RE: documentation going away

Subject: RE: documentation going away
From: "Steve Cavanaugh" <Steve -dot- Cavanaugh -at- Coinstar -dot- com>
To: "John Allred" <jack -at- allrednet -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 10:37:03 -0800

The manuals are still available. Go to Amazon.com and search for
Microsoft Excel 2010 Comprehensive. You get 108 hits. You can still have
your manual if you are willing to pay another hundred dollars or so.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+steve -dot- cavanaugh=coinstar -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+steve -dot- cavanaugh=coinstar -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
] On Behalf Of John Allred
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2012 6:47 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: documentation going away

The rationale for shifting support to user communities is obvious, from
a cost perspective. But, from a user perspective, I question whether we
should acquiesce in this trend to offload responsibility for support.
Whether printed, or in a PDF or eBook format, company-written
documentation has the benefit of being organized and authentic. Forums
are not. Google is not. Searching for help on specific issues can be
like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack. I used to have
a one-inch-thick Excel manual on my desk that laid it out from A to Z.
Besides being organized, it was also thorough. Now, I lose lots of time
searching for help on Excel functions.

I think we've lost something extremely valuable.

John

On 1/16/2012 8:16 AM, Phil Snow Leopard wrote:
>
> I think the answers are in your post.
>
> 1. Cost.
>
> 2. The internet, and more specifically, community forums that provide
free technical help and establish a user community around the product.
This provides several benefits:
> - a free marketing tool that has greater credibility than in-house
> marketing because enthusiasm comes from customers, not the company - a
huge database of customer information and feedback usefule for
> : market analysis
> : product development
> : customer feedback
>
> To be honest, when you look at the huge pay-offs of internet-based
help and the minimal cost, it remains a mystery why so many companies
still produce paper documentation. The only rationale I can think of is
for products where the user base or the product use is not conveniently
related to online activity (like installing a shower, say) and/or the
product is complex and safety critical (airplanes spring to mind, though
there are of course many other more mundane examples).
>
>
> Phil
>
> Tech Writer:
> http://applehelpwriter.com
>
>
> Critical Thinking& Philosophy:
> http://essentialthinking.wordpress.com/
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with
Doc-To-Help.
> Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
> Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
> http://www.doctohelp.com
>
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>

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with
Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days.
http://www.doctohelp.com

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: documentation going away: From: Phil Snow Leopard
Re: documentation going away: From: John Allred

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