Ruud Questions for the Publisher

I was pleased to receive a request to participate in Ruud Hein’s (@ruudhein on twitter) “Ruud Questions” series of interviews a few weeks ago. He sent me a set of questions, which I answered, and the interview is now posted at:

I was impressed by the research that went into his questions. There were no throwaways (“what’s the future of social media” and the ilk); rather, he pulled out things like quotations from my responses to other people’s blog posts and comments in my book, and created thoughtful questions based on them.

Looking at some of the other interviews in the series (and I recommend that you do), I think he may be the James Lipton of social media (for anyone who’s not familiar with Lipton, watch an episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio, and you’ll get the idea). Like Lipton, he asks well researched questions that go beneath the surface.

I was particularly pleased that he picked up on a theme that I think is particularly important right now. That is the importance of technical communicators to your social media strategy. More and more, companies are realizing that they need to provide useful information, not just a marketing message, if they want to draw, and more important retain, an audience. Technical communicators can provide that meat better than anyone else.

That’s one of the messages in Anne Gentle’s book, Conversation and Community: The Social Web for Documentation, and it’s a message that is gaining resonance as companies realize that they can only retain their audience with substance.

Thanks to Ruud for asking me to do the interview and for asking such great questions. It was an honor to participate.

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