Re: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 100, Issue 10

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 100, Issue 10
From: Holly Deitelhoff <hdeitelhoff3 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:22:56 -0600

Green flags drop in more than just NASCAR - churning dirt is a reference to
truck and tractor pulls (http://bit.ly/1kWWCC6) it has nothing to do with
racing. The admins asked to "stir up" some conversation here - the job that
we're doing is dirty and is like pulling a sled through a mud bog... the
isms were appropriate and no where near NASCAR, I also am not a NASCAR fan.
(~ I'm not taking you seriously - only giving you information~)

I do find it interesting that no one had any feedback; not even to say Word
as a primary authoring tool is a joke. I thought this was supposed to be a
forum to provide insight from past experience --- we've all used Word and
have been in this situation at some point in our careers... it just blows
my mind that no one had anything to say.


On Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 12:55 AM, <techwr-l-request -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>
> 1. RE: Professional how-to videos (Lippincott, Richard)
> 2. Re: ghost town (William Sherman)
> 3. Re: ghost town (William Sherman)
> 4. Re: ghost town (William Sherman)
> 5. Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town -
> (William Sherman)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:52:39 +0000
> From: "Lippincott, Richard" <RLippincott -at- as-e -dot- com>
> To: Hannah Drake <hannah -at- formulatrix -dot- com>, "'McLauchlan, Kevin'"
> <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>, 'Erika Yanovich'
> <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com>, 'techwr-l' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: RE: Professional how-to videos
> Message-ID:
> <A2CB771E6F5F9F4BA60DC8EA7C32BD197A90E892 -at- mahqexc06 -dot- as-e -dot- com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252
>
> Sorry that I wasn't able to answer sooner, I fired off that message to the
> list moments before shutting down and being offline for a week. (Yes, that
> was evil, I know.)
>
> Hannah is exactly right.
>
> If we were to make another one of these, I think I'd go for something a
> little larger (and include a light in there), but this works.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hannah Drake [mailto:hannah -dot- drake -at- formulatrix -dot- com] On Behalf Of
> Hannah Drake
> Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 9:41 AM
> To: 'McLauchlan, Kevin'; Lippincott, Richard; 'Erika Yanovich'; 'techwr-l'
> Subject: RE: Professional how-to videos
>
> I had a discussion with him off-list because I think we might try it. So
> he wears a headset, and leans into the box with the script when he's
> recording.
> ;)
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+hannah -dot- drake=formulatrix -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+hannah -dot- drake=formulatrix -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com]
> On Behalf Of McLauchlan, Kevin
> Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2014 4:55 PM
> To: Lippincott, Richard; Erika Yanovich; techwr-l
> Subject: RE: Professional how-to videos
>
> Given the size of it, I am now picturing you with the plywood version of
> Darth Helmet's headpiece (worn in similar manner).
> Muffled shout: "It's dark in here!"
>
> So, um, where does the mic go?
>
> :-)
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+kevin -dot- mclauchlan=safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+kevin.mclauchlan=
> safenet-inc -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> ] On Behalf Of Lippincott, Richard
> Sent: February-07-14 4:43 PM
> To: Erika Yanovich; techwr-l
> Subject: RE: Professional how-to videos
>
> Way late to the party on this, but here's a comment on audio quality and
> narration:
>
> Narration sound quality makes a huge difference. One small thing that can
> make a video seem cheesy is a narration track that was obviously recorded
> in an office, due to the echos.
>
> Like most places, we couldn't even consider building a recording studio,
> but we did come up with a fairly simple solution to the problem: a box with
> one open end, and lined with sound absorbing material.
>
> Here are some pictures:
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/rjl6955/sets/72157632922852061/
>
> The sound absorbing material is simple packing foam I got from the discard
> pile in our manufacturing area.
>
> Quick and easy to make, very effective. The one improvement it needs:
> better lighting inside.
>
>
>
>
>
> Rick Lippincott, Technical Writer
> American Science and Engineering, Inc. | www.as-e.com
> 829 Middlesex Turnpike | Billerica, MA 01821 USA | Fax +1-978-262-8702Office
> +1-978-262-8807 | rlippincott -at- as-e -dot- com
>
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:42:27 -0500
> From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
> To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: ghost town
> Message-ID: <5DBB73E96E354B528A20CA1A92BA0831 -at- LENOVONB>
> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
> reply-type=original
>
> Ouch. :-)
>
> I know we all write like we talk on here, and with the typos, mistakes,
> mistypes, fat fingers, and all, we are all guilty of something. And I'll
> readily admit my grammar is not what it should be or even what it was in
> 9th
> grade.
>
> But this line just hurts. Those NASCAR-isms just kill me.
>
> All in good fun, don't take it serious.
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Hannah Drake" <hannah -at- formulatrix -dot- com>
> To: "'Tony Chung'" <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>; "'McLauchlan, Kevin'"
> <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
> Cc: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 5:44 PM
> Subject: RE: ghost town
>
>
> >>> Both myself and my team create ....
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:49:56 -0500
> From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
> To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: ghost town
> Message-ID: <8FC475FE36F84747B51D294E7061FA27 -at- LENOVONB>
> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
> reply-type=original
>
> I'd say it isn't a trade since trades tend to be blue collar. They usually
> lend themselves to union membership in some locations. Of course that said,
> I remember years ago that the technical writers at Electric Boat in CT were
