Re: How are Technical Writer's Perceived

Subject: Re: How are Technical Writer's Perceived
From: Peter <pnewman1 -at- home -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 08:53:28 -0500

lestatvampire39 -at- hotmail -dot- com wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I am doing a paper on technical writers and require some input from
> our side of the fence. Basically, the angle is, how do we remove the
> negative preconceptions that others have about us?
> I've interviewed various sectors of the high tech industry, the
> customers that use our services, and the SME's we interface with.
> For the most part, responses have been quite negative.
> If an accountant is stereotyped as boring, a lawyer as money
> grabbing, and a used car saleman as .....well we all know - What is
> the stereotype for a tech writer?
> Additionally I would like to know why you believe we are perceived as
> such?
> And lastly, if you have any ideas on how to changed this perception I
> would appreciate it. I understand the value we contribute, the
> reduced customer support calls, improved product value, independent
> product validation, useability, etc.

1. discuss points with SMEs, Don' interface with them;
2. don't spend endless hours obsessing over commas and semi colons and
complying about tools;
3. put your head down and write;
4. group questions at logical breakpoints; don't interrupt every two
5. act like an ally of the SME, remember what the E stands for.
6. etc.. etc..


"When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a
minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute-and it's
longer than any hour. That's relativity,"
- Einstein-

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