RE: Leadership as TWs (was Re-upping STC membership?)

Subject: RE: Leadership as TWs (was Re-upping STC membership?)
From: "Dori Green" <dgreen -at- associatedbrands -dot- com>
To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 09:00:34 -0500

Milan Davidovic wrote:
What does "leadership in our field" look like? Does IEEE PCS have it?
SIGDOC? Someone else?

I'm not sure who should be the leader or whether being the leader is
possible, but it's an interesting topic to think about.


Leadership in the field of technical communications should look like

Websites that look good, are easy to navigate, and are always current.
If I look on the website in August for information about the upcoming
year's programs, it should not be obvious that the site has not been
touched since the previous April. It's a very nice extra touch if the
site includes examples of new technologies (along with notes about how
that technology, widget, etc. was incorporated).

Publications that look good, are easy to read, and contain useful and
interesting information. _Intercom_ usually achieves this. _Technical
Communication_ seems to have become a specialty publication for the
academic subset of technical communicators -- maybe some day somebody
will take on the job of creating a _Reader's Digest_ version for the
rest of us. I don't have time to wrestle with the shiny paper, tiny
type, and margin-to-margin text layout for long-winded pontifications.

Communications that are personalized, warm, informative, and accurate.
If somebody contacts anybody in our Society about a problem, they must
_never_ receive a cold automated "Response Number 77".

When we are representing STC as members and officers, our own
communications must be the very best we can deliver. We can't get away
with laziness. This includes maintaining membership rosters and
websites, membership outreach and service, sending program announcements
to the media two weeks before the program as requested by most
newspapers and radio stations (not three days before), spending some
money on programs and not just subsidizing supper, admitting it when we
make a mistake and taking steps to fix it, and finding ways to perform
public service with our special skills.

Why? Because that's what professional people do. This means that each
individual who wants to self-identify as a professional technical writer
should a) join STC, and b) find some way to make themselves useful in
the organization. Otherwise we're just sucking up space.

The American Society for Quality ( deals with many
issues similar to those faced by STC -- and many, many TWs work in the
Quality field since QA and QC are both all about the documentation. I
submit that ASQ might be a better benchmark than IEEE at this point in
the evolution of STC.

I guess I just talked myself into paying for next year's STC membership
if my boss drags his heels (and there's no indication that he'll do
that). These are just some of my own thoughts as an active STC member
(Programs Co-Chair for my local chapter and presenter on care and
feeding of SMEs at last year's local conference), YMMV.

Dori Green

PS -- I drive more than 50 miles each way to my "local" meetings.


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Re-upping STC membership?: From: Cardimon, Craig
RE: Re-upping STC membership?: From: Dori Green
Re: Re-upping STC membership?: From: Milan Davidovic

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