Marketing/propaganda in documentation

Subject: Marketing/propaganda in documentation
From: Lori Lathrop <76620 -dot- 456 -at- COMPUSERVE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 1994 18:50:04 EST

In response to posting from Patrick O'Connell ....

Patrick -- Without seeing the actual documentation, it's hard to form an
objective opinion.

Is the info:hype ratio low in just one chapter? How many other chapters
are there? If the "hype" represents a large part of one chapter but a
small part of the operator's guide, it's probably not worth arguing

Also, is it possible that marketing reps might want to show potential
customers a sample of the product documentation? If so, then a little
hype may be justified. After all, good documentation *does* help sell

Take a look at product documentation from other companies. Chances are,
you will see a lot of what you would describe as hype. For example, it's
very common for an introductory chapter to contain something like this:
"Welcome to WHATEVER application, the program that blah-blah-blah ...."
followed by a page (or two or three pages) describing the wonderful
features of WHATEVER application and the can't-live-without benefits that
you will derive from using WHATEVER application.

If the hype you're referring to is different than the example I just gave,
then perhaps you need to give us a little more info so we can give you
better feedback.

Lori Lathrop
Lathrop Media Services
P.O. Box 808
Georgetown, CO 80444

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