Introducing Write Trends

September 23, 2009

Everyone can write. Why do I need a professional technical communicator?

I shake my head, roll my eyes whenever I hear this one.  I like to toss back questions of my own: we all have driver’s licenses. Can we win the Daytona 500? We likely all have access to WebMD. Does that mean we can diagnose illness? We’ve got digital cameras and camcorders and access to YouTube. We’ll be nominated for Oscars, right?

People – especially budget-controlling managers – are always looking at tech comm as a potential candidate for outsourcing or downsizing but they’re operating under a common and risky misconception…   everybody can write.

Sure, but how many can write well?

Today, the rapid evolution of technology puts professional-quality tools into the hands of the general public. But tools alone do not turn the masses into experts.

As technical communicators, we specialize in de-geeking Geek Speak, demystifying engineering-ese and deflating Marketing fluff. We have the time, the interest, and the expertise for giving people the information they need to successfully use the product or service we present.

Give the responsibility to programmers or engineers, what do you think happens? Writing code comes first, writing customer information…  if there’s time later. If there is time later, the information is written to suit Programming’s needs, not customers’. 

Yes, we all went to school and learned to conjugate verbs, construct sentences and expand our vocabularies,  but writing is much more than putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).   It’s a job best left to professionals.


One comment

  1. […] get to deal with user-generated content and information by colleagues in a company where “everyone can write“. So in addition to producing content, tech writers also become gate-keepers, similar to a […]

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