Re: Internet Usage By Tech Writers

Subject: Re: Internet Usage By Tech Writers
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 1996 08:18:00 EST

At 02:10 PM 3/14/96 -0700, you wrote:

>I'm interested in finding out the ways writers (especially technical writers)
>are using the Internet. I see references on this list for other listservs from
>time to time, but little else.

>Just how does everyone make use of some of the other services (WWW, usenet,
>telnet, etc.)

>I hope this topic is interesting enough for everyone to answer directly to the
>list, otherwise, feel free to send a private message.

Hi, Mark. When I have my writer's hat firmly in place, I find that the net
isn't all that valuable to me. My information comes from my SMEs.

On the other hand, my manager's hat gives me a lot more use of the net. I
can look up the newest tools, find contractors in other cities, find
hardware specifications, and send files as attachments. Most of my work on
the net nowadays is email and WWW, with some use of UseNet.

One thing I find extraordinarily valuable is the constant chitchat about
tools and techniques. I can find out exactly how other people have responded
to the same things I've found in areas like online help, desktop publishing,
language usage, and layout. This list is an excellent example.

I can give you an instance where recently our STC local chapter had a
presentation on the net, and I gave the presenter (who was on via PPP) a
simple challenge. He was to be a tech writer given an additional assignment
by his boss to find and evaluate special software. Well, how is the average
writer to find software? Nowadays, on the Web, of course. So he started the
search and within a few minutes he had a line of several packages that could
do the job. Slick and fast.

Tim Altom
Vice President
Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice)
317.899.5987 (fax)

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