RE: Evolution of technical writing (was Re: Training)

Subject: RE: Evolution of technical writing (was Re: Training)
From: "Darren Barefoot" <darren -at- darrenbarefoot -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2003 10:32:10 -0700

These sort of systems are in place all over the software industry:
they're called forums. These online communities quickly become
information repositories. Though they're typically maintained by a
company or organization, they're loosely structured databases of support
information. I'd say that when I have a technical issue to resolve, I
find the answer in an archived forum entry about a third of the time.
This compares with actually contacting an organization's tech support
team, which I tend to do sucessfully about 5-10% of the time.

These public databases also exist in many other forms: Wiki webs, open
source projects, community weblogs, etc. Increasingly I find my job is
more about managing information than actually creating content.
Particularly in emerging technologies, users are often keen to
contribute to a product's 'knowledge base'.

If you'll forgive the (not for profit) plug, I'm speaking on a related
topic in Vancouver, BC later this month. There's a write up about my
topic here:
Thanks. DB.

Darren Barefoot
Words. Words. Words.

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-124377 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-124377 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com] On Behalf Of Steven
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 10:12 AM
Subject: Evolution of technical writing (was Re: Training)

Great article, Keri. After a quick read-through, I
can't help but wonder how the idea of "communities of
learning" might be applied to technical documentation.

Now imagine if a public database existed which their
customers could use. It might function similar to
Adobe's user forums or E-Help's RoboHelp Community.
Anyone submits ideas, tips, and suggestions, while the
content is moderated by a "technical writer" (or
whatever job title we wish to assign) who ensures that
content is accurate, timely, appropriate, and well


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Evolution of technical writing (was Re: Training): From: Steven Brown

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