Going Mobile at the Summit

by Marisa Seitz on 24 April 2015

2015 SummitThis post is brought to you by Chris Hester, Chair of the STC Conference Committee

Has your team started talking about “going mobile”? If you have started talking about content strategy for mobile projects, are you also considering your users’ mobile experiences? Whether you are new to the topic or have been delivering mobile content for a while, we have experts lined up, guaranteed to give you new and exciting perspectives at the 2015 Summit.


Minimalizing Mobile Interactions, with John Carroll

The emerging smartphone design palette incorporates smaller displays and thumb-twisting keyboards, but also new possibilities for leveraging contextual information, such as one’s location and favorite interactions. Learn about mobile design challenges and approaches, drawing upon mobile timebanking and other community-oriented applications.

John M. Carroll is Distinguished Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University. His research is in methods and theory in human-computer interaction, particularly as applied to Internet tools for collaborative learning and problem solving, and design of interactive information systems. [click to continue…]


Introducing the API Track at the 2015 Summit

by Marisa Seitz on 22 April 2015

Written by Michelle Despres, STC Senior Member

A January 2015 Harvard Business Review article, “The Strategic Value of APIs,” illustrates how companies have discovered significant growth opportunities by offering APIs. Previously the purview of the technology industry, APIs are now offered by companies in industries as diverse as fashion, real estate, and retail. Many of us wouldn’t think a Walgreens API exists. Even in technology companies, APIs are being used as a bridge between industries. When we think of IBM’s Watson, we likely don’t think about it as a partner in oncology care.

APIs are moving from a strictly technical concept to a more general business concept. The increasing popularity of APIs may give rise to a ubiquitous need for API writers, creating opportunities for technical communicators. Regardless of whether we see API writing in our future or not, it’s interesting to explore this growing area of our profession.

Reflecting the importance of this topic for both established API writers and the curious among us, this year’s Summit offers a preconference API workshop and a series of API presentations in their own track. [click to continue…]


Past STC President Nicky Bleiel sat down to have a chat with Nancy Duarte, Opening Keynote Speaker for the 2015 Summit. Some highlights from their conversation include:

  • It’s our job to transform our organizations so we are ready for the future … and there’s really no way to transform without persuading.
  • You can send out communications all day, but if you don’t empathetically understand who you are talking to, and from their vantage point “walk in their shoes” and understand what they need from you to be successful … then, you’re not resonating.
  • We’ve just changed so much, how we process and consume information. We’re consuming it in smaller bites.

Watch a video of the interview below the cut:

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Recognition Monday: Fellows and Associate Fellows

by Marisa Seitz on 20 April 2015

starToday we start our build toward the Honors Reception at the 2015 Technical Communication Summit. STC (and technical communication’s) best and brightest are celebrated at the Honors Reception as part of the Summit. Here on STC’s Notebook, we’ll be highlighting a different set of honorees every week on Recognition Monday. The first set, below, are this year’s Fellows and Associate Fellows, with their citations. Attending the Summit and want to help celebrate them in person? This year the Honors Reception is included in your registration! If you haven’t registered yet, visit summit.stc.org.

Associate Fellows [click to continue…]


What Are the Benefits of Attending the STC Summit?

by Marisa Seitz on 17 April 2015

Register for the 2015 Summit today!June is getting closer and closer! Whether you’ve registered for the 2015 Summit or not, do you find yourself wondering how exactly the Summit sets itself apart from all the other techcomm conferences? There’s no shortage of them, that’s for sure. We’re here to tell you what makes the Summit different and why it’s the can’t-miss techcomm event of the year!

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A Note from the Editor – March Intercom

by Liz Pohland on 16 April 2015

March Intercom 2015A common theme in this issue on megatrends in technical communication is the human factor. In three articles on disruptive technologies—the Internet of Things, Big Data, and machine translation—the authors have each shown how human effort is a required factor in interaction with these technological solutions, in such roles as user advocates, data interpreters, and translation experts.

Although there has always been a certain level of distrust associated with disruptive technologies, the authors in this issue argue that tech solutions should be embraced by technical communicators because of the new opportunities and career growth they produce, along with an increased emphasis on tools to help research and the work in the field. For example, in their article on Big Data, Michael Salvo and Adam Strantz argue for the “humanization of technology” and that technical communication’s role in Big Data must be the role we have played with other disruptive events—“representing people and their needs.” In “We Are All Things in the Internet of Things,” Ray Gallon defines the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) and explains that, in a content economy, people are required to not only interpret Big Data, but also to communicate the analysis to stakeholders. And in his article on megatrend machine translation, Alan Houser emphasizes that issues with machine translation quality are being resolved with the addition of human translators in the process, which meets a global demand for localized content. [click to continue…]


This post is brought to you by Chris Hester, Chair of the STC Conference Committee.

Summit 2015Led by industry leaders, this year’s preconference workshops at the 2015 Summit provide an excellent opportunity to develop and practice skills that will help you stay ahead and provide value to you, your employer, and your customers. Explore a topic that will advance your professional development, or challenge yourself with a new topic that can move your career in a new direction:

  • Information Architecture for Everybody; Abby Covert
  • Apply Cognitive Science to Your User Assistance; Ray Gallon
  • Project Management for the Technical Communicator; Liz Herman
  • Tell Me About Yourself: Promoting Yourself, Your Business; Brenda Huettner
  • Crash Course in API Documentation; Tom Johnson
  • Creating Documentation-Centric, Interactive Mobile Apps; Neil Perlin

Want to gain even more value from the Summit this year? Build a learning plan that starts with earning a certificate and follows up with related presentations and workshops during the Summit. The two-day certificate workshops will be held on Saturday, 20 June and Sunday, 21 June. [click to continue…]


2015 STC Election Results

by Marisa Seitz on 9 April 2015

STC, the Nominating Committee, and the Board of Directors are pleased to announce the results of its 2015 election.

Voting concluded at 5:00 PM EDT (GMT-4) on 6 April. Of 4,320 eligible voters, 471 (10.90%) cast ballots. There were some abstentions in each of the categories.

Congratulations to the winners, and a special thanks to all candidates for their dedication to STC and willingness to devote their time and energy to improving our Society. Note: According to the STC Bylaws, the results become official when announced at the Annual Business Meeting at the STC Summit in Columbus. [click to continue…]

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Register for the 2015 Summit today!If you’re already planning to attend the 2015 Summit, 21-24 June in Columbus, OH, then you know the value you will get out of the education sessions held Monday through Wednesday. But did you know that you can get even more out of your trip by attending one of our nine preconference courses held on Saturday and Sunday? [click to continue…]


Are you looking for more in 2015? Did you know additional Chapters and SIGs can be added to any membership at a cost of $25.00 per Chapter and $10.00 per SIG at any time?

STC Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are active in meetings, publications, conferences, and building technical communication communities. Adding a Chapter or SIG to your membership can allow you to expand your knowledge and your network.

Ready to add a community?

  1. Log in at https://access.stc.org/PROD/iCommerce/MemberHome.aspxch-sig-1
  2. [click to continue…]