Re: RTFM? Really?

Subject: Re: RTFM? Really?
From: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:34:39 -0700

I would never "insist" on writing a manual, or anything else for that matter. I just seek out opportunities where everyone involved already understands their need for whatever they're asking me whether I can do. If I'm going to have to convince management that they need to fund documentation or convince users they need to use it, I'll probably just pass on the job. I'm done being an evangelist for common sense.

Now, from a non-writer, big-picture business approach...

A lot of companies, especially in the software business, find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to support. Consumers insist on buying the cheapest products they can find, then expect high end support for them. Well, TAANSTAFL. Either you pay for high end support, or you buy cheap and have to look for the answers to your questions on your own.

For companies not in that unenviable position, there are other options. HW/SW systems can be designed to walk the user through (think about your bank's ATM machine, for example), and complex, potentially hazardous systems often cannot legally be turned on in the first place without the operators being trained and certified.

As for video tutorials and user support groups, if lazy users won't RTFM, what makes you think they're going to view the videos or read the user forums...?

Gene Kim-Eng

Read about how Georgia System Operation Corporation improved teamwork, communication, and efficiency using Doc-To-Help |


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RTFM? Really?: From: Karl Norman

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