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February 2012 Digest

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Pam Drucker

Published: March 2012 in Message from the President

February 2012 Digest

This issue we highlight:

  • Heather Sommerville named Associate Fellow
  • Mary Metzger named Treasurer
  • Admission rate reminder
  • 2012 STC election is open
  • Quarterly business meeting

Programs at a glance

Report on February program with Karen Rempel

Returning presenter and certified yoga instructor Karen Rempel designed a program to prod those of us who sit all day. Chair yoga for the office put a twist on this yoga annual event. Participants interacted comfortably in nostril-breathing and wingspan circles. The session was something that we could adapt for the workplace save the concluding gong.

March 20, 2012 - Taxonomy and Metadata with Theresa Putkey

What is taxonomy? Metadata? How can technical writers apply this art? Learn from Information Architect, Theresa Putkey. If the name sounds familiar it’s because Theresa is a chapter past president and head of Key Pointe Usability Consulting, Inc. We warmly welcome her as the March presenter. This session is appropriate for anyone interested in the structure of digital information or keyword search & rescue.

April 17, 2012 - Content Strategy with Rahel Bailie

Launching from taxonomies to devising a content strategy is the focus of the April program. Rahel Anne Bailie, principal of Intentional Design, is a highly sought speaker about all things content––strategy, management, requirements, best practices…you name it. She’s consulted about this field of practice for business impact and as a framework. This session is appropriate for anyone interested in digital publishing.

May 15, 2012 - Save the date

This is the last program of the season. We’ll vote in a new executive team ahead of our regular program. This session is appropriate for you!

Hot news miscellany

STC Associate Fellow

If there was one thing this president hoped to accomplish this term, it was to give credit where credit is due—long overdue. I am thrilled to announce Heather Sommerville has been named an STC Associate Fellow! This designation is conferred on 1% of the membership. Our chapter is truly honored to hold members of high distinction: Sheila Jones (2004), Rahel Bailie (2009), Duncan A. Kent, and Heather Sommerville (2012).


Fellow inductees will be honored at the STC Summit conference. If you’re going, please make some noise when they call Heather’s name.

Treasurer news

We would like to thank Helen Glavina, Treasurer since 2009. You’ve lead us through, arguably, the most turbulent period that member organizations faced. On behalf of the chapter, thank you, Helen, for your dedication and contribution to ensuring the chapter’s financial strength. Council has appointed Mary Metzger as Treasurer. Mary honed her financial skills in the staff development office at University of North Carolina. She’s served as the chapter’s job bank coordinator, continues to act as mentor in numerous ways, and teaches at Vancouver Community College. Her ‘spare’ time ends when she inherits the chapter’s golden spreadsheet on March 1. Thanks and welcome Mary!

Quarterly meeting

The execs and team leads meet at the end of the month to plan out the rest of the 2011/12 program year. A report to follow.

Information Interviews

Since September when the chapter launched the Information Interview Service, we have received over 20 requests. This number exceeded our projection for the year and we owe a huge thanks to Karen Rempel for initiating the service.

Chapters must look for ways to engage aspiring writers with seasoned ones. The Information Interview Service does just that by raising awareness about our chapter and initiating outreach efforts. The more new people we bring to program meetings the more awareness we generate. The IIS has shown it attracts potential members while raising money for the chapter. Read more about the Information Interview Service. Get paired up. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


You’ll see our roving photographer taking candid shots at program events. We use photos to accompany meeting reports to promote chapter activities on the chapter website. That’s it. When you register you’ll see the permission form. If you absolutely don’t want your likeness shown in chapter materials raise your hand. We give you a chance to opt out if that’s your wish.

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 have an option. Check out the chapter’s Information Interview Service. For a $10 donation, we pair senior technical writers with people wanting to learn how to break in to the field. You don’t necessarily need to be a student for this offering. After you meet with the senior technical writer, you, the interviewer, receive a coupon good for the next month’s program. Here’s a link:


Dog ate your ID? You can always print it from the self-service area on MySTC. Make sure you’re logged in.

Third Tuesday

Programs are held on the third Tuesday of the month. Arrive 30 minutes early to meet and greet other technical communicators. Dress is casual to business casual. Best to preregister so we can plan seating and refreshments. Got an idea for a Program meeting? Ping us. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

In the mix

Program meetings are a mix of technical (tools and technology) and communication (writing for translation; job-hunting; design). We’re often asked whether a meeting will be broadcast. Yes, we want to engage more members beyond the Lower Mainland. We’ve eked out two remote presentations this program year. We’d do it each month if we had a team to drive it. Hint, hint.

Contractors & Independent Consultants SIG

The special interest group regroups on the first Tuesday of the month. Whether you’re seeking advice or voicing your two cents, there’s no better place to connect. Don’t have business cards? Get advice on where to get them for free. Check the home page for details or join the mailing list. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Having trouble accessing Contractor listings?

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 what you decide. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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)

What are members thinking?

Check out the Members Forum for an intelligent discussion. The Members Forum is open to chapter members.

Canadian salary survey

What’s missing from the STC salary database? You guessed it, Canadian salaries. Canadian community leaders have proposed creating a detailed salary survey. Questions being developed are based on a survey the Alberta chapter conducted five years ago. This questionnaire aims to protect the anonymity of respondents across Canadian communities. See the discussion in the forum.

STC-France questions its future

Like STC-Montreal, STC-France sees virtual networks replacing face to face time. Why do chapters run out of oomph? Finding waves of new volunteers to replace the dedicated few is the common reason.

We take some lessons from this path and I raise the alarm.

Volunteer opportunities

Keeping a chapter running takes time and volunteer support. Let us know about your professional interest and see where the needs intersect. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  • Coordinator for Information Interview Service
  • Job bank coordinator
  • Survey creator
  • Website makeover artist
  • Blogger

Job bank

This is a self-service area, open 24/7. Anyone can post. Members can view.

Not yet an STC member?

Get the scoop on joining.

Soft sell

We reach 600-700 email subscribers every month. Great news if you’re thinking of advertising or sponsorship. Let us know.

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If you no longer want to receive messages let us know. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

STC vision

Technical communication is recognized as an essential part of every organization’s competitive strategy.

STC mission

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. Send general inquiries to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Find us fast!/stccwc

Join, get active and engage with your chapter!
Pam Drucker
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