TC Camp is coming to the East Coast!

by STC Staff on 20 July 2016

You may have heard about TC Camp, the techcomm unconference, held for the past 4 years in the San Francisco bay area. Well, they are taking it on the road and holding a TC Summer Camp in the Washington DC area, on Saturday, July 30! If you’re in the area or within an easy drive (or train) to Fairfax, VA, you might consider checking it out!

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “unconference,” it’s basically a conference where the topics/sessions are defined by the attendees on the day of the event. There are no presenters, but rather you gather at a table with other like-minded people who want to discuss the selected topic. The day starts with optional workshops run by techcomm luminaries, then the unconference is held in the afternoon.

TC Camp is free (except for a nominal fee for a workshop), and is a full day of learning, sharing, and networking for techcomm professionals. You can learn more about camp at the website:
http://www.tccamp.org

For a quick overview, watch some interviews and videos from past years:
http://youtube.tccamp.org

For information about getting to camp or places to stay, information will be available here:
http://www.tccamp.org/transportation-and-lodging/

If you provide services or products to the techcomm world, perhaps you’d be interested in sponsoring! Because TC Camp is free (mostly) for attendees, we rely on our generous sponsors to make it all happen. TC Camp is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Please see the website for sponsorship opportunities.

{ 0 comments }

Advance Your Knowledge with TechComm 201

by STC Staff on 19 July 2016

Online course tablet TC 201

 

If you want to focus on soft skills, such as estimating and managing technical communication projects, working with SMEs, and technical skills such as advanced editing, professional tool concepts, and Help Authoring concepts, then this is the course for you! Join Leah Guren in Tech Comm 201 and learn how to create consensus, improve editing through style guides and advanced editing techniques, write and prepare for localization, and understand help authoring from a user perspective. This six-week course begins on 31 August-5 October (Wednesdays) at 11:00 AM-12:30 PM EDT (GMT-4). Don’t miss this opportunity and register today!

{ 0 comments }

Sign Up For Technical Editing Foundations

by STC Staff on 15 July 2016

Online course tablet Li-At-Recovered

 

 

Check out one of STC’s brand new online courses, Technical Editing Foundations presented by Li-At Rathbun! Attendees will understand what technical editors are and why they’re needed, the “hard skills” and “soft skills” that technical editors should possess, how to identify passive voice and bloated sentences and how to fix them, and also what style guides are and how they use them as well as using other resources. Technical editors who are new to the field and students who are considering entering the field are encouraged to register for this course. This six week course begins 16 August-20 September (Tuesdays) at 10:00-11:00 AM EDT (GMT-4).

 

 

{ 0 comments }

Recruiting New Volunteers Webinar July 22nd

by Viqui Dill on 13 July 2016

Join us for Recruiting New Volunteers by Alice Brzovic and Ben Woelk on Friday, July 22nd.

9:00 am Pacific / 10:00 am Mountain / 11:00 am Central / 12:00 noon Eastern
Friday, July 22, 2016

Register on Eventbrite
eventbrite-142

About the Webinar

Volunteers are the lifeblood of STC Communities, yet finding good volunteers can be daunting. Join Alice Brzovic, San Diego Chapter, and Ben Woelk, Rochester Chapter, as they discuss how they’ve been able to keep their chapters vibrant and stable by successfully recruiting and retaining volunteers. Learn techniques that you can apply in your own virtual or geographic community to enlist and empower effective leaders.

This webinar will be recorded.

About the Audience

This webinar is for STC community leaders, event managers, program managers, webmasters, and future volunteers, who are encouraged to register and attend online or watch the recording.

About the Speakers

Alice Brzovic STC Summit

Alice Brzovic is a writing consultant, with experience in both technical and marketing communications. She is currently serving as president of the San Diego Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC San Diego).

