February 8th

February 8th

Slattery

They must be broad thinkers who can visualize projects
before they’re developed and see connections between
seemingly unrelated material. . . . They must move eas-
ily among genres . . . and media. They must be comfort-
able designing interfaces and interaction . . . have a
good “eye” for the visual look of a communication prod-
uct and a good “ear” for its verbal tone. (p. 159)

That sounds about right to me. It is a tough job in my experience but there are people who can excel at this and they do. Since it seems a lot of the same skills sets and personal qualities are desired among most all businesses/industries, namely computer skills, ability to learn quickly and willingness to learn, interpersonal skills, communication skills (oral and writing), etc. Basically the broad liberal arts educational foundation minus the precise “skill” like drain cleaning or drawing blood or criminal defense attorney.

I always think it is shortsighted, presumptuous and idiotic to easily dismiss “whatever” when there isn’t a wealth of information/facts to create a logical consensus. Why not just accept all communication skills through all available means of communication (communication technology) are valid and required. At worst, it is worth knowing for the sake of knowing — it will come in handy, perhaps.

jeezOpetes! We learn from everything we do and experience. Humans are ever changing due to the technologies we create and adapt to. All of life is bent on constant learning. It seems to be a survival trait.

Digital Literacy

Twitter
I am still unsure about how I feel about Twitter. I won’t hazard any guesses, still, about its future. I already know that my relationship with technology doesn’t match up with maybe the majority of tech users so maybe I don’t care. Since people use it, though, it has to be a part of the political environment and the political tool kit.

Medical Care
We have millions and billions of dollars for space tours, bad television, gold toilets, super bowl ads, sports sponsorships and cloned animals but never any money for feeding the hungry, repairing states’ infrastructures, or apparently converting hospitals to digital technologies. Yea!

Technical Communication

I dunno. But I do know that adaptation is required of us all and has been since time began.

Dude, just relax. You and your readers should just do the tasks that your job requires of you, the tasks that your employer requires of you. Is that so hard? Technical communicators are communicators – period. So communicate in the style and fashion best suited to your objective and audience. Life is adaptation – hey, just look at this nifty opposable thumb I got! I just woke one day and it was there. It’s on both hands by the way.

Milkman: extinct
Horse and carriage: replaced with horseless carriage
Carrier pigeon: replaced with Morse code: replaced with telephone: replaced with e-mail: replaced with text message

Done. And in less than ten pages.

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3 Responses to “February 8th”

  1. parkerfi Says:

    I agree with the concept of adapting communication skills and traits in the TC field. It’s not nearly as clear-cut as one might believe when looking at technical communication from the outside. Communication skills can cover so many different things, whether it be the knowledge of a particular tool used to communicate info to an audience or the knowledge to ensure that said communication is clear, user-appropriate, and understandable. It does seem foolish to try and label everything required to be a successful technical communicator. If that was the case, nearly everyone’s definition would differ at some level. Communication occurs in every phase of technical writing, whether there is interpersonal interaction or not. It is an evolving process and I am glad to be learning more about it every day.

  2. Nadine Says:

    I totally agree with your thoughts on medical care! Nicely said. Also, it’s interesting to see the different places where Twitter is becoming more popular – celebrities, entertainment news/talk shows, the Senate, and within companies (at least this is what I’ve come up with so far). For everyday use it reminds me of how Live Journal was with AOL. People would post what they were doing and how they were feeling on a regular basis; now with Twitter they can give the world second by second updates about their day. I know it’s communication, but honestly, sometimes too much information is not good either.

  3. Ann Blakeslee Says:

    What comes to mind for me with all of this is that all things are relative — and context-specific. That’s why it will also be interesting to start hearing more from all of you about your job shadowing, informational interviews, and internship experiences. I think sometimes we overgeneralize maybe a little too much when different approach and such may be organizationally specific, industry specific, etc. There are many things that impact both what we do and how we do it in this field — and why too I suppose. And the learning and adaptability pieces really are huge in all of this. There’s no point at which any of us can ever say, “Okay, now I know everything I need to know.” Would be nice if there was, wouldn’t it? Or maybe not since it’s also a huge part of what makes the field interesting and also continually challenging.

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