RE: Get to the point?

Subject: RE: Get to the point?
From: Lane Pasut <LPasut -at- alphablox -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 15:57:45 -0700

My 2 cents... One common deficiency I find in documentation is lack of
perspective and purposeful filtering. As technical writers, we need to
understand why people buy our product and what they want/need to be able to
do with it, and how they can achieve that goal with our product. We need to
structure our documentation to facilitate that... everything, from the way
we structure the books, to the examples we use and the introductions we
write, the way we organize the information, everything, should support the
purpose and use of the product. Too often, technical writers think their job
is to document how the feature works. I think of it more as, documenting how
the user can do what they want with the feature. So, this relates to the
book in that just like the marketing pieces have to get to the point, the
book has to start and continue the point.

Lane Pasut
AlphaBlox Corp.
Mountain View, CA

P.S. I liked the part about the oranges.

Sierra Godfrey wrote:


The book says, " Usually, their point is, 'I want to sell you something.'
But to the listener, that point is obvious and meaningless. Most marketing
communications fail for the same reason. They never tell you what their
point is. Tell people in a single compelling sentence why they should buy
from you instead of someone else."

For you minimalist tech writers, do you think this at all applies to how we
write technical information? Obviously marketing material and technical
materials are entirely different things, not the least of why because our
audiences are different.

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