Published on August 23rd, 2008 | by Rahel Bailie0
Changing content paradigms include social media in technical communication contexts
In the world of personality profiling, the technical writing field is dominated by the Meyers Briggs type of Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving (INTP). It’s not surprising that INTPs are drawn to the profession of writing. After all, writing tends to be an inward-focused activity, carried out independently, and involved organization of conceptual material into logical topics.
Though social media uses the medium preferred by introverts – communication that can be prepared and posted, rather than real-time communication such as phone or meetings – it is, after all, an activity that doesn’t fit the profile of the average introvert. As a personal pursuit, it can be seen as a time sink. When asked to learn about this as a professional endeavour, it can be perceived as a world of hurt.
So what happens when social media meets technical communication? In what may be described as the next big shift for the technical communication workplace, where technical content converges with marketing communications, e-learning content, knowledge management, and user-generated content, the shift to a social media model in the coming decade may be as profound a shift as that to content management during this decade.