At the recent Write the Docs conference in Portland, I stood up on stage in front of 400 people and talked about why it’s important to work closely with your customer support team, and the benefits of doing so (besides getting to know your coworkers, of course!).
I recently received spam email…wait, is “spam email” redundant? I’ve gotta ask Marcia Riefer Johnston about that one! Anyway, the spam was yet another “buy this stock now!” scam, which is all I seem to get lately. I don’t buy and sell stock, so I’m hardly the target market. I assume the target market are day traders who exist in a haze of constant sleep deprivation who have lost all higher cognitive functions and are unable to distinguish good advice from bad. Seems like a very niche market, but the spammers are certainly doing their best to reach it.
“Doing the needful” is an Indian English expression that I picked up from former coworkers. I’m currently managing a training development project, and that’s leaving little time to work on the product documentation. So I’m focusing on what I earlier called “moving the needle”; or in other words, figuring out what among the tasks that I’m responsible for is most in need of doing.
I took a long-overdue vacation earlier this month, and came back to a maelstrom of work. Which is my excuse for not posting, but there’s also the problem that once you break your writing habit, it’s difficult to get that going again.
First, though, I want to mention that I’ll be a presenter at the Information Development World conference in San Jose in October. I’m going to be part of the “Management Issues in Information Development” panel on Friday, and I’m very excited about it. And I realize that based on my history with conferences, I need to do what I can to make this panel interesting, fun, and generally worthwhile for everyone attending. I promise to do my best.
Now, let me tell you about my vacation (this is where you can skip out).
I spent last week researching support and learning management systems, working on a documentation delivery schedule for the rest of the year, and responding to a few complex support cases.
Those support cases, along with some comments from other users, have made me rethink my opinion of FAQs. Maybe it’s more accurate to say that this feedback is pushing me in a direction that I’ve been trying to avoid, while I knew that I was fighting the inevitable.