Ben Woelk

Ben Woelk: Former Director, Society for Technical Communication; ISO Program Manager; Information Security Office, Rochester Institute of Technology; Security Guru; Introvert; INTJ; CISSP; Author of Shockproofing Your Use of Social Media: Staying Safe Online (Kindle).

Register on Eventbrite
eventbrite-142

{ 0 comments }

Hotelogical

Society for  Technical Communication has partnered with Hotelogical to provide you with free access to members-only unpublished rates + other discounts and special offers at 150,000+  3, 4, and 5 star brand-name, boutique and independent hotels & resorts around the world.

How to Redeem Free $99 Membership:

  • Go to: https://stc.hotelogical.com/register 
  • Register as a member using a valid email address
  • Check your email for validation and to set up your password
  • Head back to the Hotelogical site to shop, book and save!

It’s just that simple.

For more details on this and other member-only discounts please contact membership@stc.org.

{ 0 comments }

Sharing Your Summit Experience with Your Chapter

By Robert Perry

I attended the Summit this year, along with a colleague and several other members of the Carolina Chapter. I have attended numerous Summits in the past and have always found them educational, enlightening, and exhilarating. This year’s Summit did not disappoint and continued the tradition of offering informative and interesting sessions, workshops, vendor presentations, networking events, and Societal activities. Quite the whirlwind. It was an especially poignant Summit for me as the Carolina Chapter was recognized as a Platinum Community and I was honored as an Associate Fellow. Several members of the Carolina Chapter were presenters this year also. So, “Grey May” be damned, it was an exceptional experience.

Highlights

As usual, the conference was brimming with sessions concerning the latest tools, methodologies, and techniques with topics covering all aspects of technical writing, editing, management, and production. Through speakers, vendors, and exhibitors, I learned about technological developments, their impact on our field, and how we touch the lives of people everywhere. The opening and closing keynotes were particularly timely and on par, and bookended the Summit perfectly.

Sharing the Experience

Upon returning, my colleague and I decided to share our experiences and the things we learned with the rest of our division and with our local Carolina Chapter. I set up a Lunch and Learn and invited writers and editors within our company and from the Carolina Chapter to come hear about this year’s Summit. During the meeting we gave a highlight of the entire Summit and then spoke about the sessions we attended and our takeaways. We then discussed if and how these ideas and methodologies could be applied at our company, and elsewhere. It was a great way to share the knowledge and insights we received with our colleagues and peers. It also demonstrated to upper management that the Summit is worthwhile and attendance is both beneficial and productive.

I look forward to Washington DC next year!

Perry_RobertRobert Perry
Immediate Past President Carolina Chapter
Associate Fellow
* Twitter @Robert_E_Perry
* LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertperry10

This blog post is part of a series of curated and edited posts authored by attendees at Summit 2016. The posts will discuss key takeaways and efforts by individuals and STC Communities to build on their Summit experience. If you’d like to contribute a post, let us know.

{ 0 comments }

Organizing Meetings Using Eventbrite

by Timothy Esposito on 30 June 2016

Note: This article originally appeared on the Community Affairs Committee website.

One of the more challenging aspects of running a community can be running events. To successfully pull off an event, you need a venue, food and drink, a presenter, and most importantly, attendees. Keeping track of who is attending and who has paid can be done manually, or through Meetup.com, but there may be better way: Eventbrite. In April of 2016, Viqui Dill and Teresa Nguyen hosted a webinar on Eventbite for STC and the CAC. This article is designed to compliment, but not replace, the content of that webinar.

Why Choose Eventbrite

In the earlier article, the benefits of using Meetup.com were explained. Meetup can expand your audience, organize events, and collect payments. However, Meetup also charges a hefty fee every six months, which scales to the size of your group. This can be costly, especially for groups with tight budgets.

Eventbrite works on a different business model. They skim off a percentage of your ticket sales instead of having a monthly fee. So if you want to organize a meeting with no fees, Eventbrite will organize the registration for free! You can tie in your PayPal account with Eventbrite and process all your payments electronically.

