“If you’re not telling your story, someone else will do it for you”

Ellis Pratt is Director and Help Strategist at Cherryleaf, a technical writing services and training company based near London. He has over fifteen years' experience working in the field of documentation, has a BA in Business Studies, and is an Associate of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Ranked the most influential blogger on technical communication in Europe, Ellis is also the author and editor of two books: How to Write Instructions and Trends in Technical Communication. tcworld spoke to him about what social media means for technical communicators.

Text by Corinna Melville


“If you’re not telling your story, someone else will do it for you”

Image: © Anatolii Babii/ 123rf.com

Social media is typically part of a company’s marketing strategy. Why should it concern technical writers?

If we look at learning models such as Bloom’s Taxonomy and Kirkpatrick’s Learning Evaluation Model, we see there’s an ultimate goal to master a subject – to be more than just functionally capable. People want to evaluate and analyze, and work out the best and most efficient way to meet that goal. This mastery leads users to gain more control and autonomy over their lives.

Where technology becomes a greater part of our day-to-day lives and people become more capable in using technology, there will be a greater percentage of our audience wanting to master a product. This type of higher-level learning tends to be conducted through asking questions, debating potential solutions and experimentation.

Paul Ford, a well-known content strategist, argues that the fundamental question of ...