TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:ADMIN: Re: Agencies-response From:"Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 13 May 1997 10:17:53 -0600
techwriter -at- prescienttech -dot- com wrote: >I certainly tested the waters with that posting, eh?
Read on for what the waters say ...
>... we also need a forum to frankly express >our opinions and experiences. The list is for *US* -- and none of us >should have to fear "black-listing"by potential employers for posting frank >opinions on this list. It's a wonderful added bonus if a would-be employer >wishes to court us in *our * arena, but none of us should have to >censor our discussions for fear of retribution. How else can we >effect change in the industry or raise professional standards if we >cringe timidly in the face of ill-treatment? I sure wish someone had >clued me in about the various agencies in town when I started out.
If I could take the liberty to point out... I define "our arena" for the purposes of this list as ANYONE INVOLVED IN TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION. This includes students and teachers, employers and employees, contractors and agencies, freelancers and "permanent" employees. Additionally, this includes people writing computer documentation and government reports, editing scientific articles and illustrating manuals for heavy equipment manufacturers. Anyone.
Whoever you are, you suggest that black-listing is a bad thing, yet you effectively do the same thing to a company that hires technical writers. That's hardly playing fair. I would propose that there are many ways to "effect change" and "raise professional standards" other than your technique (which seems to be simply making unsupported allegations about the quality and actions of a consulting agency).
If you have real issues with a company, post a note to the list asking for or volunteering opinions, off-line, about said company.
(Open Comment: Bear in mind that anyone asking or volunteering opinions about companies or individuals could be your friend, your neighbor, your boss, or the person in the cube next door. Don't bare your soul unless you know who is getting the message.)
If you have issues that are somewhat sensitive but you'd like to get some feedback anyway, drop me a note. I'll be happy to post messages anonymously, as I've done recently for one of the readers.
If, as you suggest, you're providing a service by cluing readers in to the way things once might have been in some people's opinions, consider more constructive means of expressing yourself. What should you have asked that you didn't? What might you have done differently had you only known?
ADMIN NOTES: Because of the continued anonymity of this individual and his (her?) complete disregard for my inquiries, I've suspended posting privleges for this individual and sent some inquiries to the postmaster@ several possible addresses.
If you want to be anonymous on the list, that's fine. However, if you're going to post completely inflammatory messages -- without redeeming factors such as providing useful information on occasion -- I'd like to know who you are.
TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a message to 2500+ readers, e-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send commands to LISTSERV -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU (e.g. HELP or SIGNOFF TECHWR-L). Search the archives at http://www.documentation.com/ or search and browse the archives at http://listserv.okstate.edu/archives/techwr-l.html