Thursday, October 17, 2013

"What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about New Media?"-- Anne Wysocki

1) the problem: simply, communicating with new media isn’t as simple as learning to use the most up-to-date software. It requires that we understand and think about how new media affects the audience, (and vice versa) and how it is located within specific contexts.
1a) to set up this problem, she goes through a lit review where she does two things: define “new media” and explain how new media affects TC‘s.
--Wysocki assigns a set of 6 traits to define new media: they result from digitization (so…it can be copied and modified--> remix culture --> arguments over intellectual property and copyright laws), they use code to control presentation and distribution, they depend on digital networks (which allows for interoperability), theyre faster than print media (in terms of distributing information), they enable different interactivity types (because it can change in response to our actions [think revised GRE]), and they are steadily becoming ubiquitous (because people are finding a wider range of technologies to work with.)
--She then explains a set of ways new media changes the designing/planning/publishing processes of TC’s: multimodality (she is quick to differentiate multimodality from new media-- its simply easier with new media-- and gives 3 aspects of digital multimodality that need more attention: 1) audiences expect it, so we need to be engaging for them 2) we have a wider range of modes now and need to consider which will be most effective and 3) design processes often will require more creativity), single-sourcing and content mangagement (single sourcing is the ability to use the same info in different documents-- made much easier with digitization. Managing the information is called content management. We have to decide how small the chunks of stored info are for content management and what tone or complexity levels should be at for different audiences and genres.), web 2.0 (this is essentially collaborative, interactive information sharing online. This requires a lot of thought about audience-- normally, they collaborate with each other but now they also collaborate with their audiences.) and gaming and immersive environments (provides a variety of learning environments and explains that TC should be more like good games for encouraging learning and emotional connections; gives example of the protein folding game where players found AIDS virus in ten days and scientists had been trying for 15 years and also explains how games also have inherent procedural rhetorics-- what we can and cannot do in a game lead us toward a particular view of the world-- room for teaching.)
2) the solution: use her heuristic.
2a) defines rhetoric: “rhetoric is also a method for helping those who compose texts consider the audiences for whom a text is made, the contexts in which the text and audiences circulate, and the purposes for which the text is designed; with such understandings, technical communicators can decide what strategies to use in shaping any text” (441). She provides a series of questions on working with new media overall (like, is a team needed? What style sheets will be used? What support do you need to stay knowledgeable about new media?) and specifically for considering audience, purpose, context, and the text itself. (My favorites included: can you justify producing digital rather than print documents in terms of time, cost, and environmental impact? How might your documents empower users rather than placing them in a passive relation with the technology being used or taught? How will you describe your purpose? Although many communicators conceive their purpose as the audience will learn software package x, a more useful statement of purpose is our audience, completely new to software x and shaky about using computers, will gain a comfortable and friendly initial competence with using features A, B, and C through a gentle and playful approach that will put them at ease and help them understand they cannot make any mistakes.) She also included questions for engaging the audience in project development to make it user-centered. (ex. What can you learn from your audience to help you in designing?)
3) Connections:
--The essay on collaboration acknowledges the importance of multimodality, something that this essay elaborates on more. The section in the collaboration essay on social loafers also made me think about collaboration in new media more too. It said that social loafing is most common in distance/virtual groups. I wonder about things like wikipedia…is there a certain duty of the audience as a technical communicator to engage? Food for thought.
--The most obvious connection with this week’s readings was the essay on genre. Much of the questions posed in that essay aligned with the ones in my essay. And of course it makes sense-- much of the study in new media focuses on the many genres it creates and the implications of these for audiences and writers.
--I feel like this essay worked well with the user-centered design book at the start of the semester, because it really focused on the rhetorical choices involved in new media in relation to catering to effectiveness for specific audiences.
4) questions
--You (Arola) might not like this question, but whatevs. So I was thinking about the PDC session in regards to this chapter…she said that as a sort of cover letter thingy for eportfolios, she thought students should give an explicit map to how to read their portfolios, given that eportfolios are a new media genre. She likened this to older texts that opened with a “Dear reader” and explicitly gave the moral of the story as a sort of instruction set for how to read the piece. It would also potentially be a better indicator of their rhetorical awareness because they would have to explain their intentions behind their decisions. This seems to count as technical communication in my opinion, so…two questions result: 1) to what extent do we need to include instructions how to read our instructions? (and does this mean that the new media is unsuccessful, considering it would seem to complicate something that the reader is already confused on?) 2) What other kinds of ways do we see technical writing in English 101 that can possibly be adapted for 402?
--Would using a sci-fi example like the one presented in this essay help or hinder students trying to understand the necessities and implications of using technical communication (especially new media) in a 402 class? How could this be useful for a smaller homework assignment?
--how can we make our 402 classes more like “good games”? (perhaps looking at some of the traits of good games given in the article, like identity, self-knowledge, psychosocial moratorium, and discovery. Pg. 438) On this note, what are the implications of replacing “author” with “experience

