livedocs for camera support?

Last month I mentioned that I’d subscribed to the syndication feeds of a couple Macromedia Livedocs books. Since then I’ve been occasionally browsing through some of the comments / feedback left on the docs by users. I see it as just another way to keep up on some of the tools I use, much like reading the user forums or mailing lists I’m subscribed to. It’s also somewhat interesting to see how people are using the livedocs and I’ve noted a few trends.

Alot of folks seem to use Livedocs much like they do the support forums – to ask for help. Probably not terribly effective but not that surprising either. However, on a couple of occasions I also followed an issue on a mailing list as it developed and came to a resolution and then later noticed a comment describing that solution dropped on the LD. That seems more in keeping with the spirit of the tool – users providing genuine documentation input.

I don’t have any metrics to back this up but I would guess that skinning components in Flash generates the most traffic of the two feeds I’ve been following (Flash and Authorware). It’s also a topic that seems to make folks cranky. Which leads me to another trend – the ranting. It would seem that the occasional person sees LDs as a bit of an anonymous medium for communicating directly with Macromedia. In some small way I take pity on the poor misguided soul – he (or she) is obviously in the docs as a last resort and completely exasperated. That “add comment” button must just be too damned tempting. There are probably a couple of maintainers of the Livedocs who deserve to have a beer or two bought for them (like Francis Cheng for this effort – scroll to the Feb 10, 2005 comments).

Finally, there are the just plain bizarre entries like this comment in the Authorware book:

Is there a dedicated speed light for the new Nikon F6?

It was dropped on this page but has been edited out so won’t appear in the link. I think its the context that cracks me up so much.

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