Re: memberships

Subject: Re: memberships
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2003 16:13:05 -0800

Andrew Plato wrote:

I have many reasons for disliking STC. But the main one is that STC encourages
(either overtly or by omission) writers to focus on communication and writing
issues at the expense of technical & scientific training. This is a bad thing
since technical writers are supposed to be technical people at some level.
Andrew has been saying this for some time, and every now and then I have chimed in with an agreement. However, having some time to kill, I thought an attempt to substantiate this claim was overdue.

Here's a partial list of upcoming events on T-Net (, the local web site for high-tech news in British Columbia, Canada

- *A Few Things Every Engineer Should Know About Patents
- **Novice HTML SIG
- ** Applying Advanced Object Design with Patterns
- **Programming With Visual Basic .NET
- **Level I Infrared Thermography Certification
- **Security and the .NET Framework
- *Angels in the Okanagan
- *Creative Online Designs: Case Studies and How-to Tips*
*- Cross-Media Branding: Building a Consistent Personality, One Click at a Time
- BC Business Plan Competition
- **BC's Rising Star: The story of jaalaM Technologies*

By contrast, here's a complete list of upcoming events on the local STC site over roughly the same time period:

- JoAnn Hackos in Portland
- Networking 101 with Lance Gelein
- Workshop: Information Design
- Contracting and Independent Consultants SIG Meeting
- STC annual conference

Obviously, it wouldn't be fair to compare the number of events, since the STC is one organization, while T-Net is a portal site, with many different groups contributing items to it. However, I do think it's fair to compare the mix of events. T-Net lists events about programming, writing (well, HTML, anyway), investment, design, marketing, and executive decisions, as well as a talk about a successful new company. Of course, very few people are going to attend all these events, or no more than two or three. However, in general, a mix of technical and business events is offered, and there might be some crossover of these interests from someone like a CTO or a product manager.

By contrast, the local STC chapter lists only events to do with technical writing, networking, and consulting, and nothing about technology whatsoever. There is also no reference to events outside the STC; while the two speakers mentioned are well worth hearing, both are best known within the STC.

Probably, the mix of events in each group would change from month to month. However, the general tendency is so clear that I don't think that the changes would be very different.

On the whole, then, this sampling supports the notion that the STC isn't very technically oriented. But, although, like Andrew, I have many reasons for disliking the STC, let's not be hasty. Can anyone else on the list take 20 minutes to make similar lists about their area so we can see if the contention that the STC is generally true?

If nothing else, the exercise will make a change from flinging generalized statements about.

Bruce Byfield bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com 604.421.7177

"There'll be tears in the eys of the weak,
And in the eyes of the most strong-hearted,
Tears in the eyes of the miners and wives
When these coal town days are through."
-Jez Lowe, "These Coal Town Days"

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Re: memberships: From: Andrew Plato

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