I've just put in my application to speak at LinuxCon in Boston in August. Their speaker lineup is pretty impressive, so it would be an incredible honour to be selected.
For posterity, here is the abstract I've submitted:
This talk is a look into why documentation is so important to open source projects. It explains how to create documentation that will empower your users, guide them through the often daunting learning curve of using new software, and in the process make your project look fantastic. Beautiful technical documentation might sound like an unrealistic fairy tale, but it can make the difference between a successful project, and a wildly successful one.
The talk is aimed at anyone who is involved in creating open source software, and who doesn't know how best to approach the documentation process. No specific technical expertise is required.
And the bio:
Lana Brindley writes technical documentation for Red Hat. She works from her home near Canberra, Australia and is currently getting her hands dirty on middleware documentation. She is hopelessly loquacious, and enjoys writing presentations and speaking in her spare time for fun. She's also been known to wear a red fedora in public.
Lana has been writing technical documentation for open source projects for nearly three years. She has been speaking about Linux generally and technical writing specifically for the same period of time, although her fascination with these topics dates back over a decade. Most recently, she spoke at linux.conf.au in Wellington, New Zealand, the Canberra Linux Users Group, Girl Geek Dinners Sydney and Canberra, and a clutch of computer user groups.
Update: I did actually get accepted to speak. Unfortunately, work have declined to fund me to get over there. Never mind. Next year!