Discounts for Not-for-profits

As noted in an earlier article, both Eventbrite and PayPal provide discounts to not-for-profit organizations. If you contact them and send them proof that your chapter is a not-for-profit, they will reduce their fees.

Customizing Your Event

When you create an event in Eventbrite, you establish the basic information about the event: location, time, date, subject, etc.

Tickets

Additionally, you must create ticket types. Each type of ticket can have a different name and price, including a free ticket. Why create different ticket tiers? Perhaps you want to offer a discount for students, first time attendees, or society members. If you break out tickets between members and non-members, even if they have the same cost, you can better track your finances for the STC budget form, which always asks for member vs. non-member numbers. Also, when creating tickets, you can establish who pays for Eventbrites fees. In the example below, the fees are absorbed by the chapter. Alternatively, you can have the attendees pay the fees.

Other ticketing options include limiting the number of each ticket type sold, and limiting the days each ticket type is sold. Each of those options must be set individually for every tier of tickets that you create.

Creating different ticket levels for members and non-members.
Creating different ticket levels for members and non-members.

Surveys

As part of the registration process, you can ask attendees questions. Sure, there are the basic name, address, employer form fields, but you can create special questions, such as dietary limitations. On the Manage tab, select Order Options > Order Form. There you can specify the standard questions asked, or add a custom question by clicking the Add Another Question button.

When you click the Add Another Question button, you are prompted to enter your question, and given several ways attendees can respond, ranging from free text to drop downs to radio button.

Question Options for surveys
You better pick the right answer. Think carefully.

You can even make sub questions that appear based on the initial responses.

Sub-Questions
So many options to narrow down.

After your event registration is live, you can check the results of your questions on the Manage tab, under Analyze > Event Reports. Choose to export to Excel or a CSV, and you can take your results to go. Or expand the table and look at all the responses right in Eventbrite.

Discount Codes

Discount codes are coupons you give to your attendees, perhaps to welcome them to your event as a new member, or to thank them for their volunteer work. These codes are tied directly to the event on which you create them, even if they are valid for a longer time frame. This means that if you give someone a code that is good for 6 months, you must create a new version of it in every event that you create for the next 6 months. Fortunately, it is not difficult to create a discount code.

Fill in this form to create a discount code.
Fill in this form to create a discount code.

Once you create the code, be sure to tell the intended audience to use it when registering.

Communicating with Your Attendees

Sometimes things don’t always go as planned and you need to reach out to the attendees who registered for your event. Eventbrite has thought of such situations and includes an email tool that will contact any group of attendees you want, such as people who haven’t paid yet, or people who registered after a certain date, or just specific members. Such emails can be scheduled to send immediately, or at a future time. One such use of this feature is to send a email to all attendees after the event is over. In that email, include a link to a survey so you can get feedback on the event. To access this feature, on the Manage tab, use Manage Attendees > Emails to Attendees.

While this is a great method to contact the people who have already registered, I recommend using MailChimp as a free way to push the event registration to your mailing list.

Ready to Go

Once your event is about to take place, Eventbrite has a guest list you can print that displays who has pre-paid and who has not. It also will print name tags on a PDF which can then be printed onto standard sticky name tags. Both of these options are available on the Manage tab under Manage Attendees.

Conclusion

Eventbrite may not be a perfect tool, but it can make your event registration and payment processing easier. It can even handle refunds if an attendee ends up not being an attendee. You are billed monthly on a percentage of your ticket sales, and if you are using PayPal, you can easily pay them from your ticket income. There are many more features in the application which I don’t have time to explain here, but the few that I did highlight hopefully gives you incentive to create an account and explore on your own.

{ 0 comments }

STC Communities and Staff Win APEX Awards

by STC Staff on 27 June 2016

STC is proud to announce that five STC communities and the STC staff recently were named winners in APEX 2016, the 28th Annual Awards for Publication Excellence. APEX Awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communication excellence. APEX Awards of Excellence recognize exceptional entries in each of the individual categories.

