A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is an international professional society for the advancement of the theory and practice of technical communication. It has hundreds of local chapters (also known as 'communities.'



A Monumental Day Dawns for Technical Communicators: Certification!

The Society for Technical Communication (STC) announced today that certification for the technical communication field has been approved. Within the next year, technical communicators will be able to attain certification in their profession.

STC (2010). Articles>Certification>TC>STC


The Accidental Beginning of a Highly Successful Special Interest Group (SIG)   (PDF)

SIGs exist to serve specialized needs within the greater organization. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Professional Interest Committees (PICs) are a tool by which the local chapters can serve a diverse range of special interests, boosting chapter membership. The Lone Star Chapter (Dallas/Fort Worth) began hosting SIG meetings three years ago. Currently, with four active SIGs, we are hosting an additional 100 to 200 members per month. This is how we built our SIGs to promote membership in STC. In the spring of 1990, a group of disgruntled contractors began to meet formally to discuss dissatisfaction with insurance plans for independents available through the society. We had been meeting informally for many years, to discuss the job market, rates available, and generally to gossip. We call it networking. personal contact or the sudden ice storm we had that night attendance was down significantly. From that point, we have kept a mailing list updated from our sign-in sheets, and sent postcard reminders about each meeting.

Steele, Karen A. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Collaboration>Case Studies>STC


Attending an STC Conference on a Shoestring Budget

Companies are reducing their training budgets. During these austere times, the technical writer must get more creative than ever to participate in the annual conference. An informal survey of attendees at the 50th Annual Conference in Dallas showed that many people paid their own way to the conference. There are numerous ways to reduce the cost to attend the conference.

Bine, Katharyn. Usability Interface (2003). Articles>TC>Professionalism>STC


Benefits Too Great to Miss

To get the most out of your STC membership--take action. Join a committee, write an article for the newsletter, go to a workshop, volunteer for the chapter conference.

Feldman, Diane. Carolina Communique (2006). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


Best of the Best of the Best: Winners of STC's International Competitions   (PDF)

This article profiles the winning entries in STC's international technical publications, technical art, online communication, and student technical communication competitions.

Intercom (2004). Articles>TC>Collaboration>STC


Breaking Traditions and Taking Risks  (link broken)

Innovation is important in any area of life, and STC communities are no exception. Last year, STC Chicago and STC-NIU (Northern Illinois University) combined their strengths to facilitate innovation and to help revive a student chapter.

Loynes, Ericka. Tieline (2008). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


Bubba Awards: Recognition on a Shoestring   (PDF)

This paper is an explanation of a low-cost and high-fun method used by the Lone Star Chapter to recognize officers and committee managers for their work during the past year.

Skinner, Judith N. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Collaboration>Community Building>STC


Building and Maintaining Student Chapters   (PDF)

Developing a strong student STC chapter is a challenging and rewarding experience. Those of us who are involved in this process can certainly benefit from sharing our ideas in a directed workshop atmosphere. Participants will exchange ideas and formulate working strategies for the development, maintenance, and growth of a student chapter.

Fink, Bonnie L. and William O. Coggin. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Collaboration>Education>STC


Bye Bye STC

Perhaps the time has come to wrap up the STC and let a new organisation grow from the ashes. Those who are interested, and who believe our profession needs such an organisation will rally round and rebuild something. If there is not enough interest then perhaps that is a further indication that the STC has had its time.

McLean, Gordon. One Man Writes (2009). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


Celebrate Technical Communication

he recognition activities of STC generate a key component of the value provided to its members. Establishing a Technical Communication Week celebration can help boost your community’s profile and the perceived value of our work.

Barnett, Thomas P. Tieline (2005). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


Changing Dynamics, Economy, and Momentum  (link broken)

To reinvigorate the chapter, former chapter president, Theresa Putkey suggested that the chapter move to a member-driven, online community. Instead of the eight volunteers currently pulling the chapter along, the chapter’s 250 members can set the pace, build momentum, and provide more value than a handful of volunteers are able to provide.

Putkey, Theresa. Tieline (2008). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


Chapter Seminars   (PDF)

Chapter seminars help members by providing current technical communication information, significant additional chapter funding, recruitment of new members, and a proving ground for new leaders. Seminars need a definite organization and leaders need clearly defined responsibilities and authorities. Seminars must provide useful relevant information, either focused or diverse, delivered effectively by skilled speakers. Seminars are not expanded monthly meetings; they must be quiet properly equipped pleasant facilities. Seminar finances must be balanced to provide the desired surplus, or the sting of lost funds will linger long after the sweet success of a stimulating program is forgotten.

Malcolm, Andrew. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Collaboration>Community Building>STC


Circles of Leadership: Resources for Chapter Committee Managers   (PDF)

Every chapter relies on volunteers for its success. The secret to successful chapters, then, starts with recruiting the right people, training them well, delegating to them carefully, nurturing them along the way, and rewarding them for a job well done.