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Solving Problems in technical Communication

First of all, I find it interesting that the title isn't capitalized.
But on a less shallow note...

I'm all about this chess business that the last article speaks to. I think the fact that we can't expect everybody to know the rules, or know where we are coming from, is kind of the point that every author we have read has been trying to make (especially with the intercultural-focused ones) but its never been so perfectly stated before. I actually could see myself using this analogy to explain to my students why heuristics are necessary instead of teaching one-size-fits-all problem-solving. Because without an explanation like this, I'm pretty sure theyre gonna complain. only problem is that I'd probably have to repeat it over and over until they all hate it as much as the 102 students hate AFOSP.

I also noticed from the introduction that this book (seemingly unlike the past ones) is meant specifically for 402 students. (The others seem more oriented towards teachers.) However, I wonder how effective using a book like this (or just selected essays perhaps) in a 402 class might be. The outline set up by the intro in each chapter is really logical and straightforward, but I wonder to what degree the students would consider these essays accessible. would it be better instead to have teachers teach the principles laid out by them through more hands-on activities? how much reading do they need to do, exactly, if any?

I've also been trying to think more about class and race, especially after Anna brought up class and prison in relation to privilege a few weeks ago. The one centered on students as professionals kind of made me uncomfortable in relation to this. The author said that most people have a pretty general idea of how to get/keep a job. That may be true, but I feel like its also oversimplified (granted, he does go into more detail). Sometimes, it really isnt the fault of the person-- they may be victims of discrimination, OR they may NOT really have an idea of what it takes, by no fault of their own. This IS, to an extent, something that needs to be taught, and if they have not had a good education in general, then they are much farther behind than their peers. Plus, I will be the first to admit that even as a result of being well-off, students might not be familiar with what it takes; I am of an upper-middle class family, and this privilege has afforded me so that I have never had a job. So I really DON'T know what it takes, because I've never been asked to try to demonstrate this. Even my friends who have had many jobs over the years are still scared to death when they're asked to enter "the real world".

Monday, September 30, 2013

"Extending Service-Learning's Critical Reflection and Action: Contributions of Cultural Studies"-- J. Blake Scott

