Questions for a Technical Editor: Connie Giordano
Connie Giordano and Al Martine have been partners since back in April 2011 as owners of TechWhirl, an online mangazine geared towards the technical writing industry. She does both developmental and technical editing as well as light copy editing and proofreading.
How is technical editing different from other publishing work you're familiar with?
Since TechWhirl provides resources to technical and business communicators, you might think of us as an online trade journal for technical communication and content development. So in addition to working with writers on technical subjects, I also have to look at our work from a more journalistic view. It can be quite challenging to balance technical editing with the more familiar journalistic editing. For example, knowing the varying levels of expertise of our readers, I have to look at an individual article to make sure that we avoid making assumptions about what readers already know. I also have to ask questions of the writers that will help them think more broadly about the subject, to uncover alternate viewpoints and little known facts, and lead them to use more resources than they might in their day-to-day work. So in addition to having at least a cursory knowledge of the technology being discussed, I need to be able to think like a journalist, a manager, a technical writer, or even a developer.
What do you find satisfying about technical editing?
I enjoy helping our writers broaden their skill sets, since most are experienced in technical writing, but less so in blogging or journalism. But even more, I enjoy being part of a process that ensures we deliver articles that are interesting, accurate and useful to our readers.
What fortune-cookie-size advice would you give other editors interested in technical editing?
Embrace your inner geek and use it as a force for good to help users.
Word nerd, grammar police, language lover, guru, ninja, maven, and more -- If you had to pick such a moniker (to embroider on your cape, engrave on your keys to the city, etc.), what would it be and why?
Hmm, I’ve used several over the years. When I managed a tech pubs team, I was the Mayor of Docoville. As TechWhirl’s editor and discussion list moderator, I’m the Designated Cat Herder, which often reeks of understatement. Any time you’re working with multiple writers, managers, and SMEs, getting the document “finished” is an exercise in cat herding.
If you weren't editing what would you like to try as a career? What's a job that fascinates you?
I’d love to be a visual futurist for film makers doing science fiction epics.
In the Hollywood adaptation of your story, who plays Connie Giordano?
It would be very cool to have Judy Dench play the Designated Cat Herder of TechWhirl.
You can find out more about Connie and her work at: