Re: documentation going away

Subject: Re: documentation going away
From: Edwin Skau <eddy -dot- skau -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 00:59:22 +0530

Maybe manuals have not been delivering what they were intended to. I've
read many manuals that are little more than textual muttering under the
breath about some feature or other...

Edwin

On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 12:07 AM, Steve Cavanaugh <
Steve -dot- Cavanaugh -at- coinstar -dot- com> wrote:

> 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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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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References:
Re: documentation going away: From: Phil Snow Leopard
Re: documentation going away: From: John Allred
RE: documentation going away: From: Steve Cavanaugh

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