RE: Reader responsibility

Subject: RE: Reader responsibility
From: MList -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 10:30:08 -0400

Audience Analysis
For me, that has mostly consisted of wetting my finger
(which one?...... it varies) and holding it up to the
breeze from the ventilator.

My audience consists almost exclusively of people I've
never met and never will meet, twice removed. Many of
them live and work on another continent, or on the other
side of the world. Our product is mostly handled by
intermediaries/partners. The budget for sending the one-and-only
technical writer to Hong Kong for a few days of observing
co-operative third-party customers installing, configuring
and integrating our products... is nil. Even if there was
such a budget, I think that SARS would mitigate against
the trip.

What I don't figure out for myself, in terms of what the
average user will need, to do the job, I get from our
Customer Support and Sales Eng. people..... for the next

What *should* formal audience analysis look like? It's
been so long since I've seen a focus group or press-ganged
some "users", that I can't really remember (that would be
at Philips in Montreal in the late 1980s).
Darn, I'm old! Candidate for accreditation grandfathering? :-)


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