Re: Archimedes Socrates, ace tech writer, wins another one

Subject: Re: Archimedes Socrates, ace tech writer, wins another one
From: Mike Stockman <stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 09:25:18 -0400

On 09/02/2001 1:25 AM, Michael West (mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- net -dot- au) wrote:

>As to whether the author really "knows" the
>subject matter, or is only capable of acquiring, organizing,
>and transmitting facts accurately and efficiently enough to satisfy
>my requirements -- I care not at all.

That's because you're not really disagreeing with anyone here. You're
just being inefficient about it.

If you maintain that the author only needs to know how to acquire,
organize, and transmit facts, and should depend on another person for the
technical expertise, you're splitting technical writers into multiple
people: Writer person and Technical person. You're requiring two people
(or more) to do the job of one. This is not only inefficient, it's also
dangerous if information is lost between the two that the user may need.

What others on this list have been saying is that it's better for both
roles to be in one person: Technical Writer. It's more efficient (one
person instead of two) and it ensures that the author can make informed
decisions about what to include and what to omit from the writing (thus
serving the needs of the user better). In your scenario, if the Writer
person doesn't know the information personally, she depends on the
Technical person to decide what the user needs to know, and important
details may be lost.

I'll stick with a method that has worked well for me (and for which I've
received occasional good reviews for) over the years: be the best Writer
person I can be, and be the best Technical person I can be, and apply
both of Me to giving the users what they need.


stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com -- AOL and AOL Instant Messenger:MStockman


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