Re: Resistance to allowing anonymous web access to online help?

Subject: Re: Resistance to allowing anonymous web access to online help?
From: John G <john -at- garisons -dot- com>
To: "mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com" <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2016 18:40:00 -0400

Hi Mark,

I have an article of yours (2013 I think) that says all this and have sent
it along to the powers that be ... Looking for additional articles to
bolster my case. FWIW I agree with you 100% as does my manager, but trying
to convince others is a challenge. I am reminded of a congressman who, when
asked how he could not vote to impeach Nixon, said "Don't confuse me with
facts, my mind is made up."

JG


On Saturday, June 18, 2016, <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com> wrote:

> First, the argument, though surprisingly common, is idiotic. Unless you are
> documenting wildly the wrong stuff, or are selling source code, there is no
> way to reverse engineer a product from its user docs. (If they doubt this,
> hand them your car's manual and ask them to build you a catalytic
> converter.)
>
> If there was any grounds for fear on this score it would not be reverse
> engineering, it would simply be copying of features.
>
> So then the question becomes, what other ways does the competition have to
> learn about our features and how they work?
>
> Well, presumably you advertise the features, so that's how they find those
> out. And for how they work, well, they could buy a copy of the product. And
> if you can somehow block them from doing that, they can cozy up to one of
> your customers and ask them. Seriously, if a competitor wants to find out
> how you stuff works, how hard can it be?
>
> Second, what they are missing is that publically available docs can be a
> fertile source of sales leads. Christopher Ward and Bernard Aschwanden have
> done a series of presentations on this at various conferences. Try getting
> the sales people on side with this argument and any other objections should
> fall.
>
> Mark
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> <javascript:;>
> [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker <javascript:;>=
> analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <javascript:;>] On Behalf
> Of John G
> Sent: Saturday, June 18, 2016 2:40 PM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <javascript:;>
> Subject: Resistance to allowing anonymous web access to online help?
>
> Am I the only one who is fighting with product managers and owners to allow
> Google and other search engines to index and provide access to our online
> help?
>
> All our documentation is online, but we are not allowed to let it be
> indexed
> and made available to search engines. If someone has the URL for a document
> or one of its pages, they can access it. The product owners are afraid that
> the competition will be able to use our documentation to potentially
> reverse
> engineer our applications.
>
> If you have fought this battle - win or lose - I'd like to hear the
> arguments you faced, as well as how you overcame people's objections (if
> you
> indeed, did).
>
> I have found several articles (none within the last 2-3 years) that
> advocate
> making the information publicly available, but none since then. If you have
> any, please let me know.
>
> Thanks in advance,
>
>
> John Garison
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References:
Resistance to allowing anonymous web access to online help?: From: John G
RE: Resistance to allowing anonymous web access to online help?: From: mbaker

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