Jan 02, 2010 in Strategy
Happy New Year, everyone!
Several technical communicators have had a hard time reconciling the value-add proposition for renewing their membership with the Society for Technical Communication. Some have been very vocal about the society’s lack of support, lack of expertise, lack of understanding, and lack of relevance for the communications field. In blunt terms, the STC is a dinosaur, with a business and operations model that doesn’t fit the current trends. Some of the outspoken include volunteers like myself who thought we could help initiate and support change from the inside. Fortunately I am involved in the very active Society for Technical Communication – Canada West Coast Chapter, which is experiencing a new wave of volunteers who thrive on connecting within this community. As well, I participate in a couple of really experienced special interest groups, the Single Sourcing (officially), and Contractors and Independent Consulting (locally).
After the 2006 summit a fellow chapter member observed that technical communicators are expanding from the traditional plan/interview/write model into the facilitation and editing of user authored content. This exciting trend from writer to enabler has always appealed to me, because I’ve always been on the periphery of traditional technical writing. While I am technical and I love to write, I also have a passion for music and multimedia, web design and programming, graphic design and illustration, and performing. It’s been difficult finding jobs that match my level of interest in technology and my love to write. That said, I’ve found lots of work in the web development arena, and am excited at being able to harness these skills and abilities in my current job, along with writing and editing.
In this post I describe at length why the STC has me for at least another year.