The 2013 membership season opened on 1 October, and we’re already seeing plenty of renewals as well as a number of new members! Your Friendly Neighborhood Blogger looked through the names and picked a few people to talk to about their membership and why they’re a part of STC. Below are a few questions with Janice Manwiller, who returns to STC for her 20th year. Keep an eye on STC’s Notebook for more conversations with members!
First of all, welcome back to STC for another year! From what I can tell in our database, 2013 will be your 20th year as an STC member. Were you aware you’d reached that milestone?
Actually yes—2012 also marks 20 years since I got my MS in tech comm from RPI and became a technical writer.
So you’ve been a member of STC your entire career! How have your needs with STC changed throughout your career, and how has STC provided what you need at the different stages?
I would say that as I’ve gained more experience, I’ve been more focused. As a new writer, I was learning more about the profession in general. Now, I’m more likely to want information that I can apply immediately to a specific task. STC does try to accommodate members with varying levels of experience and expertise.
What first brought you to STC back in 1993?
I don’t remember the exact details, but I was in my first real technical writing job. I was working as a lone writer, and was looking for additional resources to help me in my work. Somehow I came across STC—I may even have heard about it at RPI. I first joined when I decided to go to the conference in Dallas, and have been a member ever since.
What keeps you renewing today?
Over the years I’ve gotten a lot of value from the publications and events I’ve attended. I’ve been able to get valuable information on tools, techniques, and technologies. Many of my jobs have been as a lone writer, so STC has also given me an opportunity to hear from others in the field.
I see that you’ve joined at our Super SIG level, where you’re a member of every Special Interest Group. What extra value do you get from that membership level?
I did narrow the list a bit, but I’m hoping to be able to get access to a more in-depth and more constant level of information for the areas of interest I’m keeping. Otherwise, you have to just wait for the occasional article or session.
What other value do you anticipate STC bringing you this year?
As usual, I’m always looking for practical information on working as a member of a development team to design and develop better information of all kinds, be it help, user tips, guides, development standards, error messages, or user interfaces.