Mon, 08 Aug 2016 13:42:23 CSTI had the honor and privilege of attending the STC Summit in Anaheim, California, this past May. As a student and first-time attendee, I did not know exactly what to expect in terms of scale and atmosphere. I was pleased to discover that though the Summit had a very large turn-out this year, the STC community is a rather close-knit group of professionals eager to share their knowledge with fellow attendees. Haeger, Eilysh
Wed, 22 Jun 2016 13:02:19 CSTThe facts can dishearten. On average, Web users read 20% of the text on a webpage, covering around 62 words before leaving the site within 15 seconds. The challenge of writing for readers who barely read calls for a unique and fearless approach to editing. Arghiere, Bryce
Wed, 22 Jun 2016 13:01:27 CSTNothing can beat the thrill of attending an editors’ conference, and if your first conference also happens to be an international one, it is the icing on the cake. In June 2015, I attended Editing Goes Global in Toronto, the first international conference held by the Editors’ Association of Canada. Kumar, Vivek
Tue, 31 May 2016 08:31:59 CSTIt can be hard for designers to take a step back and look at an app or website through users' eyes. Here's where to start. Hoekman, Jr., Robert
Tue, 24 May 2016 07:53:05 CSTConferences are expensive, time-consuming, and potentially exhausting, so why attend? Because not only are they opportunities to learn or enhance skills, they are potential goldmines of new clients and referrals from colleagues. Participating in a conference is a great way to find freelance work, or at least to network with colleagues who are ideal sources of new work and projects, either as clients or as colleagues who might recommend you to clients. For one thing, people tend to prefer hiring those they know. Even in today’s aggressively electronic social media age, there’s still something reassuring and real about having met a writer, editor, proofreader, instructional designer, web worker, or other professional in person. If nothing else, having been at a conference means you’ll stand out from the crowd of virtual connections when you get in touch later about potential projects. Ideally, you’ll make such a good impression that colleagues from the conference will contact you for projects even before you have a chance to follow up on the event contact. Thaler-Carter, Ruth E.
Tue, 24 May 2016 07:52:06 CSTMadalyn Shea is a technical recruiter with Ware Technology Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ware is an employment agency that places technical writing candidates in mostly manufacturing and medical manufacturing settings. I emailed Madalyn, who offered the following advice for those seeking their first technical writing-related job. Cash, Bernadette
Mon, 23 May 2016 08:07:41 CSTI cannot imagine my life without the STC Carolina chapter. Yes, I'm given to hyperbole, but this is not an exaggeration. From newsletter editor to president, chapter volunteer opportunities have given me the chance to meet many smart, kind, passionate technical communicators whom I otherwise wouldn't have met. Their enthusiasm for the profession is inspiring. To read more about my journey, visit What I've Learned as a Member of the STC. Loring, Sheila
Mon, 23 May 2016 08:06:57 CSTThe first moment I read about technical writing, I was hooked. I remember thinking, "I could do that!" It sounded like the perfect career choice. When reading technical manuals and other documents I often thought about how to make the instructions more digestible. Other times I marvelled about how easy the writer made it for me to follow the instructions Parys, Lisa
Mon, 23 May 2016 08:05:48 CSTIf you’re considering becoming a member of STC and are unsure if it’s worth your investment, lend me your ear, because I’d like to tell you about the benefit it’s given me and what I’ve achieved so far. I was once ambivalent about joining, but I wish I had pulled the trigger sooner. For just $75 (annual student membership), the price of a 55-gallon drum of coffee, within one semester, I have already gained many skills, experiences and built relationships I would not have otherwise. Schwartz, Jonah
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 10:48:52 CSTIf you’ve used Microsoft Word for any length of time, you’ve probably begun using its key automation features, such as macros and automatic text. If you’re as gung ho as I am, you’ve accumulated a significant collection of these shortcuts. You probably even depend on them for getting work done efficiently. You’ve also probably spent some time adding words to the software’s custom dictionaries, and may even have created specialized dictionaries for certain genres that have their own jargon. Wouldn’t it be a shame if you somehow lost all that hard work? Hart, Geoffrey J.S.
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 10:47:12 CSTThe first ever STC-Carolina Student Resume Clinic took place on Saturday, February 20, 2016, at the TEKSystems’ Raleigh location. The clinic was three full hours of insider information that all technical communication job seekers should know. Christina Mayr, STC Carolina President, kicked off the clinic with self-introductions from the volunteer panel, followed by an explanation of the packet contents, and then the agenda for the clinic. The students and new professionals came dressed for interviewing, ready to soak up as much information as possible. Daniel, Julie
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 10:45:56 CSTWho are you and what is your connection to STC? I’m Larry Kunz. I’ve been a practicing technical writer in the Raleigh-Durham area since 1983, and I’ve been a member of the Carolina chapter the entire time. I’ve served in various leadership positions within the chapter and at the Society level, including having served as a member of the STC board of directors. Saunders, Lindsay
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 10:44:30 CSTIf you’ve been looking for a job lately, you’ve probably noticed many employers are requiring experience in DITA and topic-based authoring. Being a technical writer without knowledge of DITA is like being a wallflower at the dance. Don’t wilt on the sidelines and watch your colleagues pass you in the fast lane to higher paying jobs. Logan, Lisa
Mon, 04 Apr 2016 09:49:33 CSTThis article offers a way of thinking about closed captioning that goes beyond quality (narrowly defined in current style guides in terms of visual design) to consider captioning as a rhetorical and interpretative practice that warrants further analysis and criticism from scholars in the humanities and social sciences. A rhetorical perspective recasts quality in terms of how genre, audience, context, and purpose shape the captioning act. Drawing on a range of Hollywood movies and television shows, this article addresses a set of topics that are central to an understanding of the effectiveness, significance, and reception of captions: overcaptioning, undercaptioning, subtitles vs. captions, the manipulation of time, non-speech information, series awareness, and the backchannel. Zdenek, Sean
Mon, 04 Apr 2016 09:49:33 CSTIt’s tempting to think of closed captioning as a rote, strictly objective task. Captioners copy down what people are saying, a task so easy, even a computer can do it. However, I’ve come to discover that captioning—the process of making multimedia content accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers—can be highly complex and deeply interpretative. Zdenek, Sean
Mon, 04 Apr 2016 09:49:33 CSTWhen the Corrigo managing editor saw that I specialize in teaching engineers and scientists to write, she asked me some provocative questions, and then asked if I would turn the answers into a blog post. Bedwin, Christina