Author Archives: amodioc0599
The reading brings up the idea of actual privacy and perceived privacy. This is a very good point because someone may feel that their information is save when it isn’t. A good example of this is using a credit card when online shopping. Even though a company can have on their website that they’re a secure site, they might be using order files that contain credit card numbers. When I worked at the software company that made and sold order management software, I’d see this all the time. There are updated versions of the software that don’t allow for credit card numbers to be displayed, but if someone hadn’t updated their software they were carelessly storing customer data. The customer felt safe because the site provided the appearance of being secure, but in reality credit card numbers are available to everyone that works for that company. There were many times I even saw credit card data supporting customer support inquiries.
Another example of actual and perceived privacy is going out to eat at a restaurant and paying your bill with your credit card. This is pretty standard, as it seems most people don’t carry cash. Your waiter can be walking away with your credit card and scamming your information. below is a link to an example story of waiters using skimming devices to copy credit card numbers so they could create counterfeit cards to use to purchase expensive items and sell them for cash.
Some of you might be wondering what credit card skimming is. The image below shows some details about how credit card skimming can be done. The link below the image takes you to an article (where you’ll also see this image) that provides some more information about credit card skimming.
The reading makes a point that “we take it on faith people are who they say they are.” This is so true in many aspects, such as online dating. When you go on a site like match.com you’re just believing the person’s profile is an accurate representation of who they are. This issue goes deeper than that though. Celebrities get scammed this way by “catfishing”. I saw on the news the other day that Brad Paisely and his wife got scammed by someone claiming their daughter was dying and she just wanted to speak to them. The woman running the scam never asked for money, but when she said her daughter passed away she asked that Brad Paisely provide a song he had sung on the phone for the funeral service.
The link below (that also contains the image above) provides the story in text and video form.
The video also mentioned this wasn’t the first celebrity that was scammed this way. It’s very sad to think people would play on the emotions of another person in such a way. This I guess opens the door to ethics, which was also part of the reading this week. I know the reading focused more on workplace and email ethics, which I think is an important topic being email is replacing conversations. I think that email is not only quick to fire off and get a response, but it also covers you from taking the blame for something. For example, If I call someone at work and ask if something is ok and they say yes, I have no evidence that approval happened if something goes wrong. If it was done via email, the accountability is on that person.
I think in the “cut-throat” world we live in makes the workplace tough because everyone is on the go and wants to look good. Ethics sometimes take a backseat.
I’ve never traveled out of the country, so I find it interesting the reading this week stated different countries have websites that show information differently, for example they use less pictures. This does make sense to me because I think about living in NJ and traveling to other places within the US. It’s amazing how different things can be in different states. I know NJ is very fast paced and when I travel sometimes it’s like being in a different country! In some places people are much more relaxed and friendly. I liked the example website provided in the reading, but would have enjoyed a deeper dive into examples of websites in different countries and why they are created the way they are. I did some Googling and found a website in Spain and Ireland, and both have a combination pictures and words. It looks like they’re laid out similar to websites that I’d expect to see in the US, so I’m not sure if I’m missing something, or not researching enough sites/locations.
Some of this is over my head information wise as I’ve never built a website, but there’s plenty of information on the web about how to build sites that will be used in different regions and how important it is to communicate with people in their own language. The site below provides a lot of information on this topic.
I find it interesting the readings mentioned that studies haven’t really been done on how audiences are adapting to the digital age. I found the case studies that were done though to be interesting. The one mentioned how they use their support calls to help create content. When I managed a knowledge base I used to do the same thing. I’d go through the customer support ticket logs and listen in on phone calls to see what customers were asking and how they were asking it. This helps get insight into what the customer needs to know and helps build the structure of the knowledge base so the customer could find it. The reading also mentioned that the online environment is designed for quick feedback. This is a very good point because in most knowledge bases users can leave comments or choose to give a thumbs up if the article was useful and a thumbs down if the article wasn’t helpful.
The reading did mention one of the issues with online content is that the information is available for everyone. I don’t think this is true though, as some websites you have to log in to get access to content. It is true that the content can be emailed to someone and be shared quickly and easily, but paper content can be photocopied and passed around too.
I also found The Implications of Mobility study entertaining. I’d like to comment on three points I picked out:
- 58% of business users agreed with “mobile phones restrict my freedom”
I can really understand this comment. I have a work cell phone and I agree it restricts my freedom. For example, there are two big meetings this week on Tuesday and Wednesday I’m managing material for. I’ve been receiving emails/texts and working over the weekend because I’m accessible via my work phone. I feel the days of having a weekend to myself are gone!
- Mobile phones blur the boundary between public and private space
I agree that it seems people have private conversations in public places. Just waiting online at the grocery store you can hear more about a person than you need to.
