Word Lions Update: From Virtualized Computing to Helicopter Construction

By Joel Barker

It has been a busy couple of months at Word Lions, but we thought that we would take a moment to post an update on some of our current projects. After we put the list together, we were impressed by how much we got done in the last few months. We must be good.

But hey, we still would love to talk to you about your technical communication projects. Putting together white papers, online training, online communications, or documentation? Look up the Word Lions.

Philip has been busy the past few months. When he’s not making photographs with his antique view camera or spending quality time with his girlfriend, dog, and four cats, he’s writing, improving his writing chops, or helping explain the value of white papers.

Competitive Technical Communications

Whatever the scale of your project, whatever the complexity, Word Lions can help you to explain it to your audience.  Get a hold of us and let us know how we can help. Philip’s sort of a jack of all trades, but lately he’s been writing a lot of fiercely competitive documents for Microsoft. Microsoft, as always, is working towards dominating every market they’re in, and they’re giving VMware a run for their money in the virtualization space. In writing compete-focused technical content, Philip has discovered that it’s all about how you frame your argument. If you let your competitor frame the arguement for you, you’ve already lost because they’re going to frame things in terms of their product’s strengths. Philip has worked closely with several parts of Microsoft’s virtualization product and marketing teams to tease out the right framing and nuance for persuading readers that Microsoft’s products are better.

White Papers And Then Some

A lot of what Philip has written for Microsoft is for Microsoft’s internal audience of field sales, but not this time! You can sample two compete-focused white papers he wrote right here on Microsoft’s public site:

Web Copy

In a related project, Philip crafted some web copy for Microsoft. By the looks of it, he really enjoyed the challenge of switching from the more academic writing style of white paper authoring to the tighter, attention-grabbing style that works well on web sites. You can ogle the web copy he wrote here:

Philip’s not just a one-client guy. He’s been collaborating with Joel on helping a small startup get the word out about their product. Together, the Word Lions have been helping http://ofuz.com increase web traffic, and polish the language of their product’s help system. Oh, and we’ve been using the product too! We’re enjoying how Ofuz helps us stay on top of all of our tasks and stay in touch with our clients. Although it’s still in beta, it’s really a promising product, especially for small businesses and freelancers.

Joel has been creating a lot of online training courses, mostly with a sales focus. In addition he has been scripting and helping with the production of some online videos.

Online Training and Videos

For Tyco Electronic’s Circuit Protection University, he scripted a video and a course to help sales people and technical specifiers to choose the correct circuit protection product for their application. It was interesting to learn about all those tiny doohickeys that protect our gadgets from harm.

For Eaton Electrical, Joel created training to help electricians better understand how to be good salespeople. The courses show the features of certain products and explain the best way to communicate the benefit to the customer. In the process of making these courses, Joel learned about some cool circuit protection products that would be a nice fit in his 100 year old house.

This Is Where the Helicopters Come In

Apparently Joel has become something of a specialist in all things electrical, whatever the scale. Another recent project was a safety training for Wilson Construction, an electrical utility contractor. They install electrical plant in all manner of situations – including from helicopters. Really. Helicopters. View the slideshow for a good dose of awesome. As you can imagine, safety is a big deal at Wilson. They are going to use this course to introduce new employees to their safety process and the Wilson culture of safety. We are just about to go live with the last of them, and the modules have been looking really good. The client just got back with a review of one module that said, “ “It’s really great. I’m mesmerized by it. I think I’ve watched it 9 times now.” That makes Joel feel pretty good.

Explaining It With Online Videos

For our good friends at BlueVolt, Joel scripted a video that explains the value of their awesome but difficult to explain platform.  We managed to get it done in record time. Great job to Arturo Cornejo and Caitlin Wilbur for making the pretty pictures Joel had in his head.

Whatever the scale of your project, whatever the complexity, Word Lions can help you to explain it to your audience.  Get a hold of us and let us know how we can help.