Re: Has technical writing fallen from grace?

Subject: Re: Has technical writing fallen from grace?
From: Rick Lippincott <rjl6955 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2014 13:44:19 -0400

Gene Kim-Eng said:
>In the case of tech writing, the "fad" would be whatever the writing was about, be it dotcom sites, complicated cell phones that lack user friendly UIs or what have you.

Yep. And there are lots of people (both in and out of the profession)
who believe that this is what tech writing is all about. Those are
probably the ones alarmed most at what is perceived as the fall from
grace.

Not to sound like a broken record, but we write about what is new and
uncommon. We write about things that are unfamiliar enough to require
an explanation. But when those things become ubiquitous, then there's
no need to write about them any longer.

Lucky for us, human creativity and invention continues, it just
changes direction from time to time.

Daniel Friedman said he doesn't remember tech writers being mentioned
in mass media.

What about Tina from Dilbert? "Andy Richter Controls the Universe?"
Scotty from "Star Trek" often saying he wanted to "catch up on his
technical journals?" Thomas Pynchon? Amy Tan? Kurt Vonnegut? Robert M.
Pirsig? Astronauts begging Houston for procedures in "Apollo 13?"

In movies and TV, they may not always mention the people in our
profession who came up with the fancy interface that helps save the
day, but then again they also don't mention the automotive assembly
line workers that built the car used in the chase scene at the climax,
either.

Just sayin'.....

--Rick Lippincott

On 10/26/14, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:
> In the case of tech writing, the "fad" would be whatever the writing was
> about, be it dotcom sites, complicated cell phones that lack user
> friendly UIs or what have you. All of these, in their time, generated
> "new" professions, which were really just existing ones that few people
> had heard of before because they were esoteric and required specialized
> knowledge to qualify for, but for brief periods generated short term
> opportunities at inflated rates of pay for people with lower level skills.
>
> During the period from 1995-2000, the attendance at monthly meetings of
> the Silicon Valley Chapter of STC swelled to the hundreds, filled large
> convention halls at the Sunnyvale Hilton and formed long lines at the
> catered buffets. By 2005, meetings had gone back to being held in the
> conference rooms of rotating host companies, with refreshments being
> carted in from Togo's.
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
>
> On 10/26/2014 11:03 AM, Daniel Friedman wrote:
>> I don't remember tech writing ever being mentioned in mass media, let
>> alone being a "fad" career. I've ran into many people in social
>> situations that have never heard of tech writing or even considered
>> that it is a profession. I've heard responses like "I guess someone
>> has to write manuals" or "that's a new one, and I'm a bartender so I
>> meet people that do just about everything."
>
>
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Has technical writing fallen from grace?: From: Craig Cardimon
Re: Has technical writing fallen from grace?: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: Has technical writing fallen from grace?: From: Craig Cardimon
Re: Has technical writing fallen from grace?: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Has technical writing fallen from grace?: From: Daniel Friedman
Re: Has technical writing fallen from grace?: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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