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

Subject: Re: Resistance to allowing anonymous web access to online help?
From: Lawrence Orin <startingfresh1 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:38:41 +0300

The larger trend is definitely to open tech writing content to the web and
index it in the major search engines. But fear of competitors is real in
some companies. It's important to remember that there's content which shows
the great features of the product, but then there's also content which
might show up the product in a less positive light. Often these are:

* Release notes containing a list of known issues, or
* Troubleshooting articles, which show lists of errors and mishaps.

Regarding troubleshooting topics, the trend there is also to open up, to
help deflect customer service requests, which has huge financial benefit,
but often managers want some troubleshooting content to open only to
existing customers, not prospective customers.

For those companies who want to carefully stage manage their product's
image, there are some excellent web help portals which allow you to segment
your published content easily, so that some designated topics remain hidden
behind a login, while the bulk of your content is public, advertising the
product's features right next to the traditional marketing material,
helping with sales and showing off the product. A good help portal would
make all this available from the same search box, so customers and guests
have the same experience, but those without a login never see the hidden
content. This is what we did in my company, using Zoomin Docs. This ability
quietened down the fears and gave everyone what they wanted.

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