RE: huh?

Subject: RE: huh?
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2003 17:09:05 -0700 (PDT)

"Mark Baker" <> wrote in message news:197380 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> The myth of the ignorant editor and the myth of the ignorant writer are both
> derived from the myth of the ignorant user. I'm not convinced it had merit
> even in the days when a high percentage of users were ignorant. But the
> period in which the ignorant user was the norm has certainly passed.

I agree. There is absolutely no reason specialized software documentation
should have basic Windows user-interface instructions. If user?s don?t know how
to right-click, then send them a copy of that video professor. No technical
writer at a software firm should be documenting at that low of a level.

But, people need to keep (and justify) their jobs?so they doc what they know.

> The commoditization of consumer-oriented high tech means that any future
> growth in tech writer jobs is going to come in more specialized sectors
> where the ignorant writer/editor argument will be a complete non starter.

I agree again. The future of tech writing is out at the edge of technology,
where there is a limited experience and training & education is needed.
Commoditized products will just slap stuff together from older stuff or hire
interns to do the work.

But, at the edge, the writers need to have strong sci/tech skills, to help
interpret and understand the products. The ?ignorance is an asset? mentality is
worthless in this space. It actually is detrimental, because it injects
unnecessary information into the documentation, frustrating readers and wasting
time, space, etc.

I suppose there will be a limited space for the ?low end? writers. But, this is
a small and getting smaller group.

Andrew Plato

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