#purpose (2)

In putting forth this rationale, Liza Potts (2014) stressed what technical communicators, such as Jeffrey Grabill (2001) and even the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) Book Series Editor Jo Mackiewicz (2010), have claimed for some time: academic treatises that don’t affect change are hardly useful. Rather than theorize from our academic ivory towers, we should conduct research to affect positive change in society. For the purposes of Potts' (2014) study, the populations studied were groups of “actors,” or “everyday people,” relying on the social media available to them to create “people-powered, decentralized communication systems” (pp. 14, 40). These decentralized systems naturally oppose those created by mainstream media sites. The latter, because it is often more difficult to navigate, is hardly “user friendly,” more like “walled gardens” or “systems that trap content within their own system[s]” to prevent users from adding existing information or participating in the validation of that information (p. 22).