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April 2012 Digest

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Pam Drucker

Published: May 2012 in Message from the President

April 2012 Digest

This issue we highlight events in the news:

  • Chapter wins for Pacesetter award
  • Members acclaim officers at AGM
  • Search extended for VP
  • Contractors and Independent Consultants regroup

Programs at a glance

Report on Report on April program with Rahel Anne Bailie

Proper content management allows content to be used and reused in different ways. Rahel presented examples of websites exhibiting good and poor content management. Big budgets don’t necessarily result in better managed content. Content rich entities like air carriers and public utilities come close to failing while offbeat tricycles and robotic vacuums demonstrated some of the best managed content. Read the full article,

May 15, 2012 - Why Storytelling? with Hazel MacClement

This program explains why technical writers must be good storytellers. Hazel MacClement Desharnais knows a thing or two about telling a good story. After all, she produced the popular consumer segment Olsen on Your Side. This session is appropriate for anyone who needs to persuade. Make sure to register,
The May program concludes our program year. We’re back again in September.
Thinking you want to present? Ping us, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Hot stuff!

Pacesetter award

We applied. We won! The chapter wins Pacesetter Award for Information Interview Service. STC recognized the Canada West Coast chapter:
For offering an information interview service for the dozens of people wanting to speak to experienced chapter technical communicators about our profession.
The award was earned for a successful implementation of a single beneficial innovation that may be implemented by other STC communities. The citation will be read at the Honors Banquet at the STC Summit. On behalf of the chapter, thank you Karen Rempel for proposing the IIS, then implementing this brilliant idea!
The Information Interview Service pairs aspiring writers for short interviews with senior technical writers. Get paired up, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Read the article in Intercom,


If you’re going to the STC Summit banquet, you have not one but two chances to make some noise for the chapter. Our own Heather Sommerville, Associate Fellow, will be inducted to the hall of honored members, and the chapter will receive a citation for the Pacesetter Award.

AGM news

Executive positions were acclaimed at our Annual General Meeting ahead of the April program. We heard the President’s report and the Treasurer’s report. Basically, membership is up and revenue is down. To accommodate leadership transition and strategic planning, we’ll continue to work on issues over the summer. The new execs take over on June 1 and the lineup for 2012/13 shapes up this way:

  • President - Mellissa Ruryk
  • Vice President - open
  • Secretary - Rob Hughes
  • Treasurer - Mary Metzger
  • Past President - Pam Drucker
  • Director - Heather Sommerville

Highlights and realities

We are a member organization. You choose to belong. You opt to serve. Right now could be your time. The chapter seeks members and non-members to provide vital services voluntarily. Support and expand your professional interests, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
We are accepting applications for the position of chapter vice president. Members in good standing are eligible to put your own name forward. If the VP position fits with your capacities and interests, reply with your professional biography, your relationship with STC and the direction or ideas you would support. Submit these materials no later than May 31 to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Contractors & Independent Consultants SIG

A big thank you for those who attended the Consultants and Independent Contractors (CIC) meeting. It’s been a while but not for lack of interest for this special interest group. Linda Farnworth lead the coffee meetings and eight CICers helped make the event a fun gathering. Yes, despite the joy of homework, some of us were grateful for the push. Whether you need advice on developing a portfolio or a little nudge/encouragement to do your own thing, just drop in. We hope to see everyone again on June 5. Same place and time. The special interest group regroups on the first Tuesday of the month. Check the home page for details or join the mailing list, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Read the minutes,

Coast Lines, member forums and other news

The chapter’s newsletter blog carries photos and articles about programs. Got something to say? Say it in Coast Lines. Contact the web editor. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Member admission

A reminder: STC members pay $5 with valid ID. The council voted to impose a $5 fee on itself and members effective January 2012. Admission rates for students and not-yet-members remain the same.
However, those wanting to attend but see admission as a barrier consider the Information Interview Service as an option. For a $10 donation, we pair senior technical writers with people wanting to learn how to break in to the field. You don’t need to be a student for this offering. After you meet with the senior technical writer you receive a coupon good for the next month’s program. Read more about the Information Interview Service,
Not yet an STC member? Get the scoop on joining,


We use photos to accompany meeting reports to promote chapter activities on the chapter website. That’s it. When you register for a program you’ll see the photo permission form. We give you a chance to opt out if that’s your wish. Raise your hand before the meeting starts.


Dog ate your ID? You can always print it from the self-service area on MySTC. Make sure you’re logged in,
Job bank, Members forum, Contractors listing
The job bank is a self-service area, open 24/7. Anyone can post. Members can view,
For an intelligent discussion check out the Members Forum. Open to chapter members,
When you join the chapter, we ask if you want to be included in the Contractor listings. If you said No but meant Yes just let the membership manager know, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Soft sell

We reach 600-700 email subscribers every month. Great news if you’re thinking of advertising or sponsorship. Let us know,
If you want to subscribe go to
If you no longer want to receive messages let us know, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

STC vision & mission

Technical communication is recognized as an essential part of every organization’s competitive strategy. Society for Technical Communication:
STC advances the theory and practice of technical communication across all user abilities and media so that both businesses and customers benefit from safe, appropriate, and effective use of products, information, and services.

About Canada West Coast

We are a geographic community of the Society for Technical Communication, a worldwide association dedicated to the advancement of the theory and practice of technical communication. Our community represents technical communicators throughout British Columbia. Canada West Coast chapter: 
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Pam Drucker

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