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Subject:Re: Tech Writer as Webmaster From:Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET> Date:Mon, 29 Jul 1996 14:16:00 EST
At 09:59 AM 7/29/96 -0500, you wrote:
> Have any of u see the July 8 issue of Webweek?
> An article suggests we (Tech Writers) are ideal cantidates for
> webmaster positions.
> The title of the article is, "Technical Writers in High Demand as
> The author claims that we are ideally suited for this work beccause of
> our on-line help authoring skills.
> I think our collective demand, and overall worth (read higher
> salaries) is about to take a jump.
> What do y'all think?
> steve -dot- evanina -at- sciatl -dot- com
Sadly, no, I don't think our worth, demand or salaries will be jumping
anytime soon. It was thought when we took on the role of part-time
illustrators that these things would jump, and it didn't happen. Ditto DTP,
meeting facilitation, interface design, and so forth. We just keep taking on
jobs and we continue to be mired in the middle of the professional pay scale.
Admittedly the Web is hot and Web practitioners are in demand. But "in
demand" doesn't translate to "in clover". Trash haulers are in demand, and
many of them make more than the average writer, but they're not, most of
them, millionaires yet. There's a demand for Webmasters now because the Web
is moving faster than the average company's development cycle, so companies
are in constant need of new HTML infusions. But that need will fall off in
the foreseeable future, I think. Fact is, simple Web sites are so easy to
construct that anyone reading Laura Lemay's book can build one in a week or
two, while the full-bore Web sites with database connections, forms and
enterprise-wide contact aren't within the technical expertise of most
techdoc'ers. By now most of us have mastered one or more DTP packages, a
skill totally unnecessary just ten years or so ago. Have our fortunes risen
with the sales figures for PageMaker? I see Web sites as analogous to this.
Just as most companies didn't really care if the DTP output was GOOD, they
don't usually know or care if the Web site is well-designed, just so it's up
and running and doesn't intrude on the real business of the firm. Until the
corporate emphasis is on quality and high useability, there won't be much
status or money for being a Webmaster/Techdoc'er.
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
documentation from a single parent FrameMaker document.
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