Re: portfolio questions

Subject: Re: portfolio questions
From: "Tim Altom" <taltom -at- simplywritten -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 08:59:34 -0500

"My boss wanted it that way" is a good and truthful answer. Go with it.
Nobody expects you to be Conan the Tech Writer and enforce your ideas at the
point of a sword.

Realize that anybody who would judge you on the visual impact of your
samples alone is an ass. Or, to be more charitable, an ignorant individual
who desperately needs to know how to interview a tech doc'er. Either way,
you may want to pass on the job, because most people don't eagerly set out
to rectify their ignorance.

The very best form of portfolio, in my view, is to create a kind of case
study. Present the original with a stamp or other indication that it's a
facsimile of the real thing. Then follow it with an analysis that has some
basic categories: user profile, perceived need, layout decisions and how
they were made, your role in creation, tool used, problems encountered and
solved, and credit to others. Keep the whole package to one or two pages for
each study. More than that won't get read.

Such a package shows several things. First, there's the physical appearance.
Second, there's your superlative organization skills. Third, a knack for
knowing what others want to know. And yes, I'd keep a portfolio ready to go
at all times. Not out of disloyalty, but realizing that in our high-tech
worlds, jobs can vaporize faster than teenage love.

Tim Altom
Simply Written, Inc.
Featuring FrameMaker and the Clustar Method(TM)
"Better communication is a service to mankind."
317.562.9298
Check our Web site for the upcoming Clustar class info
http://www.simplywritten.com


> I have some thoughts and questions for the more experienced people on
> portfolio building. While you're working at your current job, do you
think
> about and plan your portfolio for the future? Also, the writing that
> appears in our final documentation is edited work. I'm assuming this is
> true for many of us. So, do I display the final work and explain that it
> has been edited (sometimes I don't like the editing)? Do I "reedit" it
and
> display that? If an interviewer questioned me on phrasing, the answer very
> well could be "My boss wanted it that way." Not a very good answer.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Sharon
>
>
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
Training & consulting for RoboHELP, Dreamweaver, HTML, and HTML-Based Help.
More info at http://www.weisner.com/train/ or mailto:training -at- weisner -dot- com -dot-

Your web site in 32 languages? Maybe not now, but sooner than you think.
Contact ForeignExchange for the FREE paper, "3 steps to successful
translation management" (http://www.fxtrans.com/3steps.html?tw).

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