If a Tree Falls in the Forest…

I wrote my first blog about my issues with blogs and wikis (specifically blogging to arouse user interest in an early draft of an article). So…after a full month of revisions incorporating feedback from the project team after first posting my article to the wiki, I think the content is now “complete” (or at least it incorporates everything that everyone on the team can think of). Then comes the deafening silence of no responses from the community…kind of like that saying “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

At first, I’m more than a little discouraged, because wikis are supposed to be this wave of the future that will bring about the age of collaborative documentation and forever break down the walls between professional technical communicators and the user community, But perhaps I’m just being skeptical–it took 20 years before desktop publishing moved from the realm of graphic designers to everyday users. Things take time, and good ideas like wikis will eventually move from the realm of computer geeks to everyday users.

So, I guess I’ll just continue to keep posting articles, being well aware that community feedback may be slow in coming (if at all at first). But if you plant a seed, and the seed grows up to be a tree, then someday that tree just might make a “boom” and someone will be around to hear the sound.

PS

Originally posted to blogs.sun.com by J. Aseo on 10/31/08.  You can find a summary of the effort needed to support the Project SocialSite community wiki (with an eye towards creating documentation for a future commercial release) on my wiki.

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