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March 2012 Digest

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Pam Drucker

Published: April 2012 in Message from the President

March 2012 Digest

This issue we highlight names in the news:

  • Karen Rempel gets published in Intercom
  • Chapter applies for Pacesetter award
  • Members prepare to elect officers
  • Exec holds quarterly business meeting
  • Programs investigate possible change of venue

Programs at a glance

Report on March program with Theresa Putkey

From Linnaeus to today’s taxonomy builders, information science starts with content. Through organizing principles and relationships, information architect Theresa Putkey showed us how taxonomies take shape. So next time your online shopping spree nets 4623 pairs of shoes you’ll think about taxonomies and thank Theresa for making her slides available,

April 17, 2012 - Content Strategy with Rahel Bailie

Launching from taxonomies to devising content strategy, renowned speaker Rahel Bailie presents all things content—for business impact and as a framework. This session is appropriate for anyone interested in digital publishing. Register now,

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.

Extra! Extra!

Count ‘em. Two articles that feature the Canada West Coast chapter. Check out the March issue of STC Intercom

Feature article - Information Interview Service

Karen Rempel rechanneled interview requests to conceive the Information Interview Service. Her article tells how she fast-tracked the new service “from conception to release in 45 days—the gestation period of minks and squirrels.” Kudos Karen for launching this big idea! Download the whole article,

Society pages - Introducing the New STC Associate Fellows

Take a bow Heather Sommerville. Finally, the STC universe sees what the chapter knows— “bringing honour to the profession”. Becoming a fellow formally recognizes Heather’s “generous contributions of time, expertise, common sense, tact, and good humour”. Read the whole inscription,


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

Pacesetter submission

What’s the best idea for reviving a stagnant mentoring program? Coming up with a stalwart replacement. To a revitalized chapter that’s what the Information Interview Service achieves. So on that basis we applied for the Community Pacesetter Award. Our application describes how IIS activity furthers the goals of the Society and how other communities could replicate our success. It’s going to be a nail-biter until the Summit when winning Pacesetters will be announced.

Election news

We’ll vote in a new executive team ahead of our regular program.

  • President - standing
  • First Vice President and Second Vice President - standing and unfilled
  • Secretary - standing
  • Treasurer - standing
  • Past President - standing
  • Director - standing

Quarterly meeting highlights

The execs and team leads met at the end of March to plan out the rest of the 2011/12 program year. Meeting minutes to follow but discussion covered items with the biggest impact:

  • financial realities and cutbacks
  • published articles and awards
  • directors and leads commitment
  • change of venue

Why the YWCA? Due to upped costs for DIY meeting space and BYO Internet, Programs looks at other cheaper (or free!) meeting space. A new location could occur as soon as monthly programs commence in September 2012. Please check the the chapter’s website for updates.

Contractors & Independent Consultants SIG

As Ben Hechter steps down Linda Farnworth steps up to lead CIC coffee meetings. Leaders can pick their own venue. Lucky for Linda and those who live beyond the downtown core; an eastward location seems imminent. Thanks, Ben, for running the downtown group. 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)

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, .(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)

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,


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,

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. Want to present? Ping us, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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.

Information Interviews

So much news about this since its inception six months ago. Still going strong, 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)

Volunteer opportunities

Keeping a chapter running takes volunteer time and 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
  • Survey creator
  • Website makeover artist
  • Blogger

Job bank

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

What are members thinking?

I’m thinking it’s time for a mascot: squirrel or mink?

For an intelligent discussion check out the Members Forum. The Members Forum is open to chapter members,
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. Society for Technical Communication:

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

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Pam Drucker

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