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Technical Writing by Mark Metcalfe, Publications Professional July 2009 Entries
The Evolutionary Role of the Tech Writer
The one thing that has remained constant for a writer is the role of providing information content. However, providing a context for information is changing, again and again. Technological advances and consumer demands have created an explosion of contexts in which content can be consumed; and they want it all. The high-level contexts for information content can be described as follows: Content - Consumable (raw) data Delivery - Presentation of data Availability - Completeness of data Accessibility ......

Posted On Monday, July 27, 2009 3:59 PM

Documentation is YOUR Business
Your technical writer has completed a 20-page draft of a feature that your team has been working on and sends the team a notice for review, allowing for a week to review it and make comments. You put it on a pile somewhere with a vague intention to skim through it before the next project team meeting. When the meeting arrives, you approve the documentation by your silence, relying on the expertise of the writer because the document never left your growing Inbox. This is not uncommon. Reviews of documentation ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 15, 2009 9:52 AM

Converting Legacy Info to Topics
Topic-based information is the way to convey information because answers to issues need to be concise, portable, and relevant. The trouble is that many companies have a lot of information already stored in old documentation formats. User guides are becoming rare; and they should, because the effort and cost involved in creating a user guide is too great compared to the number of users who need comprehensive information. Quick Start guides are replacing user guides and the comprehensive information ......

Posted On Monday, July 6, 2009 9:09 AM

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