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

Subject: RE: Tech Writing for Social Networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
From: john rosberg <john_rosberg -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2009 08:16:30 -0500

I, too, am wondering where the time for the customer interaction will come from.

While I entirely agree that said interaction is an overwhelmingly positive experience (both for writers and their management), my day/week/month is pretty much a zero sum game at this point -- any time I spend on facebook would be time I wouldn't be doing something else.

In a previous gig(three years ago), our senior managers (R&D VPs) thought that having docs on a wiki would be cool, leading edge, and reduce the headcount need in pubs.

Two out of three is always pretty good.

Sadly, we found that a bare minimum of 0.5 head was required just to perform triage on the incoming communication (that is, route incoming postings to the appropriate writer). Keeping up with the incoming could have easily cut our throughput by 33%, or increased our headcount similarly.

This shouldn't be taken as a statement that I don't think these tools have a place in the tech pubs department, as I believe they do have a place. They are just not the game-changers that some seem to think they are.

As with many things, setting customer expectations is extremely important (you can expect a response within X time), as is viewing these tools as just that, tools -- as opposed to a bright white light that will make everything wonderful.


John Rosberg
Documentation and Training
john_rosberg -at- hotmail -dot- com
2765 Deerfield Road
Riverwoods, IL 60015

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