Re: Boring documentation?

Subject: Re: Boring documentation?
From: "Paul Goble" <pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 15:41:55 -0700

On 3/22/06, Janice Gelb <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com> wrote:
> People documenting UNIX system
> administration who use that same style are not going
> to be successful and are likely to be seen as condescending
> or not authoritative.

This audience *might* not respond well to a Dummies-style book, but
they often do respond well to an informal, humorous style. Witness
the row of dogeared, witty O'Reilly books on just about any sysadmin's
bookshelf. Says Tim O'Reilly: "We want anything produced with the
O'Reilly name to be useful, *interesting,* and truthful."

In my department, we've had a few manuals that were a "hit" with our
hardware/software engineer customers, with customers and salespeople
ordering extra copies and sending us fan mail. Guess what? Those were
the manuals where a writer took a chance and used a down-to-earth style
with judicious use of humor.

I notice that these successful examples are mostly "concept" manuals and
tutorials, not user's guides and reference manuals.


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RE: Rhetoric And Technical Writing?: From: Steven Brown
Boring documentation?: From: Geoff Hart
Re: Boring documentation?: From: David Loveless
Re: Boring documentation?: From: Janice Gelb

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