Congratulations to the following STC winners:

  • Northeast Ohio Chapter: APEX Award of Excellence in the category of Newsletters – Electronic and Email
  • Chicago Chapter(Linda Kelley): APEX Award of Excellence in the category of Newsletters – Electronic and Email
  • Carolina Chapter (Lindsey Saunders): APEX Award of Excellence in the category of Newsletters – Electronic and Email
  • Technical Editing SIG(Rick Sapir): APEX Award of Excellence in the category of One to Two Person-Produced Websites
  • Intercom(Liz Pohland): APEX Award of Excellence in the category of Magazine, Journal, & Tabloids Writing.
  • 2014-2015 STC Salary Database: APEX Award of Excellence in the category of One-of-a-Kind Publications.

Congratulations again to the winners!

For more information on the APEX Awards and a full listing of winners, visithttp://www.apexawards.com/.

{ 0 comments }

Kirk St.AmantThis is a the transcript of an interview with Dr. Kirk St.Amant on 28 March 2016, on the occasion of his visit to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as the Spring 2016 Rhetoric Series Speaker for the Division of Rhetoric, Writing, & Linguistics in the UT Department of English.

Interviewers: STC members Savannah DeFreese and Elizabeth Sonewald, students in technical communication program in the Department of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and student liaisons to the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication.

How long have you been in the field? How did you get started?

I’ve probably been in the field for give or take twenty years now, and I got into it sort of accidentally. I was working in customer service at a printing company, and one of my jobs was to translate “printerese” engineering into English for clients, because I worked in customer service, and that was a very difficult task, and it turned out one of the universities I was at had some courses in technical communication, and we had a professional development program, and my boss said to me, “Why don’t you try some of these? They might be helpful.” And it just happened to work out really well. I stopped going to work and started going to class. So that’s what happened, it was just an accidental sort of thing.

What is your favorite part of your work?

The new stuff, it never sort of gets old. And I’m sure everyone experiences that in different fields of study, but quite often it comes through a relatively narrow bandwidth. In tech comm, you get the internal, academic way of discovering things, but the external, the society evolves with different things, you’re trying to keep pace with it as well. So it’s never a dull moment, and most importantly, it can never get old. In terms of everything is constantly changing, so I can’t say for example, “Well, I’m the world’s foremost expert in Netscape.” That’s gone. But you can always follow a pattern of online communication. So that’s what I think is the most engaging part of it, and it forces you to be nice to young people, so they can teach you how to use their phone.

What are the most pressing challenges for global communication and understanding?

I think they’re twofold, and it has to do with sort of internal and external. The internal part is, in the United States in particular, we’ve become sort of more isolationist, both politically and I think professionally or economically. And that’s problematic because we work in a global marketplace now, and so every business you’re a part of is inherently a global business, even education, you know we deal with global student populations all the time. As we move to online, it’s inherently global there’s no way around it, so the question becomes how to make sure that you address global audiences without sacrificing your domestic sphere. So that’s one part of the challenge. The other part is the disconnects in terms of how different things are done around the world: there’s language, what language do you use to communicate in. Technologies, what kind of software platforms are you dealing in, is it proprietary Microsoft products or is it open source products? What kind of bandwidths are you dealing with in online communication down to, do I do most of my online shopping or my online course work on a phone, or do I do it on a laptop? If it’s a phone, is it a flip phone that has like twenty characters per screen on it. So those sort of disconnects are incredibly big challenges and you can never have a uniform standard, but you can have a uniform baseline. Kind of akin to accessibility, if you assume that this is the threshold that we need to establish for as many people as possible to have access to our communications, then if we use that as the foundation, how do we build? So it’s the same basic principle, and I think we can learn a lot from accessibility in terms of what’s the most open platform to begin with and build onto it instead of reverse engineering it. Let’s build it first for what we think our audience is; let’s start with a foundation and build up from it.

