Communicator (was Re: Twitter)

Subject: Communicator (was Re: Twitter)
From: Mike Starr <mike -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 12:47:44 -0600

I self-identify as a tech writer but as far as I can tell, I'm not anywhere close to dated. I believe I could hold my own in a "throwdown" (thanks, Bobby Flay) with most of my colleagues.

<Digression> Maybe what we need to get some publicity for our profession is an "Iron Writer" or "Throwdown" challenge program.</Digression>

I've not drunk the "communicator" Kool-aid yet because I'm inclined to believe that in the long run what clients and hiring managers want is *writing*... they don't think of it in terms of "communication" even though we may incorporate far more than just writing into our work.

In addition, it just sounds pretentious to me... somewhat akin to "sanitation engineer" for "garbage collector" or "entrenching tool" for "shovel" or "utilize" instead of "use".

I opposed STC's effort to replace "technical writer" with "technical communicator" in the U.S. Department of Labor Dictionary of Occupational Titles for that reason and also because their proposed definition did not at all mention either "writer" or "writing".

Mike
--
Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Technical Illustrator
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
(262) 694-1028 - mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - http://www.writestarr.com

Collin Turner wrote:
> I am often amazed at how "stuck in our ways" the Tech Writing community
> seems to be. It may be why so many find themselves unemployed and have
> difficulty getting back into the job-stream -- I know, that sounds harsh,
> but it's a fact. Our filed is evolving faster now than at any point in its
> history. To say we're "Tech Writers" is to admit we're dated. We're
> "Communicators". We document in many varied formats. If it's a message of
> 140 characters or a manual of 330 pages, what does it matter so long as the
> meaning is conveyed -- that is what lies at the core of our job, isn't it?
>
> I use 4 Twitter accounts for multiple purposes. Each of them lives in a
> different ecosystem and each is extremely valuable. Two serve to bring me
> eyes and ears, readers and listeners. As of now I have two podcasts that
> reach over 20,000 listeners per month in more Countries than I can track!
> This has happened in less than 8 months and I would not have that level of
> success without tools like Twitter.
>
> Do not dismiss it.
>
> -Collin
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Twitter: From: David Neeley
Re: Twitter: From: Dossy Shiobara
Re: Twitter: From: Char James-Tanny
Re: Twitter: From: Collin Turner

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