1) The Problem: Service learning has a lot of potential for critical analysis, especially in TC classes, but it often doesn't live up to our expectations of it. This is because of a few reasons. A) completing a SL course is difficult because students have to do all of the "normal" stuff in a more contextualized way, (and teachers have it difficult for teaching, coordinating, and facilitating these SL projects as well) so its hard to cram in critical reflection too. B) Students get too caught up in meeting the expectations of their partners that they ignore the ethical consequences of their work and fail to empower the stakeholders. C) often the reflections that are implemented in SL classes are uncritical hyperpragmatic. D) students see SL in a self-centered way, either focusing on how the experience changed them personally, or how great they are for coming in and solving the ig'nant folks' problems. or E) they are uncomfortable with seeing themselves as "activist" and prefer "consultant" instead. F) good reflection that is included is often peripheral to the course, appearing at the end when it is too late to act upon.
2) The Solution: Add cultural studies to the SL approach! He shares the definition provided by Grossberg, which defines CS as "concerned with the ways texts and discourses are produced within, inserted into, and operate in the everyday lives of human beings and social formations, so as to reproduce, struggle against, and perhaps transform the existing structures of power." Scott explains that CS emphasizes critiquing structures of power and how these shape identities and relationships as well as a call to civic action, which happen to work perfectly with the aims of SL. Then, he explains in more depth how these two pedagogies work in conjunction with each other by applying them to three specific assignments: project proposals, discourse analyses, and final reports. For example, Scott takes the typical SL final report (which consisted of students informing their teacher of what they learned by assessing their process and product) and turned it into an "action plan". This new assignment has students recommend ways to ethically revise or build on their projects. Scott ends by saying that he would like to experiment with SL-cultural studies projects across multiple classes with the same group of students. (So AKA multi-semestered classes. In my opinion, he doesn't give enough space to the fact that SL classes generally need more time to be truly successful.  I would also be interested in how this would play out across multiple classes with different students--in the same and different semesters. ...good practice for inter-community communication, maybe?)
3) Questions:
i) Is a SL-CS-based classroom practical for most courses in terms of time? (aren't there ethical issues with starting and stopping a project in so little time? what about schools on quarter systems? ...are there ways to get around these time constraints? can we really get DEEP reflection with so much going on in one course?)
ii) What are some SMALLER assignments that might intersect SL and CS? (considering Scott seems to give examples of rather large assignments....)
4) Connections: All of these chapters seem to have the same worry: students are too hyperpragmatic, and cultural studies promises to fix this. A lot of past readings always seemed to mention how TC courses should have more hands-on/real-world activities (like SL) in order to encourage rhetorical reflection and learning, so it is interesting that Scott points out that this is not enough. It seems like this approach promises to fix some of the problems laid out by the older article on pseudotransactionality.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Critical Power Tools Part One

So I'm supposed to talk informally about a) my general thoughts b) stuff I liked and c) stuff I was troubled by. Here goes nothin'.

a) general thoughts. I know I'm not supposed to say this, but holy crap that intro nearly bored me to death. major takeaway: cultural studies defined here as "critiquing and intervening in the conditions, circulation, and effects of discursive-material practices that are situated in concrete but dynamic sociohistorical formations, that participate in ideological struggles over knowledge legitimation, and that help shape identities" (5) lets be real-- that pretty much sums up the entire section, because it mentions ethics and constructionism and the impact that this has on society and vice versa. I guess the mention of the debate (?) on whether adding cultural studies would take away from pragmatism was interesting, but any person who deals with theory will tell you that theory is meant to be practical-- the practical and the theoretical cannot be put into silos the way we want. So...not too surprising that they say they're all for being pragmatic as long as we take a critical eye to our shit. At this point, none of the information presented seemed too radical in comparison to the previous texts we've read. THANKFULLY, the actual essays included were, in my not-so-humble opinion, wayyyyy more interesting. 
b) cool stuff. the explanation of how the ideologies behind genres (email) lead to changes in behavior (emailoholism). Its fascinating to think of how writing changes not only the audience but the writer, and think about the relationship between these two roles as email allows me to more easily see the communication aspect of writing in general. perhaps I should start with this sort of approach in my syllabus? this also reminds me....the other day i was arguing with a student over whether texting has done good or bad things for society (I am on the good side). his main claim was that texting has made us worse at face-to-face communication. but what if we just value that form of communication less now as a result of texting's popularity? would his point be moot? anyway, I was thinking that the things they say about email is even MORE true about texting now. people check their phones every five minutes, for fear of missing a text! i also think its interesting to question the role of intent in writing. the essay says personal and business emails are merging in terms of form...but i wonder how we separate the two. we obviously do, considering we have separate terms, but where is this line drawn? i also loved the excerpted quote on change in the corporate world. something along the lines of "people would rather be miserable with something theyre familiar with than switch to something new and easy." relation to genre does this work? Is this actually true of the current generation? I feel like theyre all obsessed with new types of genres, like, snapchat and twitter caught on REALLY quickly. what is it about the corporate world that is so against this?
c) stuff I need help with. I started wondering, in reference to the chapter on email's change of life and itself, whether its a good thing. Then I stopped myself.-- is there even a point to arguing whether these things are good? they simply exist, and we should argue over the best way to deal with it. ...but perhaps change can occur when we critique the limitations of genre? (especially with technology creating more and more genres) or does this change result from the arguments over how to deal with current genres? idk. I'm rambling. i want to know how jacob feels about the slack chapter, considering I just found out he is a positivist. im over this blog post now. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gurak and Bayer-- "Making Gender Visible: Extending Feminist Critiques of Technology to Technical Communication"

