Experts read more than novices

If you let one of your houseplants completely dry out and then try to bring it back to life by dumping a large amount of water in the pot, you will end up with water all over the floor. Dry soil cannot absorb moisture quickly so the water you pour in will run through the soil, out the hole in the bottom of the pot, into the saucer the pot is resting on, over the sides, and onto the floor. Damp soil can absorb moisture far more quickly that dry soil. Readers are like that too. Experts can absorb much more information much faster than novices. Thus experts read far more than novices do. read more

Tech Comm’s Obsession with Novices has to Stop

Novice and Expert keys

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Once upon a time (sometime in the 80’s) everyone in the tech business was a novice. Novice tech writers wrote for novice users about novice products created by novice developers employed by novice¬†entrepreneurs (most of whom, apparently, had recently dropped out of Harvard).

There were no conventions about how any of this stuff was supposed to work. No one even knew what the business model was for software, let alone what the standard conventions should be for how anything should work in software or in hardware. As the popular saying of the time went, if it isn’t documented, it isn’t a feature. read more