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

Subject: Re: Tech Writing for Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
From: "Blount, Patricia A" <Patricia -dot- Blount -at- ca -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 09:14:49 -0400

Good morning, all,

Thanks, Brian, Jay and Richard for giving me some new directions to
consider. And Bill, I read Sarah's Release Notes post...good ideas.
Thanks again for sending.

I finished the Groundswell book (excellent!) and signed up for Anne
Gentle's webcast later this morning. So far, ALL of my research supports
Geoff's and Bill's original replies to my post...this is all about
users. (Content isn't king anymore!) Engaging them, interacting with
them, making sure they get the right information when and how they need

Funny, isn't it? We're seeing all these great strides in technology, but
that goal hasn't changed one bit. If anything, it's making it easier for
me (as one tiny cog in a giant corporation) to directly interact with my

A colleague of mine is fond of telling us to "think outside the text
box" and I realized that was my biggest obstacle. I was still thinking
in user guide terms. And if you're not familiar with our CA ARCserve
Backup product, that user guide is over almost a thousand pages (well
above Twitter's 140-character limit, no? grin)

There's really no way to deliver guides of that size using these
technologies. I'm not sure yet what directions our plan will incorporate
but it seems clear(er) that our first step is to listen to our users,
find out what they want. Wikis? Blogs? Alerts when the website is
updated? Video instructions? (Speaking of which, if you haven't heard of
this group yet, check out what Common Craft is doing at Their low-tech approach to complex concepts is
pretty cool.

So, thanks to everyone for helping me change the way I think about
documentation. This is going to be FUN!

Patty B.


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