1) The problem: TC has undergone many changes. It has (in theory at least) moved away from the positivist model of thinking, and TC's have moved away from the periphery of development teams in technology. However, this also means they move towards a field with a masculine bias. TC's are usually user-centered and/or collaborative and/or women. These facts are at odds with one another (according to the authors).
2) The Solution: The authors call for a feminist critique/approach to TC.
--They set up their argument by laying out a cursory history of feminist critiques of technology:
+They give a framework of common themes, including: rewriting the history of technology to include women as technologists (asking questions like what counts as technology, why are women underrepresented in technology, how can we expand our belief in the validity of multiple ways of knowing and thinking?); redefining technology to include women's technologies (challenge us to explore popular culturally-based beliefs about positive effects of household technology on women, see technology/ institutions as culturally-biased, what counts as technology, and look at the amount of funding that goes towards types of technology); studying the ways technology affects  organizational structures and women in the workplace (automate [reinforcing hierarchies and standards] vs informate [changing hierarchies by allowing workers to access and use info that only managers normally got]); and analyzing the relationship of the body to technology especially in reference to email, virtual reality, and cyberspace (the potential for more egalitarian and democratic work because of skewed gender awareness, blurred lines, and exploratory/transitional gender identities made possible through these technologies).
--Then, the authors go on to discuss three feminist theories of technology and connect them to TC:
+liberal feminism: stress androgyny by minimizing gender differences. Technology is gender-neutral, but the institutions are patriarchal. solution: equal gender access to education, credentials and jobs. Critics: it hasn't worked.
+radical feminism: emphasize differences (biological and cultural) and binaries. Technology is gender-biased. Solution: celebrate the characteristics traditionally associated with women and thus create more technology based on these values. Critics: too close to biologism and assumes a universal idea of "womanness". Dichotomies as a concept may be gender-biased, too, so they wouldn't be challenging the underlying structures anyway. More women doesn't mean more collaborative or non-violent.
+postmodern feminism: wants to transform the fundamental character of technological institutions and the forms of power they give to social groups. no binaries, gender is a historical construct. Critics: threaten to make gender invisible, and thus makes it hard to talk about gender biases that do exist.
--The authors conclude their article by stressing the need for more research and awareness of feminist critiques of technology by TC's (shock and awe, I know), teaching more feminist critiques in TC, and using feminist theory as a framework for evaluating existing product development. They push for more participatory design when it comes to product development because it makes it more interdisciplinary, dialogical, and collaborative.
3) Connections:
--similar to Durak piece in questioning whether we should count household technologies as technology and rethinking how we see women in relation to the development of science and technology
--similar to Miller in eliminating positivist thinking and emphasizing the cultural production of knowledge
--similar to Beamer-- can we see gender divisions as a type of cultural division? We need to adapt how we communicate between genders to be more competent as well. Also, always having to challenge the stereotypes (Beamer) relates to feminist thought because its about challenging what is considered neutral to see gender in it and lib fem wants to soften the differences between genders
--similar to thrush  in the idea of “masculine and feminine” ways of communicating…but these are not real, as the critics of radical feminism point out.
--similar to lay--stresses collaborative writing, compare to participatory design; issues lay lays out echo the disputes between the theories of feminism
--similar to Breuch-- asks to what degree should we consider contextual aspects of  technology-- we see that in the tying of gender to technology and its institutions
--similar to ornatowski-- stress TC’s to consider the meaning of what they do and the implications of their decisions-- feminist theory can help with this because it will make TC’s think specifically about what the impact of technology has on gender and vice versa.
--similar to Bernhard-- TC’s as agents of change with informed practice…basically the same connection.
4) Questions:
-- Which line of feminist thought (lib, rad, postmod) do you think is most logical in relation to technology and TC? Which one do you think would solve the most problems? Is there a difference between your two answers?
--Despite the potential for cyberspace etc. to erase or blur gender, it still manages to make itself present. Why do you think this is?
--Is there a danger in associating participatory design with feminist thought?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Saving Private Lauren

