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Technical Communicators and Digital Writing Risk Assessment

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Both within and outside organizations, technical communicators increasingly produce digital texts that are disseminated to global audiences (e-mail, wikis, blogs, Web pages). Digital writing is not risk free. Writing for the Web is different from writing for print. An effective technical communicator is one who is aware and has made an assessment of the risk of digital writing. To conduct risk assessment, technical communicators need increased digital-rhetorical sophistication as well as an understanding of the need to stay educated. They need to stay educated since current laws impacting digital writing spaces are continuously changing as those laws attempt to keep up with technological innovation. Only a few years ago, “blogging” did not exist and e-mail was used only by a select few. When working in digital writing spaces that sometimes blend one’s public and personal lives (emails, blogs, wikis, text-messages), technical communicators should be accountable and responsible for their use of language. A table discussed in this article provides a starting point for employee discussions on risk assessment and digital writing.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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