Has the persona method been used in fields other than communication design?

It’s very big in human computer interface design, human computer interaction, and usability studies and user experience design tend to be the areas you see it used in a  great deal. For the most part, if you survey the research, there’s not been a whole lot of research done on persona creation per se. A lot of it shows up in industry based trade publications, which is great, but in terms of the idea of we’ve got something we’ve tried and it works in this context, the notion of empirically testing it to see how it works, I don’t know if anybody’s really done that. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but there’re a lot of complexities inherent to it. So it’s a great concept that people have used very successfully. The question is, have we taken the time to evaluate to see how effective it is and can it be improved.

How do you balance the local and global contexts when developing a global communication design? Do you think those separate contexts will merge as we continue to develop both technologically and globally?

There’s something called “transcreation” and it’s the parallel creation of products of websites, right now, the tendency is for me to build my American website, and say Oh I have a client base in Brazil. Let’s take the American website and retool it for Brazil. And they try to create it with enough parameters that it’s flexible and more {}, but what transcreation says is don’t build one and then base off of it, build multiples and so at the same time we’re building the site for the US we build one for Brazil, we build one for Russia, for Tajikistan, but they run in parallel to each other and they’re all separate items, designed specifically for that culture and individuals within that culture vs one person determines what goes in it and other people have to work with what someone else is creating.

Who oversees that?

It depends, historically, it’s cheaper to build one and then retool, but that’s a critical mass issue. You do that as long as the external market isn’t large enough to have an impact on your sales. But what happens when China becomes one of the major global players and you’re retooling your work for China, no you need to start creating for that audience primarily. And so you’re seeing as China, Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa become major global economic powers, the desire to instead of treat as an afterthought, to treat as a parallel partner in design. So a lot of it is done on an agreement basis, we think this is a good business model, but it’s not necessarily widespread, and there aren’t necessarily regulations that govern it.

The goal of persona is to create a stand-in individual; how essential is it to keep in mind the human element vs the technological aspects when you’re creating?

Think about it this way, when we often talk about creating materials for an audience, we think about demographic data. What is their background, what is their socioeconomic level, what is their profession, what is there education level. That tells us who someone is, that doesn’t tell us what someone will do with something once they’ve got it, and the idea behind personas is you take that demographic audience information, this is who somebody is now what is their life like? And so it’s kind of grafting ethnographic research onto demographics. So if we look at how a person lives the course of their daily life, at what point in time will they use this technology, at what point in time would they access this information, and based upon that you design not just for the person but the context in which they’re using something, the context of use. And the benefit a persona brings is that it contextualizes information so that it can be more usable. It’s important to keep that in mind, these are human beings. And so take for example medical instructions. The chances are when most people are going to turn to emergency medical instructions are going be under a time of duress, at that point in time are they going to want to read a very standard generic laundry list of what to do, or do they want information packaged in a specific way to find it very quickly. That’s the benefit personas bring is you get to keep that human being in mind, that human being will have different emotional states, they’ll be suffering different stresses and duresses during the time they’re using something. So that’s the important part to remember, they are human, they’re going to be under pressure from human frailties.

Aside from developing personas, what are some ways to make online communication technologies more useful and appealing to international audiences?

You’ve got to account for three things. The first is you’ve got to account for infrastructure. Just because you build it, does not necessarily mean they can access it. And by infrastructure we’re talking everything from bandwidth to access to different kinds of technologies. What kind of mobile phones look like what can they afford, what is their payment plan? Most of the world does payments by transferring cell phone credits around, and those are considered the equivalent of cash vs having credit accounts that we would use to transact business. So completely different infrastructures affect how technology is used. The second part, the conditions of use. We tend to, because we’ve got relatively inexpensive mobile access,  use the internet all the time. We’ve got no problem with high bandwidth files that we send all over the place. What happens if the place I’m in I only can check my internet every so often, my bandwidth is limited, and I’m paying an ungodly amount to access it? That’s greatly going to affect what I can do. So you’ve got infrastructure, context, then you’ve got culture. Culturally, in the community I’m a part of, what do I look for that indicates something is worth believing, listening to or paying attention to, does it depend on who has said it, does it depend on how it’s written, does it depend on the language it’s in? Does it need to be image intensive, or is it text intensive? But it’s adjusting for those cultural factors that make people stop and say, Oh this is worth paying attention to, that need to be addressed also. So it’s those three, it’s getting it into their hands, making sure they can use it, and culture being should they believe it and act on it. So it’s sort of a threefold process.

