Spotlight on Jacob Moses and The Not-Boring Tech Writer podcast relaunch
Catherine Heath | October 11, 2018
Jacob Moses is a Community Builder at Strong Towns who has been working in the technical writing field for two years.
He took a break from his podcast, The Not-Boring Tech Writer, for a while, in order to pursue another personal project.
Talking to Jacob
We talked to Jacob when he had just arrived back from a conference hosted by his employer, Strong Towns.
The conference invited people who live in Dallas to learn more about Strong Towns’s mission – which is to help cities, towns and neighborhoods become financially strong and resilient.
Jacob also hosts the Strong Towns podcast called It's the Little Things. A guest appears on the podcast each episode to talk about an action that anyone can take to make their town stronger. For example, that could be starting a neighborhood association, or running for city council.
Jacob has been in the technical writing field for two years – ever since he completed his degree at the University of North Texas.
Moving to Boulder
Jacob graduated from North Texas and then he moved to Boulder, Colorado, for his first technical writing internship with Rainmaker Digital. This later turned into his first full-time technical writing job.
Upon moving to Boulder, he was searching for the local technical writing community and discovered Write the Docs Denver/Boulder. He subsequently met our Chief Executive Owl and Knowledge Goddess Marybeth at one of the meetups, and a connection was formed.
Since then, Jacob has taken a temporary break from his podcast in order to run a corner store called Blue Bag Market, but he is now back in full force to relaunch the podcast.
And Jacob’s mission? To show the world that technical writing is definitely not boring.
The value of podcasting
Jacob and I had a great discussion about the value of the podcast format and how popular it is with technical writers – although there are relatively few technical writing podcasts yet.
“A podcast is the quickest way to convince people that you’re saying something valuable,” jokes Jacob, with more than a grain of truth.
He started the podcast when he was 6 months out of university, and found it valuable for making connections with other experienced professionals, and it also benefited him to be associated with them.
Building your network is incredibly worthwhile in any field, but especially if you’re a technical writer.
Making the podcast
Jacob says, “I normally allow the guest to choose the topic. I ask them what skill they think marks the technical writing career out as not boring. ”
Most of the technical writing podcasts out there are conceptual and theoretical.
The Not-Boring Tech Writer takes a different approach by focusing more on actionable content. Each episode tends hones in on one particular skill, or a single tool, and listeners can put the insights they learn into practice right away.
Many of the topics in the past have focused on developer documentation. This area is not something Jacob has direct experience of working in, so each podcast topic is often new to him and requires research.
He normally promotes the podcast informally on his twitter account, but he’s interested in marketing the podcast more in the future.
Finding guests for the podcast
Jacob normally finds his guests by word-of-mouth or by making friends with people in the industry. He welcomes a diversity of perspectives, so guests could be anyone from new technical writers to seasoned professionals, to students studying tech comm.
Technical Writer at Microsoft Ted Hudek was one of the earlier guests on the podcast. His experience led him to then directly give a talk at Write the Docs in Portland. The podcast is a fantastic platform for people to share their ideas.
“It’s my job to give other people a platform where they can share their ideas,” says Jacob. “I’m really good at that, and I’m overjoyed to embrace that role.”
Our knowledge base software KnowledgeOwl enables technical writers to publish outstanding documentation. Sign up for a free trial.