Reading Usable Help
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Gordon R. Meyer
Technologists need not apply
Claus at Techwriter.dk asks Are You A Good Technical Writer? He find that most of the people in this profession are writers first, and technologists second, if at all. Like Claus, I've never understood why writers are allowed, in fact sometimes even encouraged, to be technically ignorant and disinterested in the industry.
I believe this contributes to the low-status of technical writers in the industry, and manifests itself in documentation that lacks enthusiasm, clarity, and purpose. Which in turn drives consumers to third-party documentation written by true enthusiasts or technocrats, further undermining the perceived value of product documentation. It's a vicious cycle, and perhaps the way to break it is to begin with writers who love their jobs, not for the writing, but for the joy of getting to use and learn the products.
Thanks to The Creative Tech Writer for the link.