RE: Advocating Documentation and Support

Subject: RE: Advocating Documentation and Support
From: Beth Friedman <bjf -at- wavefront -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 08 Mar 2001 11:53:46 -0600

In our previous episode at 11:43 AM 3/8/01, Christi Carew wrote:

> Reading the "Talkbacks" has also been enlightening,
> especially about the way that programmers and engineers feel
> about documentation:

> "When you buy a VCR, does the merchant stop and offer you a
> free lesson on how to program it?

No, but (again) the VCR doesn't "unexpectedly shutdown" making you restart
your television every so often.

And furthermore, a) a VCR is one of those things that you _need_ documentation for -- they're getting simpler, but there are still fancy functions that documentation is necessary for, and b) my VCR, at least, comes with a technical support number. Which I haven't needed, because the documentation is adequate.

In fact, when I explain to people what a technical writer does, I use "instructions for your VCR" as the example. People understand that it's comparatively complicated, and that there's value in explaining how to use it properly.

Beth Friedman / bjf -at- wavefront -dot- com
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