Technology vs Emotion

Random thought: Has the rise of (talk of) emotional content (affective assistance) been driven by the concentration, over the last few years, on technological solutions?

Single sourcing, XML, DITA, DocBook, and all the rest have (rightly) taken our profession forward, so I guess it’s natural that the general trends, as well as refocussing on the content itself, are looking for how to better engage with a modern audience.

The evidence suggests that that modern audience is Facebooking, Twittering, and blogging, and wants content in easily digestable chunks.

That plays nicely into the hands of single sourcing (chunks) and the idea of emotional content through connecting to the user, using friendly language to make the content easily digestable.

So, if you’ve already got your technology sorted out, why aren’t you looking at how your content is presented?

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Long time blogger, Father of Jack, geek of many things, random photographer and writer of nonsense.

Doing my best to find a balance.

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I’ve written a bit about emotionally engaging the user, but I come at it from a slightly different perspective. I see excellent technical writing as an extension of good marketing. When your customers use your help, they’ll form an opinion about your product and your company based on their experience with the documentation. Making it as enjoyable as possible shows your customers how much you love them, and engaging them on an emotional level is a core part of that.

Excellent stuff, Gordon. @Bill “I see excellent technical writing as an extension of good marketing.” THANK YOU!! There needs to be a unification in the communications world. Technical or Marketing, it’s content, it’s communication, it’s customer facing – it’s brand! From both sides of the marketing/technical divide, we need to see ourselves all as serving the customer and their interests, in the format, context, voice that works best for them. Make them happy with your brand, and you’re helping them chose your product over the competitors.

I’ve seen too many companies short-change the process by cutting documentation and by removing technical writing from the development stage. It’s an easy cost to cut. It’s also like death by a thousand paper cuts. When you’re 24 months into a long term project, and you have that moment in a meeting where you realize “there is no comprehensive documentation,” it’s not really an option to rewind the clock and document two years of progress in the proper way.

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