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Several years back, the application (actually, a collection of about 150
APIs) for which I created the documentation, was reviewed by a respected
trade publication...one of the telephony magazines. In their review, they
had a section specifically devoted to the documentation included with the
product. They gave the application an overall A- and the documentation a B.
Based on the parameters under which I had to create this documentation, I
I can see where this type of review...by a knowledgeable industry-specific
organization, could carry great value and I have a feeling that Anna (and
her boss) was looking for this type of judging...not the general STC-type
Anna...is it possible that you can submit your documentation and training
for review by the trade publications in your field? The only downside is
that if they give it a poor review, your field knows about it. I think this
is called putting your money where your mouth is. :-)
Senior Technical Writer
jposada -at- book -dot- com
"Alright, nobody move! I've got a dragon here, and I'm not afraid to use it"
Anna Langley wrote:
>What value is there really in
>peer awards? I think for us it increases our credibility.
Granted, an award may make your company and your writers feel good.
However, unless the judges are using your documentation in the way that
it's intended, or have specific experience in your industry, their
critiques will be of limited use.
In fact, I wonder whether an award will attract any business at all. In
my observation, if people don't know anything about an award - and let's
face it, tech-writing awards are going to be obscure to most non-writers
- then they mostly just ignore it. It doesn't have much of an effect.
Generally, customer feedback is much more useful than an award. Customer
feedback shows that the people who actually use your documentation
appreciate it, and informed praise always means much more than
uninformed praise. I think your writers can get just as much praise and
internal justification from customer feedback as from awards. As for
credibility, a few quotes and case studies will go much further than an
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