RE: Anyone tried this in tech writing?

Subject: RE: Anyone tried this in tech writing?
From: "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com>
To: Lois Patterson <loisrpatterson -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:18:42 -0700

Yes, I agree -- these are exciting technologies, and I agree with you that exciting documentation will come out of them.

But I think others have hinted at what I was suggesting. We lived and worked during the birth of the Information Age -- that's what was exciting. The entire industry was a frontier. It was the birth and growth of the PC, the Internet, the Web, ecommerce, and all things digital. The dot-com boom was just a flash in the pan. These other things were real.

The last time such an event happened was in the early 1900's, with the Age of Automation. I don't know if this kind of cycle will happen again in my lifetime, but it's certainly possible.

I think back to what I was doing and using before 1980: a manual typewriter (electric at work), a landline telephone (rotary-dial, then touch-tone), an analog TV with under a dozen channels (UHF/VHF), a very simple radio, a record player and a cassette deck, and books, magazines, and newspapers for my reading material. I wrote letters and sent them by snail mail. I took pictures and had them developed at a kiosk from a roll of film. Before the ATM, I went to a bank and dealt with a teller for all deposits, withdrawals, and even balance inquiries. I shopped at stores and only at stores (some people shopped via catalogue, that was a precursor to online shopping). Job searches were slow and clunky. But overall it was a simpler time (I think), probably more peaceful. I was more in touch with my surroundings, and interacted more with people day to day. I was a little more in touch with nature only from the standpoint that I had to go places to do things.

Life is dramatically different from what it was in 1980, due to the digital revolution. Today I sit in front of a tube. But I can do a lot of things with ease, from my computer (or laptop, or tablet, or phone).

I suspect that big data, cloud computing, et al. will result in documentation that's a bit more specialized and diverse than that heady feel of the roaring 90's, when you could do so many things, and so many people were able to do them. Just a difference in tone of the industry.


-----Original Message-----
On Tuesday, April 22, 2014 7:11 PM, Lois Patterson wrote:

I feel that sense in respect to big data, cloud computing, algorithms, and machine learning. These are incredibly exciting, and there is a lot to say about them.

Sent from my iPhone

On 2014-04-22, at 18:49, "Janoff, Steven" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- ga -dot- com> wrote:

> This is true of any age. That's not what's unique.
> Technology is relative. In 20 years, we'll view the iPad in the same way.
> I think what's missing today is the Wild West sense we had back then. This was before the Internet and the Web took off, and before the dot-com boom. There was a sense of possibility -- the air was really *electric* with it. We felt like we were on the cusp of something.
> I suppose you could say the same about today but I don't think you could say it about the documentation. And in the technology realm, it feels more like a next level of the same world rather than an entirely new world.
> Just interesting to note.
> Steve
> On Tuesday, April 22, 2014 5:02 PM, Lois Patterson wrote:
> 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

Doc-To-Help 2014 v1 now available. SharePoint 2013 support, NetHelp enhancements, and more. Read all about it.

Learn more:


You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @

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

Previous by Author: RE: Anyone tried this in tech writing?
Next by Author: Re: What would you call this?
Previous by Thread: Re: Anyone tried this in tech writing?
Next by Thread: Re: Re: Anyone tried this in tech writing?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads