04 May Technical Writer Wanted For The Glue Company
No special skills needed – it’s a cut and paste job…
If you have a Facebook feed or other social media connection you’ll have had any number of people passing on information from others by simple means – they have pressed a hashtag key or a forward button and flooded the computers of their friends with another political meme or picture of a cat riding a motor mower.
It is the civilian version of what used to be the rip-and-read radio news service that interposed itself between you and a teletype machine. It kept you up-to date, but generally the date was July 8, 1959. Still, it was better than waiting for the newspaper to be thrown into the rhododendrons at 5:00AM next morning, particularly if the news was not what the editor or the owners of the paper wanted you to read…’cause then you didn’t read it and never even found out that you didn’t read it until much later.
Nowadays we instantly read, hear, see, and possibly taste darn near everything over the computer and a juicy news story will be available over dozens of feeds…but if you look carefully, the dozens of feeds are all saying the same thing. Because most of the writers of the various posts are sitting down by the teletype machine with a pair of scissors and a pot of glue.
It’s the same for the technical photographic writing. You may see a dozen reviews of a new camera or lens but eleven of those will say the same thing because they have been derived from a press release or product sheet. It is only No.12 that has anything new because in many cases only No.12 has actually had the camera in hand and pressed the shutter button. Don’t be too cynical about the other 11 – there may not have been enough of the new cameras in the country when the call for a tech report came out and the writers have just had to wing it.
You can have confidence to a certain extent in the eleven other reports. If they have not been typo’ed too badly you will get the basic information you need. But if you want to really find out the valuable bits, look for that twelfth piece. It is only the people who have handled the equipment* that will be able to let you have a human view of it.
And then come down to the shop and pick it up and form your own assessment. Judge as carefully as you might, and remember that you are as free to have a good opinion about new equipment as to have a bad one.
*Sometimes with sticky fingers.
Images: farming on a small scale at Cannington Showgrounds.