Do you think we will be able to reduce friction points as we progress globally?

I think they’ll change. They might increase, they might decrease, but I think they’ll change. Most of the friction points that I’ve talked about are big points: What’s the legal structure of the country look like? As countries evolve or cultures evolve, they become more fine tuned. What does this particular group in this nation think is legally important, as opposed to this other group. What does the regulatory structure say about how a product is disseminated in that culture vs the people who need to access to say a pharmaceutical product. Those are different friction points, but they depend upon how things proliferate over time. Will they increase or decrease, I don’t know, but they’ll certainly become more nuanced, and every time something changes it’s a new level of nuance that get’s added.

When you think of friction points, think of culture as existing in concentric circles that affect friction points. Let’s start with the foundation: What is culture? Culture is basically a worldview. It’s how you and I look at the world and how we organize stuff in it. What is worth paying attention to, what is worth talking about, that’s our culture. And that in and of itself creates friction points because we have different opinions, but our culture tells us this is how you play nice. And so we have rules for engagement. That’s the primary sphere. The secondary sphere is intercultural. So two different cultural groups in the same proximity; in this case let’s talk about two different cultures in the same country. Canada: French and English, the US: a large Hispanic population. Two different cultures, two different worldviews. Those different worldviews are going to create different friction points in terms of what we talk about and how we talk about it. What matters to me is not necessarily what matters to you and we’ve got different rules of engagement. So the friction point there are cultural or linguistic. Let’s move to the next sphere: international. Now we’ve moved outside of a country, now we’re talking about geopolitical spheres. So not only do I have to account for culture and language, I’ve got to account for politics, economics, and geography. So those legalistic aspects, those economic aspects become a friction point. Let’s push it all the way out, the largest sphere is global: We’re going to do everything all at once, all across the world, that’s infrastructure. So those infrastructures become friction points on a greater level. So it simply depends on what level of this concentric framework you wish to look at that takes the friction points, but once you know it, you can begin to identify it. And there’s no perfect method, but it’s at least being aware that it’s not a uniform, it depends upon what you’re dealing with.

The problem historically with intercultural communications has been something called the monolith, and that is all cultures have been treated like these monolithic entities. And so personas and friction points and spheres, they’re always looking at culture as more complex than that. We all know this, that cultures are comprised of cultures within them. How to begin to detangle that to get around this problem of monolithics, and so that’s where personas come in, looking at they’re people within a culture, they’re not a culture as a faceless entity. Friction points, what kinds of different experiences do different individuals in a culture encounter vs the whole thing being treated as one. So that’s kind of the big challenge, how do we detangle the monolith to make it work.

Has your French-Canadian background given you insight into these challenges?

I grew up on the border, and where that becomes important is growing up we could do conversions from Fahrenheit into Celsius in our heads, if you’re dealing with two currencies every day and you’re moving back and forth between two languages. And so you realize there are these differences, and they are friction points. Currency access, measurement systems, everything else. And so I guess it did make me aware of those factors.

Anything else?

