In this three-minute STC Atlanta podcast, Judy Glick Smith says she's tired of trying to convince sales people of the value of documentation. She says she's "tired of fighting the good fight."
No doubt as a technical writer you've heard the phrase, "No one reads the help anyway." They let out a small chuckle to indicate that they're only kidding, although deep down they're being totally serious. Many people believe help files are almost insignificant except to a small percentage of people.
But the next time you hear someone say, "No one reads the help anyway," say, "Yah, no one uses Google either."
This will lead to a puzzling follow-up question -- What do you mean? I use Google all the time.
Then you say, What do you use Google for? To search for answers, solutions, and information when you have questions?
Google is one large help file.
Update Jan 2008: I updated my thoughts on this post with some new reflections.
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include the following technical communication topics: Swagger, agile, trends, learning, plain language, quick reference guides, tech comm careers, and certificate programs. I'm interested in information design, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture and findability, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.