Re: RTFM? Really?

Subject: Re: RTFM? Really?
From: Julie Stickler <jstickler -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Technical Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 14:59:46 -0400

I'd much rather search a help system or scan the index of a huge manual
that sit through a video to learn how to use something. I don't have the
patience to sit through the 2 minute cat videos my friends post when they
say "The best part is the end!"

I think that part of it is that I tend to be either a complete novice at
something, or a power user (and seldom in between). So I'm either looking
for that overview that tells me "What the thing does" "how the thing works"
or "why should I care" or I'm looking for that configuration setting that I
remember setting to do obscure function, but can't remember where to find
it. Videos, even short ones, seldom help with either problem.

On Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 12:00 PM, Karl Norman <kylesimmons0164 -at- gmail -dot- com>
wrote:

> I've noticed that when members of this listserv start talking about
> manuals, the level of strong language rises significantly (e.g. rtFm!).
> This seems odd to me because I don't want to read a manual either. I learn
> better through human contact. I understand that it costs a lot when a user
> makes a support call. But, good grief, I bought a thing from you; the least
> you could do is help me use it. And if your response at my most vulnerable
> hour is "rtfm," or even "I'll help you for a price," then you've just lost
> my loyalty as a customer. I have no respect for a company that only gets
> out of bed for POS.
>
> My thought is, if your users don't read your manuals, then why do you keep
> writing manuals? Has anyone been with a company that stopped writing
> manuals altogether? What about using more video tutorials? Or even setting
> your users to work for you by helping each other through forums? I'd really
> like to hear from both sides: the writers who insist on manuals (why?) and
> the writers who have sought out alternatives (why?).
>
> --
> *Kyle Simmons*
>
> Information Curator
> Aloe Vera of America, Inc.
> ksimmons -at- avoa-dallas -dot- com
>
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--
Julie Stickler
http://heratech.wordpress.com/
Blogging about Agile and technical writing

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Read about how Georgia System Operation Corporation improved teamwork, communication, and efficiency using Doc-To-Help | http://bit.ly/1lRPd2l

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References:
RTFM? Really?: From: Karl Norman

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