I wanted to give a great big shout out to Technical Writing World.
It is a social group for Technical Communicators – but anyone can join. I find that I learn something new every day, and it is a very valuable resource – a wealth of information. There are members from all over the world, which puts an interesting slant on the conversations – you know you’re truly getting a global view on any topic. And while I might not log in every day, I do check it every day – and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.
There is a list of blogs where you can read about the latest trends and thoughts about everything from single-sourcing and DITA to Wikis and Web 2.0. I check this list (the TechComm Superfeed) every day, and learn more about the latest trends, trials, and tribulations than I do in my college classes. (Don’t misunderstand me; I’m learning a ton of stuff in my classes, but the latest topics and ideas area always here.)
There is a terrific community there, where people ask questions and anyone with an answer can and will answer your question. And you can ask anything – from tips and tricks in a word processing software, to the latest theory in online help and how to integrate comments into your help. And there’s never a lull in the conversation – I check it about 3 or 4 times a day, and there’s always something new that I didn’t read before.
So if you’re looking for some information on technical writing, or another community to join that relates to technical communications, be sure to check out Technical Writing World. I know it’s someplace that I feel welcome and not afraid to ask anything, and it’s definitely a place where community is the best asset.