RE: Looking for classes in indexing

Subject: RE: Looking for classes in indexing
From: "Wright, Lynne" <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- Kronos -dot- com>
To: Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2018 16:44:36 +0000

Aside from being able to maintain a high level of fussiness and focus for as long as it takes to build, then refine refine refine an index, the key to creating effective indexes is being able to figure out what super-succinct terms/keywords, and alternates for those terms, that users are most likely to look for when they consult an index, and avoiding redundancies. I'm not sure that that's something that can be taught in a one-size-fits-all class, since it comes down to how well you know the product you are documenting/what search terms are important enough to include, and how well you can intuit how your end users think.

So I'd be curious to hear from people who have actually taken indexing courses, with regards to whether they found those courses particularly useful. Once you know how to add index markers with whatever tool you're using, and what syntaxes to use when entering index entries, what else do those courses cover?

You may benefit more by creating an index or two, then running them past an experienced indexer who can edit/give you feedback on what to change, until you start getting the hang of what works/what doesn't.

Keep in mind that as documentation moves more and more into electronic and web-based output, users probably rely more on search functions than indexes. It's the same concept, in that it comes down to figuring out optimal keyword tags; but my point is, you may want to look for a course that is less focused on old-school print-doc indexes, and more on search optimization for electronic content.

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com <techwr-l-bounces+lynne -dot- wright=kronos -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> On Behalf Of Lin Sims
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 11:51 AM
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Subject: Looking for classes in indexing

My employer has decided that everyone in the company should be able to get job-related training, and me and my fellow tech writer have been told to find something to learn. Since indexes are something we're supposed to do and neither of us has experience with it, I thought that might be a good skill to learn and I'm hoping for recommendations.

I've got a couple of books on indexing (Larry Bonura's The Art of Indexing and Kurt Ament's Indexing: A Nuts-and-Bolts Guide for Technical Writers), but I think as rank newbies we would benefit from some actual classes.

I am not really interested in joining the ASI just to get access to what appears to be an excellent set of webinars; indexing is an adjunct to our job, not its focus. (Annoyingly, the Google blip says that STC members can get it at a discount, but I've found no way for STC members who are not ASI members to get the course.)

The STC doesn't appear to be running its 2-day "Indexing Skills for Technical Communicators" indexing course anytime soon, either.

So, any recommendations? There's only two of us, so having someone come in to train is probably too expensive (small company, you know?).

--
Lin Sims
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Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and content development | http://techwhirl.com

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Looking for classes in indexing: From: Lin Sims

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