Re: Hostility towards STC

Subject: Re: Hostility towards STC
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 15:14:28 -0700

Mike Bradley wrote:

The ethics thread has revealed considerable hostility towards STC? I have my
own criticism of the organization but I'm not ticked off at it. Why the

Personal reasons aside, the main reasons why I dislike to the STC are:

- The arrogance of its officials. Too many of them talk as though they speak for all technical writers, although - so far as I can figure - the rate of membership in most areas is only 40-60% of all technical writers, and less than 15% are actively involved. They also seem to spend an inordinate amount of time talking about their role as leaders, and very little doing anything concrete for their alleged constituencies.

- The rampant insecurity shown in its most common dialogues: writers don't get enough respect, developers look down on writers, and so on. In fact, gaining respect is simply a matter of working hard, doing good work, and developing technical competence. Unfortunately, a large chunk of effort goes into expressing the insecurity that should be spent on gaining the respect.

- The insistence that writing expertise alone is necessary. This claim is probably another result of insecurity, but I mention it separately becaue I think it misleads new writers and reduces what little respect technical writers might have as a group. To me, the issue is very simple: call the professional technical writing or technical communication, it's a compound noun; both technical and writing expertise are required by the jog.

- The apparently total lack of any ability to move towards any of its stated goals, or to provide any services for its members. In other words, its complete lack of any behavior that characterizes other professional associations.

Let me add that I am not talking about the average STC members, many of whom seem motivated by genuine charitable or altruistic impulses to give something back to their peers. There are even some STC leaders who seem dedicated and sincere.

However, the general attitude that emanates from the STC is too often as I describe. It's a failed organization, which may be why so many experienced technical writers are either not members, or not active in it.

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

"And if you think the pen is mightier than the gun,
I tell you, friend, that you're dreaming
'Cuz the countdown has begun;
We're having fun
Down on Airstrip One."
- Attila the Stockbroker

Purchase RoboHelp X3 in April and receive a $100 mail-in rebate, plus FREE RoboScreenCapture and WebHelp Merge Module. Order here:

Help celebrate TECHWR-L's 10th Anniversary starting this month!
Check out the contests at
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday TECHWR-L....

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Hostility towards STC: From: Mike Bradley

Previous by Author: Re: Who cares about ethics?
Next by Author: Re: Hostility towards STC
Previous by Thread: Hostility towards STC
Next by Thread: RE: Hostility towards STC

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads