Summary of SIGDOC Conference Survey

Subject: Summary of SIGDOC Conference Survey
From: Sean McFerren <smcferre -at- CSC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 16:10:50 -0500

Quite a few people have asked me to share the results of my SIGDOC Conference
survey. For the most part, the responses were very positive. I'd like to thank
all who responded.

Sean McFerren
Performance Support Consultant
Computer Sciences Corp.
Houston, TX
smcferre -at- csc -dot- com

Here is a summary:

I went to SIGDOC 96 and found the quality of the presentations to be
very good and the information useful. I'd go again.
Alexia Prendergast


I attended the SIGDOC conference two years ago in NC and after attending the
International STC conf this year in CA, I truly think the SIGDOC conf is
more valuable. The info presented at SIGDOC is specific to documentation and
very helpful-whereas the info at the STC conf is general and not very
helpful as a whole. I even recommended to my manager to get our company to
pay for a trip to the SIGDOC conf instead of the STC conf next year.
Alexa H. Thompson

I attended SIGDOC '96 (mainly because it was local). The presentations
tended to fall into a couple of major categories:
* highly academic and theoretical
* neato-cool things you can do with a big budget for technology (these
included biggies like SAS, TI, and others presenting on stuff their [huge]
pubs departments were doing...stuff like SGML)
* stuff I did years ago
I guess the quality of information was fairly high, but the cutting edge
stuff really wasn't. In fairness, presenters had to turn in topics
something like a year ahead of time, which seems awfully long in
The academic stuff didn't interested me because I'm not academic.
The expensive stuff was interesting....but not too relevant unless you work
for a big company and have a huge R&D budget.
Sarah O'Keefe


I presented at ACM SIGDOC last year (and am presenting this year). I found
the information very interesting and useful. It's a bit more technical than
the STC international convention, and the presenters tend to be very
experienced in the field. SIGDOC is also nice because there are fewer
attendees. You meet some prominent figures in the field, and you actually
get to TALK to them. Their conference is usually back-to-back with IPCC
(IEEE's documentation SIG), so you can hit two conferences at one shot.
Bill Burns

I've attended two ACM SIGDOCs--1995 in Savannah and 1996 in Raleigh-Durham.
Often the presentations are given by academics or people working in R&D, so the
sessions are not as practical as I would like. However, if there is a tutorial
you're interested in, it's probably worth going to that as these do get into the
nuts and bolts of a topic in a half day or full day session.
On the plus side, it's a manageable conference, in that you don't get overwhelmed
by the information presented. Smaller and more relaxed, unlike the huge STC annual
conference (I've never been to one of those). Attendance is usually around 150 or
They usually pick interesting, out-of-the-way locations for their conferences.
Savannah was a blast because the conference site was right downtown. Raleigh was
not as much fun since the site was isolated. They usually have well-planned
extracurricular activities, so you can bring along your spouse/SO and they'll
enjoy it too.
Michael Collier

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