RE: More alternatives to 'Technical Writer'

Subject: RE: More alternatives to 'Technical Writer'
From: "Evans, Diane L (Rosetta)" <diane_evans -at- merck -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 11:08:35 -0800

>I can understand how solutions might be developed, but not information.
>Info can be stored, retrieved, gathered, enhanced, etc. But developed?
>What am I missing here?

I beg to differ with you, Craig. KNOWLEDGE can be stored and retrieved.
But, is this knowledge the same as information? Probably not.

According to the dictionary, information is the communication of
knowledge, where knowledge is understanding gained through experience or

So, how does knowledge become information? Someone needs to retrieve
the knowledge, then organize it into a method where the information is
communicated to others.

For example, I know that a certain software product still needs work. I
know this from the number and content of bug reports (knowledge). But,
I need to communicate this knowledge to the project manager. I don't
just dump a pile of bug reports on his desk and say, "Look at this stack
of problems!" Instead, I will sort through the bug reports, organize it
into a cohesive report, and give him the document. It might say,
"Although 200 bugs still exist in the software, the following list of
ten bugs must be resolved before the product is shipped." The report
then justifies that position.

So, I took some knowledge and developed information that the project
manager can use to make further project decisions.

That's where the true talent of a technical writer lies -- being able to
present a mass of knowledge cohesively and in a manner that other people
will understand what I am saying. (Look at the two space shuttle
disasters for examples of knowledge that was not converted into

I really enjoyed my technical communication courses at Utah State. We
learned lots of neat stuff like this.

Diane Evans
Requirements Analyst
Rosetta Inpharmatics

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More alternatives to 'Technical Writer': From: Cardimon, Craig

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