Re: An e-mail-based poll re: TW roles

Subject: Re: An e-mail-based poll re: TW roles
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 17:14:49 -0400


I thought I'd answer my own poll... ;-) Keeping it honest, and all
that, ya know...

> 1) How in-tune with your company's business model are you, the Technical Writer?

Very. We have a wide variety of products for a even wider variety of
customers, so knowing specifics about everything is, um, difficult.
(That's why we have different departments to handle each type of
product and industry cluster.) But the core fundamentals.. the point
behind the products... and the value they add... yep, you bet. I
couldn't be on top of my job without being on top of the business.

> 2) How business savvy are you, and do you keep an open mind to
> business demands in all aspects of your professional career?

Without business, work would be a very different term. ;-) I'm quite
business savvy, and I always look at issues and innovations from a
business angle. Innovation is cool, but innovation that returns cash
is smart.

> 3) What do you do to feed the bottom line (and what is that bottom
> line) of your respective company, and is what you do in-line with what
> your company ultimately wants?

I write documentation that allows people to use our products. I
preemptively answer user questions in writing so they don't have to
call tech support or rely heavily on forums, and any questions I miss
the first time I work to answer the next time. I work with other
departments to ensure we're doing all the right things, from what kind
of content we provide, to how we provide it, to whom we provide it to.
I collaborate with development to share the load of feature design AND
content development (both to varying degrees). In the end, I work to
maximize the quantity and quality of content and minimize the amount
of time it takes to develop and produce it. I don't feed the bottom
line directly (which is, of course, revenue), but I reduce costs in
other departments while hopefully providing documentation deliverables
that sales people can use in getting more new and returning customers.

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References:
An e-mail-based poll re: TW roles: From: Bill Swallow

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