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?