From The Editor’s Desk

Hello everyone!  Another month, another issue!

I would like to tell you about a couple of things with STC.  The “STC Tryout” and the limited time offer for a classic membership at $195 are both specials for current members.

The STC Tryout is a chance for current members to introduce colleagues and friends to the STC at 67% of the cost for an annual membership.  They will receive all of the benefits of a membership for the duration of 2013 at $75.  This tryout will also give these new members an opportunity for the limited-time Early Renewal Discount for 2014, which is only available to current members.

 

By encouraging people to become members you will:

  • Expand your network of technical communicating professionals.
  • Strengthen the STC by increasing recognition of the technical writer profession.
  • Improve educational and networking opportunities for members.
  • Advancing technical communication worldwide.
  • Help others succeed in their careers.
  • Receive recognition for your recruitment efforts.

Explain to potential recruits why you are in the STC and how invaluable the membership has been for you.  Then tell them that they can join for the discounted rate for the remainder of 2013.

Tell them to join STC online.  The enrollment fee will be waived.  They must include the promotion code “TRYOUT13” into the “Dues Discount” field at the end of the application see this screenshot.  If they have any questions have them call 1-703-522-4114 or email membership@stc.org.  And remember, every member that is recruited will help to strengthen the STC.

As mentioned earlier there is a limited time offer on the Classic Membership with the STC.  Membership is not open yet, but current members can apply for an Early Renewal Discount of $195 for the year 2014.

Regardless of when you renew all memberships still receive the same benefits from STC which include:

  • Subscription to award-winning Intercom and Technical Communication.
  • Access to the Salary Database.
  • A library of free archived seminars.
  • Significant discounts on STC webinars, online courses, recorded sessions, and the annual Summit.
  • A 14-day head start on all jobs posted to the Job Bank.
  • Networking opportunities across the globe.

You can even go for the “Gold Value Package” that allows you access to free webinars and locked-in low rates for the 2014 Summit.

Exclusive benefits for Gold Value members include:

  • Memberships in any and all of the SIGs.
  • Membership in one Chapter of your choice.
  • Really Early Bird pricing for the Summit regardless of your registration date.
  • You will receive 50% off one online course.
  • Five free live Web seminars.

For those who have graduated within the last three years there is a new Professional category and it is only $160!  This allows young professionals access to resources necessary to build a strong career.

So there you have it STC members.  A great chance to increase our recognition, gain new members and continue your own membership at a low cost to you and those who join.

 

R.D. Sharninghouse
Editor, Memo 2 Members Newsletter
ralph2010@knights.ucf.edu

President’s Corner

Debra JohnsonThe President’s Corner
By Debra Johnson
President
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
president@stc-orlando.org

It seems like I have been non-stop setting up techniques, methodologies, processes, and standards for our team at Wyndham Vacation Ownership.  What we call a TMPS, includes Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, User Interface Software Engineering, and Technical Communication.  At the same time, my team is hard at work creating all different types of technical documentation. We are all part of the of WVO IT Requirements Center of Excellence.  So life has been and continues to be crazy as ever…

This month I thought I would fill you in on what happened at the first Administrative council meeting since our Leadership retreat. We had a great meeting, lots of involvement and discussion on many topics.

I was fortunate to have Karen Lane, Mary Burns, Sarah Baca, Candace Du Lac, Mark Wray, David Coverston, Alex Garcia, Erika Higgins, W.C. Wiese, and R.D. Sharninghouse in attendance.  Jon Kessler attended by phone.

Some of the topics we discussed were:

