Re: HUMOR: I Need Help

Subject: Re: HUMOR: I Need Help
From: Jeff Hanvey <techwriter -at- jewahe -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 14:23:52 -0800 (PST)

--- Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>

>Maybe this is part of the problem: that many people see designing a

>template is seen as "wasted hours" instead of central to the job.

I don't exactly see it as wasted time. I think it is a valuable necessity. It's just that designing templates takes time away from the researching, writing, and editing. I'd just rather have something that I can customize quickly to the task at hand and move on to the meat of my job.

>A good template is tailored to the job at hand, to the audience, and

>to the company's image. It isn't something that you can simply

>borrow - at least, not if you want to be conscientious.

Well, some templates aren't necessarily universal. Most are, however. That's the reason templates are so popular on the web: they're easy to use and cover a wide range of uses. Imagery, font choice, et cetera, are aesthetic differences that don't change the basic idea of a template.

>Using your company's style guide and asking for a template on line

>are not the same thing. Your work is generally the company's, so the

>style guide is part of the resources you have available. Asking for

>a template for your work is asking someone else to do the work that

>you or your predecessor are paid to do. Why should you get the pay

>and the credit for what you haven't done? And why should I hand you

>all of that in return for a brief thank-you?

Agreed. I'm not necessarily advocating the free exchange of templates. Paying for the template would be an acceptable alternative (Woody Leonard has a template pack on his website, for example).

>Cutting and pasting from another manual would save time, too, but

>that doesn't mean that you should do it.

If the information is relative and necessary, you would, so long as you site that original source.

>But unless someone gives me a consulting fee, I'm not going to hand

>them a template - even if I do have the copyright on it, which often

>I don't.


>There comes a point when generosity means that you are letting

>yourself be taken advantage of. Doing someone else's work for free

>is far beyond that point.

True. There is a fine line between being generous and being taken advantage of. If you feel you should be paid for the work, then by all means, charge for your time.

Jeff Hanvey:

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