Archive | 2011

Want Respect? Get out of Publishing

I recently wrote the following in a comment on Tom Johnson’s blog post What Tools Do Technical Writers Use: That writers are still expected to do their own publishing strikes me as one of the tragedies of the profession, and a major part of why tech pubs does not get the respect it thinks it […]

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Book Review: Back of the Napkin

I tend to have a reputation for being anti-graphics in technical communication. I’m not. I think graphics can be very powerful, if used appropriately. But I also think that graphics are very often used badly, and that a bad graphic is even worse than bad text. The problem, it seems to me, is that graphics […]

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Why documentation analytics may mislead

I was rereading some material in the long-running do-people-read-the-manual debate (such as Tom Johnson’s If No One Reads the Manual, That’s Okay), and it struck me that there is an assumption that people on both sides of this debate are making which deserves some scrutiny. We all assume that technical documentation operates at first hand. […]

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Technical Communication in Children’s Literature

I recently came across a reference to technical communication in a children’s book. I’m wondering how many other such references they might be. (The topic seems apt given Tom Johnson’s recent questions about the place of technical writing in the high school curriculum.) I was delighted when I found out recently that Joan Aiken‘s Armitage […]

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Are We Causing Readers to Forget?

Could the way we organize content actually be causing readers to forget what they have read, or even why they were reading? In a post on the Technical Communication Professionals Email List, Mike Tulloch provides a link to a study from Notre Dame that suggest that walking through doors causes people to forget things  (http://newsinfo.nd.edu/news/27476-walking-through-doorways-causes-forgetting-new-research-shows/). […]

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