> union members. And many tech writers in the '70s and '80s really did learn
> it more on an apprenticeship-type basis by learning from the older guys in
> the company than any other means, just like many trades did.
>
> It's a career if you want it to be. I have known tech writers who began in
> their 20s and retired, always being a tech writer.
>
> I'd say since a degree is offered in it, then it is a profession, as you
> can
> go to school to learn it and be degreed in it, and thus work your entire
> life in it with it as your initial goal.
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Cardimon, Craig" <ccardimon -at- M-S-G -dot- com>
> To: "'McLauchlan, Kevin'" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>;
> <Brian -dot- Henderson -at- mitchell1 -dot- com>; <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 3:50 PM
> Subject: RE: ghost town
>
>
> > Ours is a delightfully fluid trade/profession/career.
> >
> > Here's a question for you: How would you describe the occupation of
> > technical writing, as a trade, career, profession, or all three?
> >
> > There's an idea out there that it isn't a profession, because people tend
> > to fall into it.
> >
> > ~~Craig
> >
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 20:57:32 -0500
> From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
> To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: ghost town
> Message-ID: <62A794C99103465291F3CCFA2D8B560D -at- LENOVONB>
> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
> reply-type=original
>
> The mail lists have starved to death in many areas. The introduction of
> web-based forums and cheap forum software meant that where you used to have
> a mail list, you can now have dozens of forums on the same topic. The
> forums
> are easy to use, with great search engines typically, and you can view the
> threads easily.
>
> I remember a book in Barnes & Noble in 1994 listing then known mail
> servers,
> mail lists, and news groups along with the new web sites. the book was
> about
> an inch and a half thick with small type, and the web sites were less than
> a
> third of the pages.
>
> I'd imagine 80% of those mail lists are gone today. (no idea really) Many
> of
> the email service providers have eliminated the news groups and servers so
> access has been lost by many.
>
> Still, some mail lists continue, both through company firewalls (it is
> email, not a restricted web site that gets red flagged) and loyalty from
> the
> members.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "rebecca officer" <rebecca -dot- officer -at- alliedtelesis -dot- co -dot- nz>
> To: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- cytomedix -dot- com>;
> <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 3:55 PM
> Subject: RE: ghost town
>
>
> Are mailing lists starving to death in the Facebook-and-LinkedIn era? Me, I
> hope not. I find a mailing list hugely more usable, mainly because it's so
> easy to filter and archive posts.
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:16:09 -0500
> From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
> To: "Tony Chung" <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>, "McLauchlan, Kevin"
> <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
> Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Are Tech Writers Valid anymore Re: ghost town -
> Message-ID: <96AF02104A1047CCAA0350C68A3E8E7D -at- LENOVONB>
> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
> reply-type=original
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Tony Chung" <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
> To: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
> Cc: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 5:39 PM
> Subject: Re: ghost town
>
>
> > Before this thread goes do far off the rails to be considered TechWr-L
> > CHAT, I do have a question that I'd like to discuss:
> >
> > Are Technical Writers valid anymore? Before you get out your
> > flamethrowers,
> > hear me out:
> >
> > How many of you still research and write all your own document content?
>
> Most of it. Some material is vendor material due to components we buy and
> install. Typically, I do about 95% on the operator manuals, 80% on the
> maintenance manuals, and 60% on the service manuals.
>
>
>
>
> > How much of your work involves rewriting material supplied to you by
> > developers (hardware and/or software)?
>
> 10% maybe. it varies by project.
>
> > How much of your work involves setting up your own user simulations and
> > documenting the best case scenarios on behalf of your users?
>
> I wish. They won't turn me loose with the rig to run it. I have to look
> over shoulders whenever, and ask a lot of questions that they usually
> haven't thought about.
>
>
> > How much of your time is spent messing with the tools and processes to
> > design a better, more efficient process?
>
> 10% of the time. Or it was. I was spending a fair amount of time tweaking
> the EDD and format template over the last 4 month.
>
>
> > I ask this because I have never been a core technical writer. I'm a
> > programmer who knows how to write English. Sadly, where I would really
> > enjoy building and implementing documentation systems that make it easier
> > for developers to supply core content and writers to fix the content so
> > that it's useable, there isn't much of that type of work around, except
> as
> > a short term external contractor.
>
> I've run across a few places recently that do customized documentation
> systems since off the shelf solutions don't fulfill their needs. They have
> parts databases that have to end up in parts books and these tie into their
> parts systems like CatBase, JBA, and other. This ties artwork, part
> numbers,
> callouts, and everything together so that each product can be quickly
> pulled
> into a set of books.
>
> Find a manufacturing company with a big parts inventory and maybe you can
> get
> into designing and building a system for them.
>
>
>
> > I honestly see a need for this type of role in most companies, but can't
> > seem to meet the people who recognize that as a need.
> >
> > So what thoughts have you on my interpretation of the writing "ghost
> town"
> > being made up of fewer writers and more systems specialists?
> >
> > -Tony
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
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> End of TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 100, Issue 10
> *****************************************
>
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