Technical Editor questions

Subject: Technical Editor questions
From: Barbara Hallnan <barbara -at- BRIDGE -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 13:20:11 -0400

Folks,

My company is about to begin a search for a technical editor. I have
little experience working with technical editors, and need advice.
Here's the lowdown on our situation:

We're a large financial information company, recently formed by the
acquisition of about 6 companies by venture capitalists. We have about 9
writers, 3 from one company, 3 from another, 2 from one, and 1 from
another. There's been a mix of writing tools, styles, and so on. See why
we need a technical editor???

I've been tasked with creating corporate style guides for printed and
online documentation. Once the guides are ready, we are holding a series
of tech writer seminars to talk about the "new" corporate style, and for
problem-solving workshops, and to schmooze and get to know one another.

Into this mix we need to add a technical editor. This mythic persona
will be charged with upholding (improving) the corporate style by
editing massive amounts of prose from all the writers, and tactfully
educating the writers as to what's write (sic) and wrong. This person
could be involved in teaching the tech writing seminars, and could, to
some extent, create her own job. The job could be done offsite with
monthly travel to the 3 sites having tech writers, unless someone
fitting the requirements happened to live in St. Louis, MO.

Now for the advice. S/he will have to deal with up to 9 writers. S/he
should be knowledgable about both online and printed doc editorial
issues. What's your opinion about how senior this person needs to be.
Entry level is out, I believe. This person needs to be self-motivated,
energetic, and highly-disciplined. What salary range have you seen for
this type of person? Do you think the job requirements are realistic for
one human? To what extent could someone like this drive the style
standardization effort (in conjunction with the doc managers)?

Please respond to me directly. If there's interest from the list, I'll
summarize the responses and post them.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments you might have.

Barbara
--
Barbara Hallnan
Documentation Group
Bridge Fixed Income Services
802-254-8019
barbara -at- bridge -dot- com


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