Re: Why enter contests for technical documentation?

Subject: Re: Why enter contests for technical documentation?
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 2001 14:00:10 -0800

"Hart, Geoff" wrote:

> For example, STC tries to use
> consistent guidelines across all chapters; in the one competition I entered,
> I received a detailed evaluation of my publication based on those
> guidelines, with a score beside each item on the checklist,

These guidelines may be consistent, but validity or objectivity is

another question. What this consistency hides is the fact that the
score is a numerical translation of the judge's opinion. A
conscientious judge will try for an accurate translation, but a
biased judge won't. You see the same trouble in judged sporting
events, such as skating.

Since you can never be sure of how the judges are operating (and,
often, know nothing about the judges, not even who they are), I
prefer to avoid the whole process. As I said in my original post, I
get much more immediate feedback about my work. I think it was
Jerry Pournelle who, talking about the Hugos, the awards given out
at the World SF Convention every year, noted that "money will get
you through times of no Hugos better than Hugos will get you through
times of no money."

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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instrument for good that our planet has ever known."
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