ADMIN: RE: Network Security Article Clarification

Subject: ADMIN: RE: Network Security Article Clarification
From: TECHWR-L Administrators <admin -at- raycomm -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 10:24:46 -0700 (MST)

On Thu, 6 Dec 2001, Mike Stockman wrote:

> I think that depends on whether one wants to encourage people to discuss
> their mistakes freely with the community. If I received an attempt to win
> argument points after a post clarifying my own error, I might think twice
> before letting people know about my mistakes in the future, whether I
> thought it would help educate others or not. I'm not sure how that makes
> the sarcastic response a "nice one."

Boy, no kidding. Let's see if we've understood this:
1) Andrew writes a very thorough, valuable article for
the technical writing community and it is made available
to the whole community to reference. There is no
charge to the community for the article.
2) Andrew notices that there's an error of fact in the
article. Granted it's a nuance that's insignificant to
most people, but it is an error that could mislead.
3) Andrew clarifies, publicly, what the error is and
what the correct information is.
4) Andrew gets thanked for the article _and_ the clarification
with a veritable chorus of sarcasm and rudeness.
(Note that the sarcasm and rudeness were also based in a
complete lack of understanding of facts. Yes, there's
a process, and several people reviewed the article.
In addition to the reviewers Andrew mentioned, both
of us reviewed the article, and Eric has a reasonable
background in the security area. We missed it too.)

Now, is it us, or is there something REALLY wrong
with this picture?

Our questions for all of you--particularly those who
took the time to respond rudely and inaccurately:
* Do you similarly mock SMEs in your organization when
they clarify technical points? That might explain the
amount of retraining necessary in new gigs before
the engineers trust and collaborate with us.
* Have you ever announced to a (fairly hostile) audience
of 10,000 or so peers that you made a mistake,
apologized for it, and tried to rectify it? This
would certainly be a good time to start.
* Do you always feel so willing to take anything
that's made available to you at no charge, and give
nothing back of any sort? Doesn't it strike you as
a wee bit inappropriate to do so?

Add to this the fact that, as a TECHWR-L Sponsor,
Andrew _pays_ to make this forum available, so you
can make rude comments to him. Does that really strike
you as the right way to handle this? (Note for the
record that we can count TECHWR-L sponsors on the
fingers of two hands, and _they_ _pay_ to make
this available to the other 9990 or so daily readers
of the list.)

Some subscribers give, and generously, of their
time and energy to help other subscribers and
site visitors. Some companies, including Raycomm
and Andrew's company, Anitian, give both
financially and in terms of time and assistance.
_Some_ (albiet darn few) subscribers write and
say "Here's a few bucks to help with the list--
sorry it can't be more." And, some just
denigrate the ones who contribute positively to
make this forum what it is at its best.
On good days, it's invaluable. On
bad days, it's just an embarrassment.

There are some days that we just don't know why
we spend our time with this forum, and
this is one of them. It's sure as hell not the
money. On days like this, it's not the satisfaction
either--there are other ways in which one can be
embarrassed by the company one keeps.

Eric and Deborah

TECHWR-L: Empowering Technical Writers Since 1993
Eric -- Listowner Deborah -- Webmaster/Editor


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