Publishing Now Belongs to the Community

Just watched this interesting video which pretty much sums up my 10 years at Sun.

At first I wrote "man" pages and hard-copy manuals that were published once a year. By the time they came out, they were already obsolete. I never knew if anyone read my stuff or if it met their needs. We eventually started writing technical articles in HTML, but these were not published until the official release. Any errors or updates could not be corrected until the next release. In the past few years, we have been publishing our tutorials on the web as soon as we write them and updating them whenever necessary. We put feedback buttons on the page so people could report errors or make suggestions. We wrote back and often started dialogs. We requested tutorial suggestions and got lots of input. Then we started this blog and started pushing out information as soon as we learned it, so that people didn't have to wait until we had put it in some polished tutorial. Now we have joined the NetBeans Ruby team and our roles have totally changed. We are no longer a group of writers who take information from the engineers and make it available to the software users, we are members of a community of contributors to the NetBeans Ruby Wiki. When I have questions about the topic I am working on, I don't just turn to the engineers, I turn to the community. They help me write my docs, and hopefully, I can help them write theirs. These are exciting times.

Comments:

Your blog posting and the accompanying video has me wondering if a time will come when the community will be writing all the docs unaided.

Posted by Paul Davies on August 31, 2007 at 10:14 AM PDT #

Paul, I think that is happening already.

Posted by Diva #2 on August 31, 2007 at 10:37 AM PDT #

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