I noticed that Lauren wrote her summary on my article instead of the one assigned to her. So, while I realize this is kind of last-minute, here is a (rather cursory) summary of HER article

Blakeslee's "Bridging the Workplace and the Academy: Teaching Professional Genres through Classroom-Workplace Collaborations"

1) the problem:
--People learn new genres through immersion and participation, but this is pretty tough to do with the classroom being a different activity network than the workplace.
--case studies are not effective (which she explains in more depth)
--there is conflicting evidence on whether classrooms can effectively teach with accurate/ample exposure, authenticity, and transition.
2) the solution:
--use client projects! Blakeslee defends these projects by looking at two examples of classes she taught. (one was from a large research state university tech comm class of undergrads. their project was to make an initial project proposal, an annotated bibliography, a preliminary design report/test results, an oral report, and a final recommendation, all for a company that wanted them to develop a set of icons for Unix documentation for a multinational audience. The other class was a undergrad/grad mix class on computer documentation at a large teaching state university made primarily of commuters and non-trads. they were supposed to document some list-serv's administrator/editor tasks.)
--blakeslee looks at the results through four criteria: exposure, authenticity, transition, and response.
--Exposure:  this is important to look at because if people need to be immersed in the AN to truly learn the genre, then you need as much exposure to the AN as possible. Blakeslee determines that her client projects were, although not perfect, good starts to immersing the students in new ANs and the academic conversations that take place there. she also says "classrooms can be productive sites for questioning workplace practices", so there's a nice balance still (356). she also reports that students found this exposure valuable.
--Authenticity: important to look at because students need to believe the project is real in order to be motivated and in order to avoid pseudotransactionality. It will make them more sensitive to audience and context, thus making them better writers. blakeslee admits that students still see projects as slightly artificial, but not totally, and not nearly as much as other typical assignments. this is because the students realized that their projects weren't like SUPER important to the clients. also because they realized that they didnt entail some of the more mundane aspects of work. she also says that it might be impossible to escape all artificiality in classrooms. still, the students said they appreciated the projects as not totally being textbook-based. they found these projects more motivating. they also understood the audiences better because they were more concrete, which resulted in them taking things more seriously.
--Transition: important to look at because students will move from classroom to workplace fully after they graduate, and they will optimally want to avoid typical reports of disorientation, frustration, and double binds when they move to this new AN. she says this type of project works well as a transition because students are on a boundary. students "get a taste of workplace practices while still experiencing the structure, support, and familiarity of the academic learning environment, a kind of guided legitimate peripheral participation" (361). students found that they appreciated the experience because there was less pressure than if they were simply taught to swim by being thrown in the water. it also allowed students to apply course content in structured and meaningful ways. it was also nice for some students to hear from experts who said they also sometimes felt overwhelmed starting new projects-- they learned that they weren't alone.
--Response: important to look at because the different sources of response (teacher or client) affect how collaborative and active students are in their work.  students got upset with the client feedback and as a result, loved the teacher's feedback. the clients were, according to students, either too nice or too critical. the too nice made students suspicious that the clients were just desperate for ANYTHING, and it didn't help them grow or improve. the critical comments werent appreciated because students felt like it was too final and evaluative, because thats what they were used to from other teachers, so they ended up resistant. they also sometimes complained that they just didnt get ENOUGH feedback, or that the feedback was too vague from clients. however, they definitely still wanted the client feedback, and i think its an important part of the authentication process.
--blakeslee concludes by stressing the importance of more research on the subject, and encouraging people to think of more than the four issues she touches on. she also spends alot of her conclusion talking about questions teachers of client projects should be asking themselves. A few include: what is the nature of the clients work and what genres are typically produced? how much exposure will the students get to the workplace? what kinds of tasks will they need to do and will these be useful in the workplace? where will they do these tasks? what resources do they need for them? how much structure does the teacher and client provide? how will the work be evaluated and to what extent does the client factor into this evaluation?
3) questions:
a) what are other ways of getting students to bridge the gap, or start thinking of the classroom as more workplace-like? especially in terms of grading...
b) similar to applying theory to practice, how can we get students to apply theory in these very practical client assignments?
4) connections:
-- very similar to spinuzzi because both talk about the importance of immersion in acitivity networks in order to learn genres. also because it tackles avoiding pseudotransactionality through authenticity.
connection to info design one because one student said the exposure was valuable because it make him aware of "the WHOLE PROCESS of documentation", which reminds me of one of the defiintions given on info design. similar to spilka because working with both teacher and client, and in both classroom and workplace is a sort of cross-boundary communication.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Communicating Across Organizational Boundaries: A Challenge for Workplace Professionals", by Rachel Spilka

