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

Subject: RE: Tech Writing for Social Networks (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
From: "Richard L Hamilton" <dick -at- rlhamilton -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2009 15:56:44 -0600

I'm finding this to be an interesting thread; thanks to
Patricia for starting the discussion.

It's particularly pertinent to my current work, because
I'm in the final throes of publishing Anne Gentle's new
book, Conversation and Community, which addresses exactly
this question.

The fascinating point to me is that Social Networks in many
ways bring the "digital revolution" full circle. What I mean
is probably best illustrated with an example:

At one time, if you wanted to learn something, a person would
teach you one-to-one (or one-to-a-few). If that person was a
good teacher, he or she would interact with you and customize
the material for your needs.

With the advent of writing, information was written down and
passed on through the printed (and later electronic) word as
much as through individual instruction. While written information
can reach many more people, it is an arms length medium.

Web 2.0 provides tools that can, potentially, give you back
at least some of the interaction and customization that you
get with a good teacher.

So, to try and answer Patricia's original question, I think we
should think of Web 2.0 as being a way to enable us to get back
to techniques that have proven effective in one-to-one teaching,
namely, interaction between writers and readers, and customization.
There's still lots to learn, but I'd start with those two areas.

BTW, the topic got me writing, and I've just posted a short
article that considers the question in a bit more detail:

Best Regards,
Richard Hamilton
XML Press
XML for Technical Communicators
(970) 231-3624

> 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?


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

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