- Internet could reduce depression by providing a means to obtain social support
I’ve never thought about the Internet being helpful to people in this way, but I guess it really could. I think if someone is being bullied and they find a support group and bond with people, it really can turn their attitude around. Even if they’re talking to someone across the globe, it’s someone that relates to them and understands them.
I think that successful businesses with multiple locations have to follow the Systems of Engagement in B2B Enterprises defined in the “A Sea of Change in Enterprise IT” reading this week. These five ways to make technology work internally and externally to be more productive really do make a difference. These things won’t completely turn a business around, but they’re good things to do. The first point of making meetings work better across time zones sounds like a no-brainer but it’s something people just don’t understand. Verizon Wireless has many locations across the USA. I’m in NJ and have to keep in mind there are times I’m working with someone located in CA. I always look at the location of my colleague when scheduling a meeting to be polite to not schedule a meeting during a time that’s out of their office hours. I even go as far to not schedule during their lunch hour! And we use tools that allow for conference calls and screen sharing, even telepresence. These technologies may be expensive to implement but make a big difference in how employees can work together and reduces employee travel. I think addressing issues collaboratively and keeping collaborators connected really does help solve issues with real solutions quickly. No one person will make a complete difference, but having a team that can easily communicate and come up with ideas will really make a difference. I notice that sometimes my boss will get upset at my team for communicating. I believe she thinks we’re talking about personal things, but we’re really collaborating and coming up with great ideas to help take our work to the next level. I also agree that mining community content to extract insights and viewing collaboration and social systems in context will help with diving in and analyzing the community to result in better decisions for the future. It’s also important that not everything has to be shared with social systems. Having a social presence is important, but having the wrong social image can be just as harmful as not having a social presence at all.
Information design and architecture are huge responsibilities for technical writers. Information design and architecture isn’t only for external use, internal staff can benefit as well. Information needs to be easy to find and displayed in a well organized format for customers and internal staff to use it. In the world we live in people are inpatient. We want what we want when we want it. If there is a barrier to getting what we want, we become frustrated. When I worked as a technical writer and implemented a knowledge base, I came up with a draft layout of categories that information should be posted to. I tried to put myself in the shoes of the customer and thought about where I’d look for this information. There were many internal meetings to discuss this because we wanted customers and staff to see value in this knowledge base. It had to be right the first time, as a customer, as well as internal staff, will base an opinion of it on their first use. If they find what they’re looking for they’ll look at it again. If a customer can’t figure out where information is, they’ll call customer support and already be frustrated that they had to pick up the phone, and not look at the knowledge base again. I tried to do some searching to see how long a customer will spend finding information on a knowledge base before giving up and calling technical support, but I wasn’t able to find any details on this. I think it’d be a good study to conduct. However, there’s plenty of information, like this link below from Zen Desk, about how to develop knowledge base content.
Technical writers are also content managers. It’s part of the job of a technical writer to create and manage content. This starts with defining the information to relay, the format/template that is used to relay it and making sure the content is up to date. As a technical writer I’ve started many documents trying to figure out what the reader on the other side of the computer screen is looking for. It’s difficult but I think the best we can do is relate to the person on the other end of the document. Maybe customers will actually read the manual if they feel it’s put together well, and it’s easy to find and navigate.
I took Rhetorical Theory in the Spring 2013 semester. At that time I never thought of myself as someone who has blogged. I realized writing my introduction blog post for that class, I had blogged before using sites like LiveJournal. Also, in a previous job, I helped write and edit content for the company blog. The Rhetorical Theory course, similar to this one, used a blog as a class tool. By no means would I say I’m a blogging expert, but I’m not new to the blog scene either.
I think the article 16 Top Tips from Blogging Experts for Beginners has some good insight to those looking to start blogging, or even those that do blog and are interested in taking their blog further. I think the tip that says “write for yourself” makes a great point. We’re in a society where everyone is crunched for time. If you’re going to take time to blog, do it for you. I have had friends that started blogs to try to make money from it, realized it takes time to build a blog that can produce revenue, and then quit. It wasn’t something they really wanted to spend their time on, they just wanted a quick buck. As the article also states, give it time and be willing to fail. The odds are a blog won’t go viral in an evening.
If you’re blogging because you want to, another good point the article makes is to keep your audience in mind. A friend of mine has a blog that she doesn’t update that often, but when she does the content is true to the blog description. It’s clear she writes for herself, thinks of her audience, but just doesn’t have the time to really commit to blogging. I like that the blog is focused on cooking and it doesn’t focus just on her words, it also provides pictures and recipes. Check it out, if you’re interested http://www.girlversuskitchen.com.
I look forward to seeing all of your introduction posts and reading your thoughts as we go through the semester.