Re: Looking for classes in indexing

Subject: Re: Looking for classes in indexing
From: Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Wright, Lynne" <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- kronos -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2018 11:38:32 -0400

You're probably right. However, standards at this company require an index
for all documents over about 15-20 pages.

So I still need to learn how to produce a good one, because I'm damned if
I'll do a half-assed one!

On Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 10:21 AM, Wright, Lynne <Lynne -dot- Wright -at- kronos -dot- com>
wrote:

> I also produce pdfs that aren't available on the internet; but my attitude
> is that its 2018, and having a laptop or tablet is pretty much a standard
> work tool -- certainly in the industry that I write for. If wrote for
> technicians who work out in the field, my focus would be on making sure my
> content is optimized for tablets (and whether it can function well for
> smartphones), not how to optimize that content for print. I'm not going to
> worry about accommodating the odd person who insists on working from a
> stack of printed pages, simply because its pretty much an obsolete way of
> being; its simply outdated and inefficient.
>
> In terms of PDF searches not looking for synonyms for terms that you
> enter, I don't see that as a limitation. It just means you search for the
> most likely term; and if you get no results, you do another search on its
> synonym. No big deal, because each search takes what... 2 seconds? Can't
> think of any synonyms to search on? Google it!
>
> I cannot think of one advantage to working from printed manuals. Anyone?
>
> -----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: Thursday, July 26, 2018 9:36 AM
> To: Mark Baker <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>; TECHWR-L <
> techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Looking for classes in indexing
>
> I'm producing PDF documents that are not available on the general internet.
> They may or may not be printed out, as they happen to be guides for
> installing physical devices. As far as I know, a PDF's search is limited to
> what's typed in and doesn't do synonyms, and if it's printed out the best
> search engine in the world is useless.
>
> (As a side note, even if it is on the internet, I'll often check the index
> of a book because the organization and idea association available in an
> index is not available via Google.)
>
> On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 7:19 PM, <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > I'm old too, but let's face it, indexes are the paper substitute for a
> > search engine. Anything an index can do, a decent search engine can do
> > better (yes, including synonyms). More to the point, even the old are
> > so habituated to search now that the only way they are going to
> > stumble into your index is if it shows up in a search results.
> >
> > Unless, of course, they actually are reading on paper, because then
> > the index is the poor man's search engine, and in that case it better
> > be good, because it has a lot to live up to.
> >
> > And if there are those out there that still want to claim that indexes
> > are better than search engines, here is the clincher: An index only
> > works when you have a the right book in your hand. Which means you
> > have to find the book before you can use the index. But a search engine
> searches everything.
> > The reader does not have to locate the book first. Indeed, they
> > probably never know which "book" their results came from. They live in
> > a world of pages, not books, and they find pages using search. Every
> Page is Page One.
> >
> > If I was looking for a course to take in this day an age, I would take
> > SEO before I took indexing. Unless, of course, I was actually
> > preparing a book for publication on paper. (Which, as it happens, I am:
> Structured Writing:
> > Rhetoric and Process, real soon now from XML press. I think it has a
> > pretty good index, most of which is Richard Hamilton's doing.)
> >
> > Mark
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > > <techwr-
> > > l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> On Behalf Of Guy
> > > l-bounces+Ball
> > > Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 6:40 PM
> > > To: 'TECHWR-L' <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > > Subject: RE: Looking for classes in indexing
> > >
> > > As Lynne noted, you really need to determine if an index makes sense
> > > for
> > the
> > > documentation you're creating - particularly if your audience has
> > > moved
> > into
> > > a modern mode of just "searching" for subject matter.
> > >
> > > We did away with indexes because we always delivered as a pdf file
> > > and found that our customer base generally does a simple "find" to
> > > quickly
> > locate
> > > what
> > > they wanted. (I sometimes wonder if they even care about TOCs
> > > anymore.) By doing away with indexes, we saved many hours (days in
> > > most cases) for a tech staff that was already too small and
> > > overworked to handle our
> > existing
> > > workload.
> > >
> > > I would recommend classes in Frame, some illustrator tool (your
> > > choice),
> > or
> > > some online tool you might think about moving to.
> > >
> > > (And before I get "hate mail" from indexers and other writers who
> > > love them, know that I love indexes myself when reading a
> > > particularly
> > technical
> > > manual. But I'm also "old" and like reading a paper newspaper every
> > > morning.)
> > >
> > > Guy
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: techwr-l-bounces+mrcalc=pacbell -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > > [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mrcalc=pacbell -dot- net -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
> > Behalf
> > > Of Wright, Lynne
> > > Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 9:45 AM
> > > To: Lin Sims <ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com>; TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-
> > > l.com>
> > > Subject: RE: Looking for classes in indexing
> > >
> > > 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
> > > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > > Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content
> > > strategy
> > and
> > > content development | http://techwhirl.com
> > >
> > > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > >
> > > You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as Lynne -dot- Wright -at- kronos -dot- com -dot-
> > >
> > > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> > > techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > >
> > >
> > > Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> > > http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources
> > > and info.
> > >
> > > Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> > online
> > > magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> > >
> > > Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our
> > > public
> > email
> > > archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
> > > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > > Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content
> > > strategy
> > and
> > > content development | http://techwhirl.com
> > >
> > > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > >
> > > You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as mrcalc -at- pacbell -dot- net -dot-
> > >
> > > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> > > techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > >
> > >
> > > Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> > > http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources
> > > and info.
> > >
> > > Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> > online
> > > magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> > >
> > > Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our
> > > public
> > email
> > > archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
> > >
> > > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > > Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content
> > > strategy
> > and
> > > content development | http://techwhirl.com
> > >
> > > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > >
> > > You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com -dot-
> > >
> > > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> > > techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> > >
> > >
> > > Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> > > http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources
> > > and info.
> > >
> > > Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> > online
> > > magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> > >
> > > Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our
> > > public
> > email
> > > archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
> >
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> > Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy
> > and content development | http://techwhirl.com
> >
> > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> >
> > You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as ljsims -dot- ml -at- gmail -dot- com -dot-
> >
> > To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> > techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> >
> >
> > Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> > http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources
> > and info.
> >
> > Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our
> > online magazine at http://techwhirl.com
> >
> > Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our
> > public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Lin Sims
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Visit TechWhirl for the latest on content technology, content strategy and
> content development | http://techwhirl.com
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as Lynne -dot- Wright -at- kronos -dot- com -dot-
>
> To unsubscribe send a blank email to
> techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>
>
> Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
> http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and
> info.
>
> Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online
> magazine at http://techwhirl.com
>
> Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public
> email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives
>



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

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


References:
Looking for classes in indexing: From: Lin Sims
RE: Looking for classes in indexing: From: Wright, Lynne
RE: Looking for classes in indexing: From: Guy Ball
RE: Looking for classes in indexing: From: mbaker
Re: Looking for classes in indexing: From: Lin Sims
RE: Looking for classes in indexing: From: Wright, Lynne

Previous by Author: Re: Looking for classes in indexing
Next by Author: Re: Looking for classes in indexing
Previous by Thread: RE: Looking for classes in indexing
Next by Thread: RE: Looking for classes in indexing


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads