Re: Are your documents interesting?

Subject: Re: Are your documents interesting?
From: John Cook <john -dot- cook -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 10:51:41 -0600

On 1/12/06, Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net> wrote:
> The two big considerations, from management's point of view, are:
> 1. Is there a chance that someone with limited reading skills is going
> to misunderstand the document and end up causing harm to budget,
> equipment, or persons?
> 2. Is it going to cost extra to hire writers capable of writing an
> interesting document?
> If you can answer No to both questions, go for it.

I think I've mentioned this in passing but it's worth reiterating
here. My favorite technical manual is the BeOS Bible from Scot
Hacker, a technically competetent, entertaining HOW-TO book that
covered the OS (and the subculture) from one end to the other. Scot
walked the line of informality without loss of clarity and produced a
tome that is accurate while remaining fun to read. One gets the
feeling that the book was fun to write and the OS was fun to use, not
a bad thing.

Granted, this was for what ended up being a hobbyist OS, but if your
application is similiarly designed for a casual audience, an informal
approach can be a genuine asset that draws people to your product.

I don't see such an approach working in the health care arena but
seems tailor-made for niche geek applications.

John Cook
Technical Writer / Help Author
john dot cook at gmail dot com

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Are your documents interesting?: From: Steven Brown
Re: Are your documents interesting?: From: Dick Margulis

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