Gaps in STC's services

Subject: Gaps in STC's services
From: "Mark L. Levinson" <nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 07 Aug 2004 15:20:46 +0200

> Where there are gaps in service to members, perhaps
> there are opportunities for others to step in.
> Techwr-l is the best example of this.

In hindsight, I guess. But when Eric founded techwr-l,
you had to be an uncommon visionary to conceive of what
e-mail and the Internet would evolve into. I don't
think it's fair to ding the STC on failing to anticipate.

In the early days of techwr-l, and even in STC publications
around the same time, you could see many remarks from
writers based on the false assumption that the practices
of their own workplace were universal. We see less of that
now, being more in touch with one another. But in discussions
of the STC, often there is still the false assumption that
the character of one's own STC chapter is universal. On
the contrary, I think there is great variation among chapters.
Sometimes even in the same chapter, over time.

For example, my predecessor as president of STC Israel, back
in the early 1990s, liked to invest all our energy in big
impressive events held every year or two. I liked to hold
more modest events more often.

One day, it must have been in 1994, he said he had a great
idea for a big pioneering international conference: Technical
Writing and the Internet. I considered myself an early
adopter, being already hooked up with e-mail and even a
poky Mosaic that I shared with a hundred other employees,
taking ten or twenty minutes to load a complicated page,
but still it was 1994 and I said to him, "What interesting
connection could there possibly be between technical writing
and the Internet?"

Mark L. Levinson
Herzliya, Israel
nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il


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