from your friend, colleague, neighbour, a distant relative, or one of the training institutes advertising about courses. You have researched about it and you are now contemplating whether it is a viable career option for you. You have read the blogs, Facebook groups, forums, and even reviewed the pay scale based on the survey reports. But, do you know these seven facts that every technical writing aspirant should be well-versed with?

1. Writing is sacrosanct

Do not overlook the “writing” part in technical writing. You are required to articulate information to the right audience by using the proper writing standards. It’s not about flowery language or tools, it’s about communicating the relevant information.

2. Tools are just enablers

Yes, the industry talks about structured and unstructured authoring tools – Word, FrameMaker, RoboHelp, AuthorIT, and so on. There are plenty and each organization has its own preference. But, those are just enablers to disseminate information. Information is more important than tools.

3. Experience is gold but expertise is more in demand

It’s not about how many years you have spent; what matters is what you have done in those years. If you have only worked on maintenance documents or made cosmetic changes to content for years, you do not necessarily add value as a “tech writer”. Expertise is how well you can document a product or technology with minimal leverage materials.

4. Freelancers are just as good as full-timers

While companies are scouting for full-time technical writers, freelancers have carved their own niche and are in demand. Freelancers typically need to possess project management, scoping, and effort estimation skills, since they may not have a project manager to fall back upon.

5. Content Strategy

Before you start authoring, you must devise a content strategy – who’s it for? What should be your style of writing? What topics to cover? What is the output format? These are some of the questions each technical writer needs to understand.

6. Job v/s Career

Make a choice, and make it soon. Technical writing is not just a job switch or a stop-gap arrangement. Make wise and conscious career decisions and then invest your time, effort, energy, and money in getting the right training to enable a career path for you.

7. Know your value

Simply put, technical writers make products simpler to understand and use. Your content ensures that the products are shipped in compliance with the regulatory norms. Your content also ensures that your company saves customer support costs, and retention of customers. You have the ability to make information easily available and accessible. So, know your value!

Writer: Karrthik Shettyy

7 Facts Budding Technical Writers Need to Know