RE: permalancer

Subject: RE: permalancer
From: "John Rosberg" <jrosberg -at- interwoven -dot- com>
To: "Chris Borokowski" <athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2008 08:11:52 -0600

While I agree with much of Chris's post, as well as the concept of
seeking non-commodity employers (which, of course, intimates an employer
that likely doesn't create commodities), I disagree, a bit, on the
comments concerning Controlled Writing, DITA, et al.

While these techniques and tools certainly COULD be viewed as
simplifying the job to the point of interchangeable cogs, I do not think
this it would work. I tend to view these things a tools, a better
(perhaps) pipe wrench -- simply having the wrench will not help the
plumber know which pipe to whack.

In some organizations, the press of requirements (localization, among
others) simply to not allow for each of 20 writers to finely craft the
deliverables in a way that reflects the totality of their skills.

The use of Controlled Writing and DITA may be viewed as techniques that
can increase the writer's efficiency, lower the cost of localization,
increase the usability of the deliverables, in short, increase the
writer's value to the organization.

Two sides of the same coin, I suppose -- depends a great deal on how you
choose to look at it.


-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Borokowski [mailto:athloi -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 9:00 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: permalancer

Or in other words, make it clear that ours is a knowledge-based
profession and that knowledge is stored in individuals. The idea of
workers as replaceable cogs is bad enough, but to deny the inequality
of experience, knowledge and basic intelligence among tech writers is
to doom us all to real boredom.

Although I like many of the ideas in Plain Language, Simplified
English, DITA, etc. a lot of what I see there is an attempt to make the
job more interchangeable cog-ish. That will chase away the real
communicators and ensure that all documentation is interchangeably

> I think I've just said: If you're a good TW, seek out non-commodity
> employers.
technical writing | consulting | development

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RE: permalancer: From: Chris Borokowski

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