RE: Academic Research in TechComm

Subject: RE: Academic Research in TechComm
From: eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 18:20:27 -0400

bounce-techwr-l-106467 -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com wrote on 03/31/2005 12:19:54 PM:
> I agree we could get to a point of diminishing or negative returns.
> Are we to that point yet? I don't think so. Whenever someone asks me
> what I do for a living and I say I'm a technical writer, I almost
> always get the response, "Oh, you write those manuals that nobody
> understands."

But, is that statement in any way a reflection on the Technical Writers? I
have to say it isn't.

Consumers will whine and complain no end about poor VCR documentation, but
when presented with two VCRs of identical function, do they give a toss
about the documentation? No. They buy the one that's 10$ cheaper.

Now, if the VCR company is already operating with tight margins to produce
the market leading 10$ cheaper VCR, where exactly are they going to get
extra money to create "better" manuals? And why should they increase costs
on an item that won't increase sales?

If you work in such an industry or under such constraints, it's not
management's fault you're insecure about being under-valued. If you want
to increase the quality of the work produced, you have to show how the
rise in quality will benefit the business.

And there's nothing wrong or evil about the system. Without the motivation
of a decent return, no investment would occur. Without investment no
capital would exist to finance products before sales.

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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RE: Academic Research in TechComm: From: Tom Johnson

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