Re: Outsourcing Content Development?

From: Janet Attard <>
Date: Wed 01 May 2002 11:37:21 -0600

> From: Mark Bodach <>

> As a computer programmer I am the last one who should be writing help
> files, but at the same time, I am the best one. I know all the
> tricks, the
> short-cuts, and what happens when you click this or move that. So who
> better then to inform the customer.

That really depends on how good a communicator the individual programmer is
AND - maybe more importantly - how much they THINK like the user (or site
visitor for a web site) who doesn't have the technical background, doesn't
yet know the product, and probably doesn't yet know why they want to know
about the product.

Years ago, before I got involved online, I was working as a freelance
writer, writing, among other things some software manuals as well as
brochures and other stuff for companies with technical products. In one
case - a manual I was called in to "fix", what I discovered was that the
programmer had done a great job listing every single procedure that could be
done with the software, but that is exactly what he had done - listed each
function with instructions. That made no sense to most people, since it told
them how to use the functions, but now what the software really did and how
to set it up and use it in their own environments. And as a result a lot of
the software was coming back for refunds. (The "fix" was to write a real
manual..complete with product description - since it was a new concept -
tutorial, etc. )

The same is true of web sites. There are a LOT of websites out there for
great products, that are chasing good potential customers away because
visitors either can't figure out quickly what the product is or if it will
help them, or because after they get interested in the product, they can't
find out what it will cost without looking all over the site and then having
to FIRST clicking an "order now" button.

--Janet Attard (
Author, The Home Office and Small Business Answer Book
Content development, web development, surveys, online directories
More than 13 years experience building online content and community sites and

Received on Wed May 01 2002 - 12:37:21 CDT


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