Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chapter Update

STC Atlanta Chapter Update for July 2007

To keep up with day-to-day STC Atlanta chapter news and developments, read the President's blog (http://stcatlprez.blogspot.com/), visit our chapter Web site (http://www.blogger.com/www.stcatlanta.org), and visit Michelle Schoen’s podcast site (http://mschoen.libsyn.com/).
Upcoming Events
July 17 Chapter MeetingExtended Networking, Interesting Topics, & Other Stuff
Using a progression-style format, you can rotate from table to table to network, discuss topics of interest to technical communicators, and learn how to enter the Chapter competitions.

The meeting will be in Dunwoody at Mirant Corporation, 1155 Perimeter Center West, Atlanta, 30338, across the street from the Sandy Springs Marta station at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Abernathy. (map)

Networking at 6:30 p.m.; meeting at 7:00.
Tentative Future Programs
August 21 – Development Team Showdown
September 18 – Flare vs RoboHelp
October 16 – Joint meeting with the Atlanta interactive Marketing Association (AiMA)
November 20 – The Anatomy of a Help File: An Iterative Approach – Presented by Dr. Michael Hughes

If you don’t see your favorite program, contact Robert Armstrong.

August Software Saturdays return!
The success of our Software Saturday class on a Decent Exposure to FrameMaker has resulted in a new Software Saturday on vector graphics.

The class will be taught at HelpWrite, Inc, 3070 Business Park Dr., Suite A, Norcross, GA 30071.

Classes will be limited to the first 10 participants. Participants will receive a copy of DrawPlus software, instruction, and a workbook. Watch our chapter website for more information. Specific date will be announced soon.
Missed an STC Atlanta chapter meeting? Want to know what's going on with fellow STC members? Check out Michelle Schoen's Podcasts for in-depth interviews and recorded Atlanta chapter meetings.

Lunch with an Expert
The STC Atlanta Chapter is beginning a new program to put senior experienced members in touch with others in a way that keeps things deliberately informal. We looked closely at the Mentoring Program, and there was a general agreement that the mentoring relationship requires a level of time and commitment that few could sustain and was perhaps intimidating to many.

Since everyone eats lunch, it made sense to try a different approach centered around that congenial activity. We’ve got a list of senior members with a wide range of professional interests and experience, and they’re ready to share the benefit of their wisdom with a fellow Chapter member over lunch at a mutually agreeable time and place.

If you’re struggling with a project, looking to branch our into a different area of technical communication, investigating an academic technical communication program, or just wanting to connect with a new professional colleague, send an email with a brief description of what you’re interested in talking about, what part of town you’re in, and your contact information. We’ll be back in touch with the name and contact information of one of the Experts.

There are only a couple of ground rules: the Expert gets treated to lunch and you provide some feedback about the program. Everything else is up to the two of you.

Email your request or any questions to Roger Siegel.

Best Practices Conference
If you are interested in a conference on Best Practices with a great selection of speakers and presenters close to the Atlanta area, here you are. Speakers will include JoAnn Hackos, our own Carol Barnum, Glenn D’Amore, Dave De Yoreo, Charles Dowdell, Neville Fleet, Irene Hammerich, Ed Hougardy, Brenda Horner, Jeff Kaminski, Art Kedzierski, Monti Lawrence, Melody Locke, Julie MacAller, Denise Moore, Palmer Pearson, Mark Poole, Ginny Redish, Rosanne Scriffignano, Suzanne Sowinska, Valerie Stoehr, Beth Thomerson, Michel Uyttendaele, Scott Wahl, and Daphne Walmer.

This conference will be held at the Chateau Elan Inn in Braselton, Georgia. If you have never been to Chateau Elan, it is worth the trip, even without the conference. For more information, follow this link: http://www.infomanagementcenter.com/bestpractices/2007/index.htm.

Help Us Update Our List of Companies that Hire Technical Communicators
We are trying to update our website with an accurate list of companies in the Atlanta area that hire technical communicators. Please visit http://www.stcatlanta.org/employment/hire_tw.pdf to see if you can help us update this list. If you know of any companies that hire TCs that aren’t on this list or if there are any companies on this list that do not hire technical communicators, please let me know.

