Re: Information Mapping

Subject: Re: Information Mapping
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 1996 06:55:00 EST

At 05:51 AM 4/13/96 -0500, you wrote:
>Information Mapping is a *proprietary* formatting system in which
>a few organizing and formatting principles are claimed to serve
>for developing all sorts of documents (both paper and electronic).
>I've read several critical articles and the *proprietor's*
>responses (including a book titled HOW HIGH CAN IT FLY?), and
>I've had a few unauthorized peeks at the training manuals.
>My 2 cents' worth says that although the principles go generally in
>the right direction, the results is that everything looks alike
>and is unresponsive to different audiences' needs -- and that the
>whole program is expensive as hell. Right now IM is trying to sell
>software comparable to Page Mill, with IM formatting built in, for
>a price of -- are you ready for this? -- $995. Enough said.

For what it's worth, Robert Horn doesn't have a proprietary formatting
system. Nobody does, because nobody can. Formatting, layout,
structure...none of these can be copyrighted nor trademarked, nor patented.
Info Mapping, Inc. carefully and zealously guards its right to teach Info
Mapping, but largely because Horn is well aware that all he really owns is
the trademark on the name. Everything else is public domain. I'm in
agreement with you that it can turn non-writers into passable communicators,
just by following the Info Mapping rules. Most of these rules are simply the
same ones we professionals use, just renamed and with the serial numbers
filed off. Thus the system works particularly well in large companies that
need uniformity and have to convert large numbers of the linguistically
challenged into acceptable writers. And I'm also in agreement with you that
it's not nearly as flexible and all-encompassing as the company wants us to
believe. IMHO, Info Mapping's purported universality is just another example
of how, to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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

Makers of DuoFrame, giving you online help and paper
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