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I'm currently the President of the New England chapter of STC, and I've
read this thread with great appreciation and recognition of a lot of
the issues people have brought up.
My personal view is that STC is struggling to adapt to the massive
beat-down our profession has endured since its high point in the early
2000s. We've lost many jobs, pay rates have taken a beating, and
management perception of the value of our work has dropped.
In addition, as people in this thread have pointed out , professional
information is now provided by a variety of sources: youtube videos,
free webinars, educational sites like Lynda.com, while, no more than 15
years ago, STC chapter programs were the primary way tech writers
learned about new technologies. These are major destabilizing forces
But, responding to those forces is what a professional organization is
for! Not only responding, but getting sufficiently involved to shape
management perception and affect the conditions of our work.
Fearfulness won't get us anywhere. So, for starters, STC council
members should be reading this thread carefully and with appreciation,
as well as keeping their ears to the ground at all times.
(Another topic people have mentioned repeatedly is the question of
paying for national membership when the great bulk of value is provided
by the chapters. I confess, I'm aware of this problem and am not sure
what to do about it. All my energy is local; I'm devoted to providing
high value to STC New England members and am not involved at the
I'm going to write a longer article about this on our news site
(news.stcnewengland.org) over the weekend and will post the link
Also -- if I create a survey in Survey Monkey and posted the link here,
would that be OK? Would you respond?