1) the problem:
--people often suck at communicating in general, but they often REALLY suck when it comes to their company/department trying to talk/work with another company/department.
--also, there's shit for research on this topic (according to Spilka; that was not my commentary on Spilka's piece!)

2) the solution:
--Spilka does some primary research of her own (thus beginning the solution to the latter of the two problems)! She observes some water/soil department of a state government try to work within their division (the different levels of workers, from professionals to specialists to technicians....I also found it interesting that she ranked them like that, especially considering that she includes secretaries as an upper level professional...but moving on), with other divisions with the overarching natural resources department, and lastly, with outside local/state/federal agencies. Specifically, she looks at two situations. 1) the soil people are working with the outside agencies to make a document agreeing on different responsibilities of states and districts for some save-the-earth plan. 2) the professionals are working with the technicians and outside agencies to agree on a 5-yr plan on what the soil people's goals should be. this results in CHAOS! sort of. In actuality, people were not totally content. But what else is new, right?
--Spilka then proceeds to tell us some pretty obvious information about pros and cons to cross-boundary communication. For instance, a good thing about doing it is that you can combine the skills/strengths of two different organizations. You can also gain a good rep by being nice to other people which will help you get stuff in the future. Status, power, and authority are yours for the taking! Bad things: inefficiency, bias, distortion, tension in conflicting goals. This is especially scary for people when they realize that they might have to lose some power while working with others, even though they want to be rather independent. this results in selfish actions, like encroaching on others' territory or creating bathroom goals (essentially a goal that you don't want the other "bad guys" to know you have as a priority). Another super sketch one is trying to preserve your own identity while adapting to interactions with partnerships. According to Spilka, this resulted in always having to reexamine your organization's roles and responsibilities, and who has authority, and who people are in general. In other words, cross-boundary communication is actually just inter-personal communication on a broad scale, and you have to deal with people you might not get along with. Welcome to life!
--Captain Obvious Spilka then tells us some really lovely hints for dealing with organizations that have different goals/values than your organization, all through the lens of her research. For example: consider the other organizations in the decision making process. Who woulda thunk?! Also, attempt to fulfill everyone's goals, and accept that some won't be equally fulfilled. Realize that your goal might not be productive. Gather knowledge before making a decision. Be proactive, not reactive. participate. educate organizations about changes. make sure your documents are accurate and detailed. clarify responsibilities and use organizational charts. worry about word choice late in the game. Overall, I would say that Spilka is arguing that in order to be successful at cross-boundary communication, you shouldn't be a selfish, unconscientious jerk. just in case you missed that lesson in kindergarten.
--Spilka leaves us with implications for the future. she gives 4 concrete suggestions: 1) use her hints. 2) concentrate on ethics. 3) we should think more about the complexities of cross-boundary communication. 4) give more thought to their external audiences/partners when creating documents for them. Spilka also says we need more research. she says teachers should stress this more as a possible rhetorical situation students will have to deal with.

