RE: Tape Recording End Users & SMEs

Subject: RE: Tape Recording End Users & SMEs
From: Janet Valade <janetv -at- systech -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 08:43:34 -0700

Taping works well for me in certain situations. When the technology is
fairly familiar to me and I am just getting explanations of specific
aspects, I don't need to tape. I can understand and absorb or write short
notes, ask appropriate questions. But, when the technology is unfamiliar to
me and there is a lot of it, especially if it is complex, I tape. I know I
will need to review the information, possibly repeatedly. I might need to
read some background material to acquire some concepts before reviewing the
information. (I am always on the alert for excuses to buy technical books.)
I possibly need a better understanding before I can even formulate
questions. Thus, I need to record all the information, for later study. I
don't write very fast. If I don't tape, I am continually saying, "Wait.
Wait. Let me get that down." Interupting an SME on a roll is a bad thing.
Drives them insane. And takes a lot longer. SMEs are busy folks too. Also, I
have found that I am much more likely to understand if I can concentrate on
listening, not writing.

I agree with the person who said that dealing with the tapes is very time
consuming. Personally, I prefer to transcribe it to paper. If it is dense
with technical info, this can be pretty time consuming. There are people who
do this for a living that you can pay to transcribe. Otherwise, you spend a
lot of time listening and typing. An hour tape takes much longer to type.
But still saves a great deal of time in the long run. And often you can
synthesize and absorb while transcribing.


Janet Valade
Technical Writer
Systech Corporation, San Diego, CA
mailto:janetv -at- systech -dot- com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Anthony Markatos [SMTP:tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com]
> Sent: Saturday, September 11, 1999 2:15 PM
> Subject: Tape Recording End Users & SMEs
> Questions for all listserv members:
> 1.) Do you tape record your interviews with end users and/or SMEs? If so,
> why? If not, why?
> Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot-

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