Just had to pop this link in here, also from Powers’ Burning Bird blog, as it goes to the heart of my sense of how we should all be (in general) helping each other and building up our knowledge stores in the moments of realization (Self Documenting Technology):
Danny Ayers points to a Jon Udell article about dynamic documentation managed by the folks who use a product, rather than relying on stuffy old material provided by the organization making the software. In it, Jon writes:
Collectively, we users know a lot more about products than vendors do. We eventually stumble across every undocumented feature or quirk. We like to maintain the health of the products we’ve bought and we’re happy to discuss how to do that with other users.
The problem is that vendors, for the most part, do a lousy job of encouraging and organizing those discussions. Here’s an experiment I’d like to see someone try: Start a Wikipedia page for your product. Populate it with basic factual information….