Re: The Big Lie (a prediction)

Subject: Re: The Big Lie (a prediction)
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 22:17:18 -0800 (PST)

Interesting post Kevin. Maybe you were just babbling or being facetious. But my
anti-STC glands were very tickled by your predictions. (And we know what gland
tickling can lead to...ranting.)

I am not sure if STC will ever have the power or backing to institute standards
or certifications. When they do, they will likely take on the same weight as
current STC membership. A small segment will care very deeply about them to the
point of absurdity and most people will say "STC huh?"

Nevertheless, STC is already in a sense heading this way, and its getting there
thanks to the lemming like following of local chapter warlords.

Ever notice how tech writing agencies firms who are really active in STC are
also very big into training tech writers. Ever notice how those same firms
dominate their local chapter, sometime even taking over virtually every aspect
of chapter operations. Even holding meetings in their own offices.

So the average Joe doesn't just join STC and attend meetings, he is STRONGLY
ENCOURAGED to take training courses from an "STC approved" vendor. And once he
passes those $1000 a day courses, he is then allowed to get contract jobs
through those same agencies. And those agencies control (as best they can)
their local market for contract jobs by aggressively underbidding contracts and
using the infrastructure of STC as subsidized marketing and sales. Moreover,
they can underbid contracts because they have a secondary revenue stream -

This is all speculation and it sounds a little X-File-ish. But, I've always
found the cozy relationship that some agencies have with STC to be more than a
little icky.

Nevertheless, this is capitalism, and they surely have the right to support the
organizations they want. But, were I about to join a professional society, I
would not want to be the unwitting sponsor of some other guy's tech writing

However, I really did like the idea of STC sponsoring or supporting a library
of technical white papers...

In a sense, TECHWR-L is already doing this. Perhaps, if Eric and Deb are up to
it...TECHWR-L could lead the way in this area and begin actively soliciting
white papers on technical topics. I already wrote one (on security) and I would
gleefully write another (free of charge of course).

Andrew Plato

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