Re: What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technical writer?

Subject: Re: What do you guys think of STCs new definition for technical writer?
From: "Tim Mantyla" <tim -dot- mantyla -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 10:50:59 -0400

From: "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>

Looks like an invented niche term, not something to use in a generic

definition that a wide audience will be referencing.

Milan Davidovic wrote:

> On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 4:09 PM, Dan Goldstein

> <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com> wrote:

>> Forgive my persistence. :-) Could someone define this term for me?


> Perhaps a term borrowed from the Knowledge Management domain, e.g.:



-- Bill Swallow


Not to be snarky, but "knowledge product"? Everything we buy or use requires
knowledge to invent, make, buy and use. This includes fill dirt. It requires
shovels to scoop up, and vehicles to deliver, both of which require
knowledge to invent, make, purchase and use.

I would guess it fuzzily describes software, hardware and telecommunications
devices. The trouble is, you have to guess.

Some products that are more specifically about knowledge and its
transmission might be called information products. But that's pretty fuzzy
as well.

"Knowledge product" has the ring of marketing hooey--stuffy enough to sound
"very important," the way many marketers want their companies to appear--but
it doesn't describe anything specific. I'll bet it pops up on software
marketing websites soon!

This definition is a tough nut to crack, as evidenced by the amount of
discussion and disagreement. Maybe it's impossible for most of us to agree
on a precise definition--because we're technical editors & writers, after
all, and each has a different view based on experience, and wants to be as
clear and precise as possible.

Tim Mantyla

Communication - Creativity - Innovation

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