RE: "New Media"

Subject: RE: "New Media"
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: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 09:45:50 -0400

Greg Holmes wrote on 10/16/2005 06:31:37 AM:
> They wouldn't get in the habit of going to
> look,

And I've found that's the major hurdle to surmount.

Any information dissemination or comment gathering in needs active
distribution and prompting. Just because information is there and updated
regularly doesn't mean that those that require the information will
receive it in a timely manner. Relying on the users and respondents taking
time out from their regular work to check for updates can be unreasonable
even for small amounts of information.

Just think about it, i sit really effective for your time as a techwriter
to have to rely on asking an SME each and every day for updates? How long
until you're fed up with asking and getting "Nothing new" as an answer and
then stop asking only to miss an important update?

Similarly, how often are SMEs or others likely to visit blogs, wikis,
webpages, or other electronic information sharing and gathering systems if
they aren't pointed directly to new content or their responsibilities
aren't actively shown to them as required?

Unless there is a specific and active job function interaction with the
system, the system is a distraction and interferes with the current work
at hand.

So, how can the system be active? E-mail notification, RSS, work flow
control, perhaps something along the lines of read/unread indication in
bulletin board applications.

But it's a fine line to walk. Too little notification and you'll lose the
interest of the participants, too much and you'll annoy them.

Eric L. Dunn
Senior Technical Writer


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RE: "New Media": From: Greg Holmes

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