Thanks to everyone!

Subject: Thanks to everyone!
From: John Hedtke <john -at- hedtke -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2015 14:33:37 -0700

I wanted to drop a quick note to the list to say "Thank you!" for all the help that I received on my recent question about what enterprise software companies do for their documentation help.

The summary of what I heard from everyone was:

1. *Give the users what they want. *Find out what the users want and need and give that to them. Don't use a cookie cutter approach (loved that expression for this), but ask the users in depth what they feel they need to get more mileage out of the software.

2. *Consider having the documentation & help available publicly.* Unless there's something proprietary, act like you're proud of your documentation and software. (And if you're not, you should fix that!) FWIW, this is the same methodology espoused in “Inbound Marketing,” where the authors publish the business plan for their successful Silicon Valley company on their website. It lets potential customers know where they’re going and if any competitor wants to try and copy it, sure; they’re going to be several years behind in their efforts. The same thing is true of us and what we’re showing in the documentation.

There were a number of helpful references for add'l further research, such as to,, and "Developing Quality Technical Information, 3rd ed."

All of these comments were very helpful, and I thank you, one and all.

Yours truly,

John Hedtke
Consultant/Author/Contract Writer
Fellow, Society for Technical Communication
541-685-5000 (office landline 9-9 Pacific)
541-554-2189 (cell)
john -at- hedtke -dot- com
Twitter: JohnHedtke
Blog for writers and authors:

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