Announcing New Volunteers
During the last month, two more volunteers have stepped up to help our chapter. Please join me in welcoming them and thanking them for their service to our chapter:
Kathleen Baine – New Writers SIG Manager
Michael Hughes – Atlanta Conference 2009 Planning Committee Chair
Community Service Activities:
Helping the Global CommunityTook place on Saturday, June 16, 2007
More than a dozen of your fellow STC Atlanta Chapter members participated in this Community Service Event at MedShare International. Thanks to Julie Brock, our Community Service Manager. We will be returning for another event in the near future. Watch this update and our website for more information. Those of you who volunteered, many thanks. Those of you who didn’t, you missed a great opportunity to network with other volunteers and to help the global community.

MedShare collects and ships surplus medical supplies to countries in the economically developing world. MedShare serves healthcare facilities providing medical care to the needy in developing countries regardless of their religious or political affiliations. Your fellow STC members helped organize, sort, and package medical supplies to be sent to needy communities overseas.

Contact our Community Service Manager, Julie Brock for more information. Check out some pictures of the event: (http://www.flickr.com/photos/8482243@N08/sets/72157600392844721/.

July CommLink Newsletter Available shortly
The July issue of CommLink is in final editing and will be available soon. Check out previous issues on the website!

One thing I would like to see in our newsletter is more input from our members. I know each of you has something to contribute. I know you are all writing and working on very interesting projects. Share your expertise! Wouldn’t you like to know what your fellow members are up to? I’m sure they would like to hear about your project or new software!

Contact Paul Phillips to contribute an article to CommLink!

Join STC!
Networking, education, monthly programs, annual conferences — there are a lot of reasons to join the Society for Technical Communication! Sign up today using the online membership form to receive the benefits of membership in a professional association. To change or upgrade your current membership, use the online Membership Change/Upgrade form. For example, if you are currently an E-member, but you are not affiliated with a chapter or international Special Interest Group (SIG), you can add a chapter and/or an international SIG to your membership.

Read the President's Blog
Keep up with Al Hood's thoughts on the state of the technical communication community. Visit the President's blog.

The blog created by Holly Harkness, STC Atlanta's Immediate Past President, can be viewed here.

Continuing Education Scholarship
If you're an STC Atlanta Chapter member who is either pursuing a degree in technical communication or attending a professional development seminar, you may be eligible for one of three $500 scholarships. In return for the award, the winners will make a presentation at a Chapter meeting or contribute an article to the Newsletter.

For more details, click here. http://www.stcatlanta.org/pdfs/continuingedgrant.pdf

Competitions are coming!!!
Have you or your company produced technical communication products that you think are worthy of awards? Would you like your work to be recognized by your peers? Then consider submitting your work to the STC annual competitions.

Each entry will receive detailed comments from our judges. Three recognition levels are awarded in each competition category. Winners of the top award in each competition qualify for entry in STC's International Competition. Award winners in the 2007 competition locally will receive their award plaques at our 2008 Annual Awards Banquet in April. Award winners in the International Competition will be recognized at the 2008 STC Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA.

To volunteer to judge contact Bernice Hunter.

Looking for work?
Check out our chapter's job postings at http://jobs.stcatlanta.org/

Happy Hour Events
Because of the awful traffic in the Atlanta area, we have introduced the concept of Happy Hour Events. We have 400 members spread out over the Atlanta region and we realize that many of these members cannot come to a monthly meeting in the Perimeter area, but they'd like to get together with other STCers in their part of the city to discuss issues related to our profession.

For example, we held a Happy Hour Event in Marietta and one in Alpharetta at local restaurants. Turnout was good and we had a great time visiting, networking, and sharing with each other. We want to continue these events with more planned for the very near future. At this point we are planning one in Lawrenceville/Gwinnett county area, the Alpharetta/Roswell area, and the Marietta/Kennesaw area.

If you would like to help organize a Happy Hour Event for your part of town, let me know: or our Membership Manager, Joe Scardina.

Volunteer Opportunities
In addition to the activities noted above, we are looking for volunteers to fill the following positions:
Student Liaison
Volunteer Coordinator
Currents Assistant Manager
SIG Managers for FrameMaker and Management SIGs

If you'd like to volunteer, contact me at your convenience. We have other volunteer opportunities of varying responsibilities. If you want to help but don’t want to spend every waking minute, contact me. I am sure we can accommodate your wishes.

Chapter Sponsors
Please remember our chapter sponsors and make sure to use their services when you can. Thanks to the following sponsors for supporting the STC Atlanta Chapter. If you would like to become a sponsor, contact the Sponsorship Manager, Gene Larson.

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