Re: Re[2]: CHAT: "Intercom" article

Subject: Re: Re[2]: CHAT: "Intercom" article
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 1997 07:24:58 -0600

At 06:22 PM 3/5/97 -0800, you wrote:

>Two cents' (cents?) worth of MO:
>I wasn't going to step into the SME stuff. I wasn't going to keep Gort
>awake any longer. But....
>Tim's note finally tempted me to renege. Sucking up to SMEs who don't
>understand that being an E (expert) does not mean keeping the expertise
>locked in, but that the designation identifies a team responsibility, that
>of being available to the professional writer who's documenting the
>product, process, etc. that keeps all the members working and earning, is
>not part of the writer's job description anymore than non-delivering of
>Subject Matter Expertise is part of the SME's.
>Cool! This slogan, that brewski, those t-shirts, bond. Does anyone who
>has to be seduced, cajoled, tricked, coerced, or educated to the
>professional responsibility of the position really earn his/her salary?
>I think accommodating the blocking behavior only encourages it. If it
>spreads far enough, then the earth will stand still, at least in those
>companies that don't wise up.
>BTW, please don't read this as a flame or attack on Tim. I think he's
>observing *WHY* or *HOW* this cultish trivia works, not endorsing it. I'm
>just responding what his accurate observation illuminated for me. YMMV.
>Again, my opinion.
Actually, Peter, I was endorsing it, sort of. Well, maybe not the blocking
behavior. I think that's childish in most cases and probably betrays fear on
the part of the SMEs. But I don't object to appealing to SMEs honestly if
you really do like and respect them and their outlooks. I usually do. I
often like their movies, their jokes, and their elegant code, once that's
explained to me. But that's me. Someone else without my technical background
will have to find another, equally honest, way to appeal. I look at this as
reaching across the chasm, not sucking up. But of course, there is such a
thing as sucking up, and I don't do that. I can't. As regular members of
this list know, I'm just too blurtingly forthright to do that. If I'm
documenting a piece of utterly incompetent crap, I can't call it a
technological breakthrough and hail the creator. And in that case I'm going
to have a problem with the SME, even if we both like Python or old sci fi
movies. I'm not in any way, shape, form, or manner advising anyone to deal
dishonestly with any SME. That inevitably carries its own seeds of destruction.

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