Re: Resolved: Technical communicators can create information

Subject: Re: Resolved: Technical communicators can create information
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L Digest" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- TECHWR-L -dot- COM>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2010 11:55:47 -0700

There are more than a few industries where the qualifications to be hired as a
technical writer include being an SME, or having the ability to become one. In
addition to all the things you wrote in your article, writers in these
industries often check SME inputs against real-world performance and initiate QA
reviews that may lead to changes in product development if performance is found
to not meet design goals.

A tech writer who follows your reader's advice or never develops the ability to
do anything more than what your reader thinks a tech writer's job is will never
be considered anything more than a glorified secretary by these industries and
may be totally locked out of them.

Gene Kim-Eng


----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven Jong" <stevefjong -at- comcast -dot- net>
I did not say, or intend to say, that technical communicators can dispense with
SMEs. But I do think that we can create information, not just serve as
amanuenses. I think this goes to the heart of what a technical communicator
does. If I am correctly paraphrasing the reader's opinion, a technical
communicator can collect information ("here's what folks say"), and curate
information ("here's what the SMEs say"), but not CREATE information. I
disagree. What do you think?

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References:
Resolved: Technical communicators can create information: From: Steven Jong

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