Re: Resolved: Technical communicators can create information

Subject: Re: Resolved: Technical communicators can create information
From: Keith Hood <klhra -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L Digest <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Richard Mateosian <xrmxrm -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2010 13:05:41 -0700 (PDT)

We are already a commodity. It's been that way for years. No I don't like it but I have to acknowledge reality. We got commoditized in 2000 when the tech stock bubble started imploding and companies desperate to cut costs decided that Bengalis and Taiwanese would give them documents that are "good enough" by their definition at half the cost. The fact that we don't like being commoditized doesn't change anything.

Refusing to "cede" anything is irrelevant. Employers already know there are hundreds around the world who will work for less, and they are already running the calculations to decide whether or not to ditch the American for someone else. A lot of employers just simply don't give a rat's *** about documentation so they are totally unimpressed by any arguments about usability or user experience or any of that.

Yes, tech writers should be full members of the team. But you are preaching to the choir. The fact remains that the number of places where you will find that approach followed are extremely few and very far between. Let's face it, right now it very much is a buyer's market.


--- On Sun, 6/13/10, Richard Mateosian <xrmxrm -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

From: Richard Mateosian <xrmxrm -at- gmail -dot- com>
Subject: Re: Resolved: Technical communicators can create information
To: "TECHWR-L Digest" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sunday, June 13, 2010, 2:37 PM

>> You should make certain that young tech writers donât begin to think of themselves as
>> the sources of anything other than effective communication. It is the SME who is to
>> provide the explanation of how to use a product (in his opinion) effectively or what should
>> be done when reaching a screen or a page.

If you take this approach to your job, you'll soon be a commodity.

Tech writers should be full members of the product team. If they sit
in a cube writing procedures someone else tells them to write, if they
cede usability, interaction design, embedded assistance, and user
experience to "SMEs," there will be a hundred others around the world
who will do just as good a job for less than half the price.ÂÂÂ...RM




--

Richard Mateosian <xrm -at- pacbell -dot- net>
Berkeley, California
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Re: Resolved: Technical communicators can create information: From: Richard Mateosian

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