Re: STC is broken?

Subject: Re: STC is broken?
From: "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l List" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2008 10:38:16 -0400

I posted the following to the STC forum. There hasn't been too much
activity in there as of yet. Certainly not to the level we've seen


I think an online model is not one that the STC should be
entertaining. Online offerings, sure. But an online model of
membership won't work. There are too many free online offerings that
compete. The one thing that the STC has going for it are the local
chapters. You can't beat face to face communication.

Over the years we've seen the STC shift from a chapter-focused
organization to an amorphous blob of chapters, SIGs, and whatnot. This
model isn't working. The SIG model isn't working. Sure, some are
successful, but the idea of special interest in an aspect of techcomm
being granted a private audience within the STC is just silly.

I think more effort should be spent nurturing chapters. We should be
investigating why some chapters thrive and why some chapters are
struggling, and actively plan to improve the struggling chapters while
rewarding the successful ones (and perhaps incentives for struggling
ones to improve). This is something that the Regional Directors did
fairly well - help chapters - and I haven't seen its equal since the
Regional Director program was discontinued.

As for SIGs and online offerings, keep them going, but don't silo
them. Leave them open for anyone to join, and use a fraction of the
membership fees to go to a pool to support them. The idea here is that
people with great interest in those areas will gravitate to them
anyway, but instead of being silos of information available only to
those who choose to join that SIG, the info is available for all. SIGs
should be STC content/knowledge generators, not warehouses.

The value with any professional organization like this is face to face
networking. Let's focus on healthy chapters around the globe, make
exceptions for those who are truly remote in some manner rather than
looking at a generic online membership model (like we have now), bring
back regional conferences and encourage regions to have them, and
allow the STC to support itself and its members by freeing the
knowledge currently trapped within SIGs for the greater benefit of the
STC and all of its members.

Bill Swallow
HATT List Owner
WWP-Users List Owner
Senior Member STC, TechValley Chapter
STC Single-Sourcing SIG Manager

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