The need for a bridge

Tech comm practitioners and academics are members of the same profession, yet they often (sadly) operate in independent spheres. This is unfortunate because both sides need each other:

  • Practitioners need academics in order to move past perceptions of simply being word technicians, where writing is viewed as a commodity that can easily be performed by anyone.
  • Academics need to do research to advance the tech comm field, but they need practitioner input for data, relevance, and workplace understanding.

Although both groups need each other, there’s no clear mechanism for each for communication between the two groups.

Academic/Practitioner Bridge email group

I created an email group called Academic/Practitioner Bridge dedicated to this purpose. If you’re an academic who wants to collaborate with practitioners, or if you’re a practitioner who wants to collaborate with academics, be sure to sign up.

After joining the group and confirming your email, here’s how you work with the group:

What information will appear in the email group?

In this email group, I hope to help bridge this gap in the following way:

  • Practitioners can post questions they want answers to from academics. For example, is a two-column or three-column layout more effective? What is the right design with API docs for a developer audience?

  • Academics can post questions about the research projects they’re undertaking. For example, is data available for a study about user metrics that are used in reporting? Are practitioners interested in learning more about effective integration in agile?

You can also email me with the information, and I’ll post it in the group and on my blog.


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