Marketing view of documentation was Re: dispensing with documentation reviews

Subject: Marketing view of documentation was Re: dispensing with documentation reviews
From: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 14:08:33 -0700

I committed a howler recently when I characterized the "marketing
view of documentation", and thanks to a poignant inquiry sent to
me off-line, I have purged any errant pejorative sense of
"marketing" from my vocabulary, and now retract anything that I
implied was attributable to the term "marketing" or the field of
Marketing in general. By way of explanation, I'd like to say
that the project I was describing, where I worked under the
"Marketing" department, was my sole project experience with a
marketing organization, and under the circumstances and in
retrospect, was probably far from normal. I am grateful for the
clarification in email about Marketing as a business function.
So, please let me clarify what I was trying to say; the message
has change little but the unintended insult to marketers has been

"Marketing" was the name of the internal group that wanted
incomplete documentation releases with all of the bows and
ribbons, like a finished product. Ann Pai may find this
interesting because that Marketing department was an example of a
group that had the power to drive the documentation requirements,
and used it in a way that ran counter to my professional values.
To them, the documentation, whether complete or not, would
fulfill their commitment to providing documentation along with a
test release of the software. If I had not understood the
special requirement for delivery of a good looking but incomplete
doc set PDQ, it would have seemed that Marketing had arrogated a
large portion of the tech writers' professional role, humiliating
us and our best efforts by shipping out a "pig with lipstick."

I didn't mean to extrapolate and attribute those situational
ethics to the ethics of the entire professional field of

Sorry if anyone else was insulted by my apparent slight of
marketers. I hope my meaning is clearer now.

Ned Bedinger
Ed Wordsmith Technical Communications Co.
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com
tel: 360-434-7197
fax: 360-769-7059

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ned Bedinger" <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2004 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: dispensing with documentation reviews

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Ann Pai" <apai -at- kc -dot- rr -dot- com>
> To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
> Sent: Thursday, May 27, 2004 9:36 PM
> Subject: dispensing with documentation reviews

> The management had a marketing view of documentation ("make it
> look professional")


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