3) questions:
a) why do you think there is a dearth of research on this topic? I know I'm kind of being a hater here, but honestly, a lot of this stuff seemed really obvious to me. Like, the bottom line is remember to incorporate everyone and share your feelings. Is maybe the reason there's not a lot of research because we shouldn't have these problems at all? Can we really get anything beyond "use common sense during this communication"?
b) do you think that perhaps instead of approaching this research in the way spilka did, there would be a better way, such as, "WHY do people suck at cross-boundary communication?" instead of "how can we fix the problems we have with cross-boundary communication?" I think it might get us a more nuanced answer than the one-size-fits-all solution she gives.
c) what are some examples of how you would teach cross-boundary communication in your class? Spilka suggests, that courses could require "them to produce documentation for actual clients, reviewers, and multiple audience segments situated in a variety of on- and off-campus settings". ...I dont see how this would work for someone who is not already working. And how do we grade this? whether it makes sense to US? or would we have to get the commentary of the audience they write to? because i feel like the former would result in a lot of pseudotransactionality, and wouldn't be very user-centered....
d) what happens when you start out as the very obvious underdog in cross-boundary communication? like, you're just a tiny little company that doesn't want to get screwed by the big, old company. Do you really act the same as each other? like...obviously, some of the strategies suggested by spilka should stay, like understand how your partner communicates and functions and what their goals are, but this seems like it was written from a perspective of a company that is used to getting its way all the time. for example, "acknowledge that external goals of partnerships may need to take precedence over internal goals" sounds as if youre explaining to a child, "hey, you can't ALWAYS get your way." do the little guys need to stand up for themselves MORE, or LESS? I just see a serious power differential getting in the way of these overly-simplistic strategies that Spilka offers.

4) A couple of connections:
The Berkenkotter and Huckin article argues that genres are a result of its community's needs, and a good author knows when to stick to the rules and when to tweak them. I think this is similar to Spilka's because essentially, you need create documents (and just communicate in general) for your NEW community, which is your organization and another. You need to know when to do things the old way (your way) and when to change things because your NEW community needs it. Genres can be seen as a reflection of the actual community in this sense, because they (both the original community and the genre) will be forced to evolve when the community changes. your communication and goals will have to change too when you bring in another organization. ....i feel like that could have been condensed a lot. my bad.

The Freeman/Adams and Spinuzzi articles both talk about the problem of university-oriented writing, and this made me question the implications Spilka gives us. She suggests teachers attempting to expand the rhetorical situations students write for to include this. she explicitly says that itd work better in internships. so i think it is important to take into consideration these two other articles when following spilka's advice.

The Redish article talks alot about making documents user-centered. Defining her topic, she says, "information design is what we do to develop a document (or communication) that works for its users." She also stresses the planning aspect. I thought that it was interesting because it seems like what Spilka is talking about is good information design, except that it deals with the user being your partner and you. Essentially, Spilka is saying that for good cross-boundary communication, we should be doing the same things we need to do for documents that are meant to end up farther from home.