  • The Adult Literacy League would like us to hold a meeting, either regular or AdCo, at their organization near Michigan and Orange. It would a great way to expose the people there to STC and what we are all about.
  • Go Daddy Web-hosting renewal. Jon Kessler discussed his resolution of certain problems we had with file uploads, especially for Memo to Members. He created a new database for MTM and kept the old content available. Jon offered his recommendations for our web hosting solution, which we decided to follow and stay with Go Daddy.  We appreciated Jon researching and fixing our upload issues and for his recommendations. I was able to negotiate a renewal for two years for $107.00.
  • A Website Grant opportunity that we learned about at our leadership retreat from Michele Ladner of SunCoast chapter.  She shared information about applying for an STC grant to redo their Web site. We really want to update our website and move it to a site that answers the “WHY” instead of the “WHAT” and “HOW” of Technical Communication and STC Orlando Central FL.
  • A Gift for Teaching opportunity to collect donations for this charity at upcoming regular meetings. We decided to collect at the next two meetings.
  • Locations for our Give Thanks and Holiday reunion meeting.  We would like to keep it social with no speaker. We also want to schedule more meet-ups around the city.
  • Success testing next meeting’s presentation with Alyssa Fox on Meeting Burner.  Sarah also arranged to have Dalton Hooper present in February on techcomm and business analysis.
  • Contacting Bernard Aschwanden who had expressed interest in speaking for us. His subject is Adobe; he’s a “power user.”  I will be contacting Cory Bullinger, the new FTC President, about contacting Bernard for the Jan FTC/STC meeting.
  • Treasurer’s report. Alex distributed it for review and also had ideas to earn off AdCo meetings by using restaurants with organization fundraiser programs
  • Mark wants to focus on the transition of the Pellegrin Scholarship from our chapter to the UCF Foundation, where it is now fully endowed. He suggested that Alex put together a forecast of the chapter budget now that the scholarship is not awarded out of chapter funds. He wants to document the relevant process over a year.  Sarah said that we have a special chapter Pellegrin account with a current balance. There was discussion of what to do with this. Karen went over the options. Mark will move forward and report on where we stand and what will happen in April when we award the first scholarships out of the endowment.
  • W.C. wants to determine our actual membership and promote active membership in the coming year. David will give W.C. the list of members and W.C. will write an MTM article promoting active membership. He will also update the discussion listserv distribution so that it includes only members of record.
  • Chapter Survey and the Chapter Achievement Award Application. Candace Du Lac wants us to be thinking about anything we want to add to the survey. She will give the survey to FTC to coordinate and to create a PDF of it. She noted the pre-summit mixer on the CAA. Sarah mentioned the Meeting Burner virtual meeting this month as an item.
  • Follow-up on giving away STC promotional items as mentioned at the Leadership Retreat.  I mentioned Café Press items and W.C. mentioned seeing if logoed Summit items are leftover and available for the cost of shipping. Follow up  on all items
  • Nomination for Associate Fellow Deadline is November 2.
  • Nomination for Distinguished Chapter Service. We need to look over the membership list and set up a committee. W.C. should help because it’s active-membership-oriented.
  • Student rebate: $20 against membership for new; 4 meeting coupons (worth $20) for renewing (typically at the January meeting). We need to promote the student rebate beginning in October and extend it after the January meeting.
  • Karen participating in the Chapter Achievement Award committee at the Society level. She gave us a heads-up that the application is changing to make the levels more logical and the requirements fairer.
  • Update from Bethany and Dan on the following:
    • Mentoring: we have 10 commitments. Interim mentees need “permanent” mentors. Kick-off planned for mid-October, pairings by end of September.
    • Ocoee High School writing project: We need to respond by mid-October. The high school is teaching students to a national writing standard and is asking our help. This will make a good CAA item. Debra agreed to assist with this project.

We hope to meet at Sweet Tomatoes next month as they are participating in organization fundraising for out next AdCo meeting. We had such a great AdCo meeting. I am so fortunate to be among such a bright and intelligent bunch of people… It’s going to be a fun and exciting year. We have a LOT to do! Please join us…we would really like your input on how we can make The Orlando Central FL chapter even better!

See ya at the next meeting!

Debra

A View From Number Two

Sarah Baca

By Sarah Baca
Vice President
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
Vicepresident@stc-Orlando.org

 

 

 

If you have heard of Agile Scrum and wondered what is was, you will be excited about our September meeting. This meeting is about working as a technical writer at a company that uses Agile Scrum business methods. Alyssa Fox is the Director of Information Development at NetIQ and has been speaking and writing about Scrum methodology for technical writers for years.

I am especially excited about this meeting because for the last several months, I have been working as a ScrumMaster for the documentation team in addition to being a technical writer. I think Scrum is such a great way to create innovative products. Scrum methodology trusts teams to do their best work and leaves them free to find solutions. I think this is the biggest reason why Scrum is so successful. One of the challenges of being a technical writer in a Scrum environemnt is that you have to be brave, make mistakes, and trust the team you are working with. I can’t wait to see how Alyssa’s team makes this work at NetIQ.

I hope you will join us to see how Scrum works effectively with technical documentation to create a complete product. See you on September 19th at 6:30 pm at Wyndham Vacation Ownership!