Brown, Dennise C. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


Communities of Practice: Dealing with the Changes in the Technical Communication Field

STC has been challenged by the changing economy and the evolving nature of our work and career development. These challenges have required Society leaders to look carefully into how the STC should change to better serve a diverse and global membership.

Bachmann, Karen L. Usability Interface (2004). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


Current Research: STC's Research Program   (PDF)

This interim report shows that the research program sponsored by STC in its publications is becoming more annecdotal each year, relying less and less on research for support of its generalizations.

Warren, Thomas L. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>TC>Research>STC


Defining Moment for the Eastern Iowa Chapter  (link broken)

The Define-a-Thon is a new word game from the editors of The American Heritage Dictionary. The idea is that you can spell a word without knowing its meaning. So why not develop a competition where the contestant has to pick the right word after its definition has been given?

Crawley, Charles R. Tieline (2008). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


Developing a Chapter Mentoring Program   (PDF)

In an effort to promote and encourage an interest in the field of technical communication through academic/professional relationships, the New York Metro Chapter has developed a mentoring pilot program with Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in Madison, New Jersey. The chapter, along with Dr. Michael B. Goodman, Director of FDU’s M.A. program in Corporate and Organizational Communication, coordinated their efforts to select members who can serve as role models for students interested in this field.

Epp, Barbara E. STC Proceedings (1996). Careers>Mentoring>Community Building>STC


Dinosaurs, Gazelles, and the Need (or Not) for Organizations

There was a time when organizations did offer a value proposition. Once upon a time, there was some prestige attached to being part of a professional organization. Being a member marked you as a professional. The potential was there for membership in an organization to open a more than a few doors. And organizations offered training, courses, information, and even pointers to jobs that you couldn’t find anywhere else. The Web, though, hasn’t just leveled the playing field. The Web has flattened the playing field, paved it over, and moved the goal posts.

Nesbitt, Scott. DMN Communications (2009). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


Do A Presentation At The STC 42nd Annual Conference!   (PDF)

Both old hands and newcomers can create a plan to do a presentation at the next STC Annual Conference. Simply follow this 5-step process: (1) Understand the call for proposals. (2) Discover possible topics to develop. (3) Identify gifts--something of value--to give your audience in your presentation and in your paper (if you do one). (4) Think of appealing gift wraps to attract your hearers and readers. (5) Prepare a thorough proposal for the Program Committee. This process works best in a workshop where the participants can form a critical mass for creative excitement, help one another generate ideas--and have fun!

Dean, Morris. STC Proceedings (1994). Presentations>TC>Research>STC


Do a Presentation for the 41st STC Annual Conference!   (PDF)

Both old hands and newcomers can create a plan to do a presentation at the next STC Annual Conference. Simply follow this 5-step process: (1) Understand the call for papers. (2) Discover possible topics to develop. (3) Identify gifts—something of value—to give your audience in your presentation and in your paper (if you do one). (4) Think of interesting gift wraps to attract your hearers and readers. (5) Prepare a complete proposal for the Program Committee. This process works best in a workshop where the participants can form a critical muss for creative excitement, help one another generate ideas—and have fun!

Dean, Morris. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>TC>Presentations>STC


Does the STC Deserve to Survive?

Recently, I have begun to feel that there is not much value left in STC as it stands today, and it is in need of a radical overhaul in order to survive. I believe that outside the rarefied atmosphere of the STC Board and Head Office, this view is widely shared.

Farbey, David. Blockhead Blog, The (2009). Articles>TC>Community Building>STC


The Economics of Membership

Members often ask what advantages they receive for their membership dollars. The answer is so obvious we sometimes fail to see it. With apologies to the kind souls at MasterCard, a few thoughts on the value of your STC membership.

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. STC Phoenix (2006). Articles>TC>Professionalism>STC


Effective Delegating Achieves Results  (link broken)

If you are not delegating properly, you are making your own life more difficult. In turn, your subordinates suffer because their interests and talents are being overlooked, however unintentionally.

Laurent, J. Suzanna. Tieline (2007). Articles>Management>Collaboration>STC


Focus Groups: Planning the Education of Technical Communicators During the Next Ten Years   (PDF)

These focus groups continue the dialogue begun in focus groups organized by Ken Rainey and Katherine Staples, Education and Research PIC, at the 1993 annual conference in Dallas. Participants discussed the topic of how partnerships among the Society, business and industry, and colleges and universitates could strengthen academic programs in technical communication, empower the profession, and promote research.

Barnum, Carol M., Saul A. Carliner, JoAnn T. Hackos, Rita Reaves, Stuart A. Selber and Sherry G. Southard. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Education>Industry and Academy>STC


Focused Leadership in a Dispersed Environment  (link broken)

Society chapters often involve members who live and work in a very wide geographic area. Even members of chapters with smaller physical areas face long commute times from work sites to meeting sites. Often, the time spent commuting is enough to discourage even the most stalwart Society member from participation. Chapter leaders and committee managers are left with the problem of how to offer their members the means to participate in meetings more effectively.

White, Don. Tieline (2007). Articles>Management>Community Building>STC



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