I wish that folks your age would get much more involved in international things, simply because social media is everything now internationally. It affects a very small percentage of the population globally, but the impact it can have is pretty tremendous when you think about it. Everything from the Iranian Revolution to any sort of social uprising. Folks in my generation don’t understand it, I mean we studied, we understand it but we didn’t grow up with it, akin to the way it’s like a second nature for you. And I think of my parents’ generation grew up with cars, they were always there, they governed how they thought about their lives. Your generation is social media, that was not part of my life, and therefore in trying to grapple with that concept, I’m ill-prepared. I would say anybody over 30, 35, 40…. Most folks of a certain generation are ill-prepared to grapple with what it is, how it’s used and what it means. I think the more folks from your generation who get involved with that, who grew up with it, can think about it. A classic example, apparently unfriending somebody on Facebook is a fate worse than death. Why? As someone who didn’t grow up with that, I have no idea why this is a big deal, so if I’m doing business internationally and I suddenly decide I don’t like the way this person is doing business and I decide to unfriend them, what did I just do? I don’t understand those dynamics. Or twitter feeds, I get 140 characters to say something. What does that mean? How do you train yourself to think in 140 characters that’s meaningful, I can’t do that. And I’m sure you can tell the age of somebody by how they post things. Oh this is my grandma, this is my mom and dad, just the language and nature of things. How to live with one of these (a phone). In all seriousness, I keep accidentally calling people, I’m not familiar with how this technology works, you all grew up with it, you understand it. And that’s a phenomenon that happens with every generation, but between my generation and yours, the speed with which it has happened and the global proliferation is incredible, And my generation can’t keep pace with it. Globally it’s impossible to understand these dynamics, but it requires these kinds of partnerships, where generations have to work together to do these things.

{ 0 comments }

Summit 2016 Highlights for a First-Time Attendee

As a first-time conference attendee, Summit 2016 was a great way for me to connect with people I only know through email and LinkedIn as well as make new connections. I also learned about important trends in technical communication, and how to be a better leader for my home community.

Highlights

Here are some highlights from my conference experience:

  • During the preconference Leadership Program, I was able to learn what other chapters are doing to help their home communities. We also heard from Society leaders about managing chapter finances, using tools to organize and share information, reaching out to our members through social media and public relations services, and improving our online security.
  • After the program, Lori Meyer, president of the Washington, DC – Baltimore (WDCB) Chapter, handed me a magnet promoting Summit 2017, to be held in National Harbor, Maryland, from May 7 to 10, 2017.
  • By the end of the conference, the bookstore had sold out of Richard Johnson-Sheehan’s Technical Communication Today, Fifth Edition, the textbook used for the Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC)-Foundation exam. The CPTC is a worthwhile goal because it establishes a standard for knowledge in the field of technical communication.
  • I am glad the conference organizers taped many of the educational sessions so I could concentrate on one or two tracks. Also, much of the information I heard during the Independent Consulting track is not available anywhere else.
  • At the Monday speed-networking session, I met a recent graduate who showed me how you work a conference to find employment. He never passed up an opportunity to say he was looking for work, and he left the conference with job leads he would have never found by searching the job boards.
  • I was impressed by David Beebe’s closing keynote speech, “Publish or Perish: How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Wallets of Next Generation Consumers with Content Marketing.” He reinforced something many of us have always felt: All content creators, including technical communicators, tell a brand’s story.

After the Conference

  • After the conference, I joined Ben Woelk’s Slack channel to discuss introverted leadership and participate in a CPTC study group. What I learn in the study group I hope to apply in a study group in my home community.
  • At home I am working with my team to implement many of the ideas discussed during the Leadership Program and throughout the conference.

I had a great time at Summit 2016. And I have Lori’s pretty blue magnet on my refrigerator to remind me that Summit 2017 is just around the corner!

alice brzovicAlice Brzovic
STC Member
President, STC San Diego
* Twitter @write4smallbiz
* LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/alicebrzovic

This blog post is part of a series of curated and edited posts authored by attendees at Summit 2016. The posts will discuss key takeaways and efforts by individuals and STC Communities to build on their Summit experience. If you’d like to contribute a post, let us know.

 

{ 0 comments }