New Site Policy About How I Respond to Questions

I get a lot of questions from readers who stumble upon my blog while searching for answers to various things. I don’t mind getting questions, but a lot of times I don’t have good answers. I’ve decided to add a new question policy to my Contact page. The policy is as follows:

Note: If you ask me a question, I may choose to excerpt your question and post the response on my blog. When I do this, I’ll always protect your identity with a fictional name. If you don’t want me to respond to your question in a blog post, let me know. Posting responses via blog posts gives you a much larger audience to potentially respond to your question.

Most people are agreeable to this anyway, as long as I hide their identity. By posting the policy note before people submit questions, I can decrease the turnaround time, because I won’t have to first reply with a request to post the response in a blog post.

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for The 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm primarily interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication (video tutorials, illustrations), findability (organization, information architecture), API documentation (code examples, programming), and web publishing (web platforms, interactivity) -- pretty much everything related to technical writing. If you're trying to keep up to date about the field of technical communication, subscribe to my blog either by RSS or by email. To learn more about me, see my About page. You can also contact me if you have questions.

8 thoughts on “New Site Policy About How I Respond to Questions

  1. Kai

    I think that makes perfect sense! Time and again, I’ve been stuck with a question and thought: “I can’t believe I’m the only one with this problem…”

    So I think it’s a good idea to go ahead and publish the Q and the A and to preserve it for posterity.

  2. Tom

    Thanks Kai. I appreciate your agreement on the common sense of this new approach. By the way, when you leave a comment, uncheck the Enable Commentluv check box. For some reason, it reads Ning wrong and puts Mike’s page in there. Sorry about that.

    1. Tom

      I added the navigation bar to the existing theme. If you want the theme, search for it on my site, as I released it a while ago.

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