Re: Tech Writing for Social Networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

Subject: Re: Tech Writing for Social Networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
From: Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 17:16:07 -0400

On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 4:54 PM, Blount, Patricia A
<Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com> wrote:
> Hi, all,
> A leadership change prompts me to pose this question: how can tech
> writers exploit today's social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook,
> maybe You Tube, chat rooms) to deliver product instruction, if at all?

First - Truth in responding. My social networking of choice is
blogging. I don't Twitter and I've only just been dragged onto
Facebook after my High School reunion two weeks ago.

I think that the biggest hurdle with using social media to deliver
training or documentation is going to be the extreme limitations on
how much content you can post. Twitter restricts you to something
like 140 characters? And Facebook seems to have a similarly small
limit, unless you post a note.

Even though technical writing has been delivering content in smaller
and smaller chunks, I think that there is a limit as to just how
concise we can be and still meet the needs of our users. If an
application is so well designed that you can cover it in 140
characters, you probably don't need to be writing help for it. If you
need help, you probably need more than 140 characters to deliver it.
It seems to me that the only way you could deliver any value via
either Twitter or Facebook is to use them to point to a longer writeup
posted elsewhere.

Just my 2 cents.

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Tech Writing for Social Networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.): From: Blount, Patricia A

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