Re: Not Wanted--Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Not Wanted--Technical Writers
From: "Tony G. Rocco" <trocco -at- NAVIS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 11:49:53 -0800

The lesson to be learned from this article, IMHO, isn't merely "know thy
audience," as many have averred. I think it is more profound than that. The
lesson to be learned is that a whole new approach may be needed to make
technical information usable to nontechnical people. (For a technical
audience, this might not be so true.) Repeating "tried and true" formulae
may not be enough to get usable information into people's hands and heads
given the copious quantities of data thrown at them daily.

Instead of the defensive responses that I have heard from my fellow tech
writing comrades, it would be nice to hear someone acknowledge that there
is something to be learned here. And it has nothing to do with information
mapping, readability indexes, chunking, grammar, etc.

- tgr

PS: Another lesson here: tech writers respond pretty much as anyone else
would when chinks are found in their armor. They are often reactive,
arrogant, and dismissive.

At 10:31 AM -0500 12/16/97, Don Sargent wrote:

>Did anyone else get a look at this article in the Washington Post's
>weekly business section yesterday?
>What do you think?
>Don Sargent
>Template Software, Inc. "I might only get three strikes in
>Dulles, Virginia life, but I can hit foul indefinitely."
>sargent -at- template -dot- com -- me
>, or

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