RE: Okay all you independent contractors: hit the bricks with THI S

Subject: RE: Okay all you independent contractors: hit the bricks with THI S
From: MList -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2003 15:31:07 -0400

Andrew Plato [mailto:gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com]

> What he is saying is that valuable information cannot be just
> given out,
> commodity fashion, to anybody who wants it. People will waste
> that information
> or misuse it. Moreover, it can denigrate the value of that
> information. If a
> company invests big money in information, it isn't going to
> just hand it out
> for free to every dipstick on the street. That would reduce
> the value of that
> information and reduce the value of the investment.
> These are important concepts to think about. When you look
> past the words and
> language into the actual information - your perspective
> changes. And you
> realize that clarity is as relative as time.

Clarity is relative to the ability of the audience. It has value,
independent of the raw content. For example, I have found over
the years that I get (at least as) good quality information
from O'Reilly books, compared to the one-offs published by/for
technical geeks (is that redundant?) on computer-related topics.
However, my experience is that O'Reilly consistently lives up to
its reputation of clear and orderly and useful presentation of
that information. Therefore, given a choice between a four-pound
tome by one of the guys who invented XYZ language, or the slimmer
O'Riley books on the same topic -- even if the prices are identical --
I'll choose the O'Reilly books for my $60-apiece. Obviously, I'm not
alone, given the readership and loyalty thereof, that O'Reilly
publishing enjoys.

Like so many other readers of computer-stuff books, I recognize
that it's worth my time and money to choose books that are readable
and accessible, and that have ordered and selected the relevant
content, rather than a brain-dump from some guy who's smarter than
I am, but who has no clue how to organize content for accessibility and
usability by us ordinary grunts. That is, it's worth money, and
sometimes it's worth the wait to get material that doesn't waste my
time and hurt my brain to achieve the same eventual end -- learning a
new language or program, or system. If I walk around my employer's
office here, the various O'Reilly titles have pride of place on all
the programmers' and architects' shelves, too.

Similarly, when our executives are signing themselves -- or us -- up
for seminars, training, motivation, they go for providers who have
a reputation for clarity and accessibility. They don't look for somebody
who has the most obscure, cerebral, esoteric knowledge. They look for
somebody who has proven themselves effective at transferring the relevant
knowledge in reasonable time. Given the choice between having us come
back from a class/seminar and getting to work with new, accessible
or coming back with brows furrowed and weeks of study and decryption of
obscure references before we can become productive, guess which version
our peerless leaders choose?

When they are looking for information from us, or from industry gurus,
the FIRST thing they look for is the executive summary, and then they
look for clarity and on-point brevity, with the supporting background
available, but not intruding. In summary, they value, triage and
consolidation and presentation that saves both their time and ours for
useful, money-making work.



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