If You Missed The Last Meeting

Mary Burns

By Mary Burns
Secretary
Orlando Central Florida Chapter STC
secretary@stc-Orlando.org

If you missed last meeting…

 

 

Going to an out-of-town conference means itineraries, reservations, expenses, the discovery that you’ve forgotten your toothbrush…unless the conference comes to you. Washlines XIX, our own “mini” version of the international 2013 STC Summit in Atlanta, did just that on August 22.

Set to the theme of the famous multi-level Atlanta drive-in “The Varsity,” Washlines XIX was powered by chapter members who attended the Summit and were eager to share the knowledge they gained there. The clothesline strung across the Wyndham meeting room was hung with colorful signs advertising five rotation venues, each imaginatively linked to an Atlanta icon.

Coca Cola: Karen Lane presented on “Social Media and Documentation: Why Should You Care?” (Jennifer White, MadCap Software); “The Future of Technical Communication is Here—Are You Ready for It?” (Kapil Verma, Adobe); and “Using Foreign-Accented Speech: To Localize or Not?” (Halycon Lawrence, Illinois Institute of Technology).

Atlanta Braves: Debra Johnson presented on “Information Architecture Boot Camp” (Andrea L. Ames and Alyson Riley) and “From Technical Writer to Content Strategist” (Alan J. Porter).

The Peach City: Dan Voss presented on “Global English Skills” (John R. Kohl, SAS Institute, 59th STC conference) and “There’s Nothing Simple about Simplified Technical English” (Bernie Koontz, Lycoming Engines, 60th STC conference).

Downtown Atlanta: Jack Molisani drove all the way from Jacksonville to share distilled versions of both presentations he made at the Summit: “Ask Me About … Career Advancement through Personal Brand-ing” and “Seven Career Lessons I Learned from Selling Ginsu Knives.”

MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority): Bethany Bowles shared on “Re-animating the TC Body of Knowledge: TC BOK” (Hillary Hart, Liz Pohland, Craig Baehr, and Joel Kline) and “Meet the Editors of the STC Journals (and Others)” (Liz Pohland, Michael Alberts, Saul Carliner, Menno de Jong, Jim Dubinsky, Joe Dumas, Miles Kimball, and Kirk St. Amant).

There was enthusiastic attendance at each venue for both rotations. Dinner was pizza and salad, plus themed food and beverages (ball park hot dogs at the Atlanta Braves venue, peaches and cream at the Peach City venue, and Coke products at the Coca Cola venue).

To echo the pre-meeting tweet on this whirlwind tour of Atlanta and intriguing trends in technical communication,

Twitter, twitter,
Tweet, tweet, tweet
Washlines Nineteen
Can’t be beat!

See a selection of STC Summit presentation materials at http://www.stc-orlando.org/prodev/60notes/mainmenu.asp.

STC Mentoring Program

Looking for a way to make those crucial connections after you graduate? Our mentoring program with the Orlando Central Florida Chapter of STC might be perfect for you! The Orlando Central Florida Chapter of STC, in conjunction with UCF, is proud to announce its 2013-2014 mentoring program, pairing veterans from the front lines of industry with talented technical communication students. The goal: to bridge the gap between industry and academe.

We match students interested in technical communication with professionals in the field. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to collaborate on projects, which will help you improve your technical writing skills and it will give you something to add to your portfolio. It will be the best opportunity you can get to accomplish some networking and learn some practical tips for breaking into the technical communication field once you graduate. If you are graduating this fall, spring, or summer, this is a perfect chance for you to make vital connections that will help you land a job once you get your degree.

In order to participate in the STC-FTC mentoring program, you must be a UCF student in technical communication or related discipline, a student member of STC, and a member of FTC. FTC dues can be paid at the next meeting, and the STC membership you can sign up for online. For more information, please, check out the mentoring page on the STC Orlando website. If you have any questions about the program, feel free to ask!

A successful mentoring relationship benefits those involved through increased confidence and a sense of direction.The relationship between mentor and mentee requires honesty, openness, commitment, and effort by both individuals. The relationship provides a risk-free learning environment in which to offer career guidance.

Once you have completed this application, sign your name and send to Dan Voss (daniel.w.voss@lmco.com) and Bethany Aguad (bethanyaguad@gmail.com). After they have reviewed the applications, the program coordinators will establish mentor-mentee teams that provide an optimal match of goals, skills, and styles. After the application deadline has passed, your program coordinator will email you your team information and invite you to the mentoring kickoff meeting where you will be introduced to your mentor.

Bethany Aguad