Re: FWD: Appealing to or introducing Tech Comm "best practices"

Subject: Re: FWD: Appealing to or introducing Tech Comm "best practices"
From: Nora Merhar <nmerhar -at- charlesindustries -dot- com>
To: Anonymous Poster <anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 15:14:53 -0500

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out exactly what you're talking about. I
don't currently write much software documentation (I do mostly hardware), which
may have something to do with it. HOWEVER, what it sounds like you're saying (and
please correct me if I'm wrong) is...

You are now working in a situation in which the established writer(s) don't do
things the way you do them or the way you'd like to see them done. You would like
strategies to get them to do what you want them to do--you want to lead the horse
to water AND make him drink.

I am always suspicious of posts like yours (not you personally, please
understand) because there is no way for me to know if your newfangled methods are
actually producing *better* documentation than the methods of them thar
old-timers. I was fired from a job in a library in high school because the head
librarian didn't like the way I did things. My RESULTS were just as good as, or
better than, those of other student workers, but since I didn't re-shelve the
records and books the way she thought they ought to be done, I was suspect.

So what I wonder is--is it truly that their results are not as good as yours? By
whose standards?

Your question is too vague for me to give a really good answer. When I was
working with a team of writers, we worked to a template and discussed/voted on
each change. It was a seriously irritating process, but at least everyone got to
have input. Is that the kind of thing you want to do?

Nora
nmerhar -at- charlesindustries -dot- com
Senior (and only) Technical Writer
Charles Industries, Ltd.





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