Re: Anyone tried this in tech writing?

Subject: Re: Anyone tried this in tech writing?
From: Lois Patterson <loisrpatterson -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:02:11 -0700

With so many complex and interlocking systems nowadays, there are so many
things to write about that are more interesting than a 3-button mouse.
Admittedly, finding and persuading the right person that you should write
about them for pay can be a challenge. But don't be fooled by the relative
ease and ubiquity of consumer software and hardware nowadays.

Lois


On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 4:22 PM, Janoff, Steven <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>wrote:

> Great story, Chris -- thanks for sharing.
>
> So the question, and I suspect we've beaten this around before: Why does
> it always seem that the "Golden Age" was in the 80's and 90's? Is it
> because the computer industry was young and there was a lot of opportunity
> to write about software (and hardware)?
>
> Or is it just something one feels after having so many years in the field?
>
> In other words, is there anything in our field today that rivals that
> heady purpose of the projects in that era? I don't think content
> management and DITA have the same ring to them.
>
> I think I mentioned before that the turning point to me seemed to be in
> the early 2000's with the advent of offshoring. Is it possible that that's
> when we sort of hit the wall with software documentation? (I remember in
> the mid-90's writing about how to use a 3-button mouse.)
>
> So maybe the new entrants in our field get the "career pinnacle"
> assignments or projects. Is it possible that someone with many years in
> the field doesn't have ready access to these kinds of things? Or are they
> just so rare?
>
> Just wondering out loud...
>
> Steve
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Chris Morton
> Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 12:59 PM
> To: Erika Yanovich; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: Anyone tried this in tech writing?
>
> Before moving my family from Northern Lower Michigan (north of Al G.) and
> joining the Scottsdale, AZ-based company, one day I received a very
> poorly-conceived Windows tips newsletter entitled *The Graunke
> ReportâWindows Tips & Secrets*, mass-mailed by Mastering Computers. Perhaps
> you saw one of the early efforts, appearing on the scene about the same
> time as Brian Livingston's first edition of the bestseller, *Windows
> Secrets*.
>
> The newsletter sucked, so I wrote Graunke to let him him know what I
> thought about it (more specifically, how I would improve it). After two
> get-to-know-ya meetings, hosting a trial *Inside Windows* seminar breakout
> session and soloing for a week as a Windows 3.1 instructor at Lyondell
> Petrochemical in Houston (a contract held by Mastering), I became *The
> Graunke ReportâWindows Tips & Secrets *author, layout artist and production
> coordinator. Simultaneously I was touring the country conducting the
> company's highly-successful seminars (in a city near you). Over 3-1/2 years
> I increased my salary three-fold, so it was a good run.
>
> (I'm only sorry that, like Steve Ballmer, I didn't take out a second
> mortgage and buy more M$ stock during that period, where it was splitting
> 2-for-1 and 3-for-1 every few weeksâa precursor to Googlemania. *Sherman,
> set the Wayback Machine.... *And had I been a suck-up, I probably would
> have been given some of Mastering's stock before it was sold to Platinum
> Technologies for something like $20MM.)
>
> I leveraged my Mastering Computers' experience into a similar gig at
> Learning Tree International, sans newsletter (but was freelancing for
> *Windows Sources* magazineâwhere I was briefly its "tips" editorâand Cobb
> Group newsletters). Those few years at LTree remain the absolute pinnacle
> of my career, before that company ran head-on against lower-cost, online
> training methodologies and the ubiquity of Windows OS/GUI knowledge.
>
> Anyway, thanks for letting me reminisce a bit. All of that is to say that,
> yes, going out on a limb and writing a Magic Bullet letter sometimes works.
>
> Chris
>
> On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 10:39 PM, Erika Yanovich <ERIKA_y -at- rad -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > http://blogs.denverpost.com/personalinterest/2012/11/16/forget-cover-l
> > etter-write-pain-letter/341/
> > Erika
>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Anyone tried this in tech writing?: From: Chris Morton
RE: Anyone tried this in tech writing?: From: Janoff, Steven

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