This semester the students of Dr. Lee Tesdell's 4/576 Online Documentation course wrote about the elements of writing for online media. As more written content is posted on intranets, the Internet, and in help documents the writer will have to adapt to new genres. Design, content, and information architecture are important factors to the technical communicator that is desiging online documentation.
The challenges for online documentation are fluid and dyanmic, because each user uses online media in a different way. This is when the technical communicator must predict, adapt, and usability test their online documents.
The articles focus on topics such as audience, writing for online media, blogging, and information management. These topics are important to the online documentation students because their course projects use the tools of the "online" trade.
The tools of online documentation help the technical communicator solve problems; these problems might range from using software to documenting a project's development.
Online documentation is a growing facet of technical communication. Its growth will help students use the genres of the medium to affect changes in the technical communication profession.
Andrew Robertson — Editor-in-Chief