Re: Purpose of list

Subject: Re: Purpose of list
From: ejray -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 1994 11:37:58 CDT

Jim Venis <ujv01 -at- MAILHOST -dot- UNIDATA -dot- COM> said,

Perhaps I missed something, but several people seem to be suggesting that
the primary purpose of this list is education. I joined the list because
I thought it was primarily a forum for discussion among practicing, professional
technical writers (and others allied to, or interested in the field).
I put it to you: Who is this list for, and what functions does it

Good question. Are forums for professionals and
educational forums mutually exclusive? I would put
forth that education should not be completely excluded
from the purpose of this list, otherwise we are back to
"virtually" standing around the water cooler. Frankly,
I don't have time or inclination to visit about
technical communication without trying to learn more
about it. What would we say if we didn't want to either
learn or help others learn--what's left besides

Besides, if we exclude students, or if some members
continue to refer to students of technical
communication as "only" students, we may have a
problem. I would say that technical communicators who
do not consider themselves students of the profession
may have painted themselves into a corner, for without
learning about the research and scholarship in the
field, as well as learning from others' personal
experience, we would never be able to develop more
effective and usable products.

If this forum were not for students (which is
emphatically NOT the case--students are more than
welcome!), but hypothetically speaking, if students
were to sign off the list, we would lose several of the
most substantive voices of this list, in addition to
the 2nd VP of STC and the listowner.

This harangue doesn't mean, however, that professional
discussions are not appropriate. I am the only
full-time technical communicator here, and I appreciate
and need the chance to discuss issues and problems with
other professionals without hitting the phone or
waiting for the next STC meeting.

My 2 cents...
Other opinions? I think this discussion of purpose
needs to take place--we seem to have a variety of
different and conflicting opinions.

ejray -at- okway -dot- okstate -dot- edu
TECHWR-L Listowner

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