What can a Technical Author learn from a TV shopping channel?
TV shopping channels are immensely successful at selling technology to the general public. Most salesmen will tell you how good these channels are at using the power of persuasion to create and fulfill a need that might never had existed before you turned on the TV.
Technical Authors could also pick up a few tips from these channels. These channels have to explain - on live TV and in just a few minutes - how easy a particular gadget is to use. They need to use language their audience will understand - people who are typically very not very technical at all.
For example, today a British TV shopping channel is promoting a portable pocket Internet surfer. Not only do they have to explain the device, they have to explain concepts such as Instant Messaging, remote data storage and free Internet access. They do this by using a range of methods to explain. In this case, it's video clips, walking users through a key task and using a "Question and Answer" dialogue between expert and TV host.
So take a few minutes to look using your technical author eyes. Operators are standing by.