2009 Chapter Communications

Jan 2009 Chapt Meeting

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Using Help Authoring Tools to Create Test-Bed CMS

On Tuesday, January 13, 2009, Neil Perlin returns to STC-Phoenix! Always a favorite at the international conference, Neil will speak at our chapter meeting on reducing the risk of adopting a new content management system (CMS) by using a help authoring tool in a unique way - to create a test-bed CMS.

 

As content management systems spread into technical communication, they add a lot of uncertainty. They bring new concepts and development processes, and demand more rigorous standards, all of which have to fit into your workflow and culture. A CMS also costs far more than our traditional tools. So buying a CMS can be risky.

 

One way to cut that risk is to create a test-bed CMS to test the effects on your workflow and culture. Interestingly, help authoring tools like Flare and RoboHelp, among others, offer that capability.

 

How? A CMS' core functions are to let authors create content, store it, manage it, find it, process it for output, and control the workflow. Help authoring tools offer most of those functions today. Their ability to create and store topics, extract and customize them for single sourcing using features like conditionality and variables, store multiple versions in version control, create reports, and more all let us create test-bed CMSs for evaluating changes on your culture and operations.

 

This session discusses how to do this. It describes core CMS features and equivalent features in MadCap Flare and Adobe RoboHelp, and explains how to use those features to create a test-bed CMS on which to find operational kinks that might prevent you from making full use of your real CMS. Or even possibly to use your help authoring tool *as* your CMS...

 

Bring a new guest at a reduced price for two.

 

Mark your calendar  for the January 13, 2009, STC-Phoenix chapter meeting at the Phoenix Airport Hilton.

 

About Neil Perlin 

Neil Perlin has 29 years experience in technical communication, with 23 in training, consulting, and development for various types of online formats and tools including WinHelp, HTML Help, CE Help, JavaHelp, RoboHelp, ForeHelp, Flare, and many now known only in legend. Neil is a columnist and frequent speaker for the STC and other professional groups, a member of the STC’s Boston chapter, the creator and manager of the Beyond the Bleeding Edge stem at the STC’s annual conference from 1999 to 2006, and an Associate Fellow of the STC.

 

Neil is a Madcap Certified Instructor for Flare and Mimic, and an Adobe-Certified Instructor for RoboHelp and Captivate. He provides training, consulting, and development for online help and documentation, Flare, RoboHelp, Mimic, Captivate, nperlin@concentric.net, www.hyperword.com.

 

Dinner Options 

Meat Entrée: Chicken Saltimboca – Prosciutto, mozzarella and port mushroom demi served with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables

 

Vegetarian Entrée: Pasta Ojeda – Penne pasta, diced tomatoes, and green onions tossed in a rose vodka and garlic sauce, topped with parmesan cheese

 

All entrees include a tossed green salad, rolls, tea, coffee and dessert

 

Location

Phoenix Airport Hilton, 2435 South 47th Street, Phoenix, Arizona, USA,  85034-6410

 

Registration Information

Cost: Members $25, Non-member $30, Students $15, Program only $10.

New Member Incentive: Member and first-time guest

  • $40 for two dinner/program
  • $10 for two program only 

Registration Deadline: Thursday, January 8, 2009

 

Register Online: To register online using PayPal, please click here.

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Jan/Feb Activities

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Hi Subscriber,

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to third issue of "At a Glance," a bi-monthly email from the STC-Phoenix chapter. "At a Glance" will provide a quick overview of chapter events and news for the upcoming months. This email should make it easier to plan your participation in our chapter. Your comments and ideas are always welcome.

Please note our chapter meeting is tomorrow night and a great all day workshop this Wednesday. We hope to see you! Details below...

IN THIS ISSUE

-- Chapter Meeting Schedule
-- Rough Draft
-- Jobs
-- Volunteer Opportunities
-- Website News

CHAPTER MEETINGS
In the next few months, here are the Chapter meetings and topics:

January 13, 2009 (Tuesday) - Using Help Authoring Tools as a CMS and Captivate 3 Workshop
Neil Perlin returns to STC-Phoenix! Always a favorite at the international conference, Neil will speak at our chapter meeting on reducing the risk of adopting a new content management system (CMS) by using a help authoring tool in a unique way - to create a test-bed CMS. The next day, Neil will teach a one-day workshop introduction to Adobe Captivate 3. Details here:

http://www.stc-phoenix.com/2008/12/11/using-help-authoring-tools-as-a-cms/

In addition, here is a quick list of chapter meetings to come:

February 10, 2009: In a virtual meeting, RJ Jacquez from Adobe presents the Technical Communication Suite, an overview of the new combined product with Frame, Robo and Captivate.

March 10, 2009 (Tuesday) - Sherry Michaels, Founder and President of Michaels & Associates, www.docntrain.com , a custom training and documentation consultancy will speak on a topic TBD.

If you have any questions about chapter meetings, please contact Maggie Haenel at programs@stc-phoenix.com.

ROUGH DRAFT
The third issue of our chapter newsletter, the Rough Draft, will be published in January. Coming in this issue:

-- Twitter and Jing - Tooling Around explores two popular sites.
-- Our guest writer, the Pittsburgh Chapter President, stresses
the value of STC membership.
-- New Managing Editor's column discusses how you can meet your
users' needs and also meet your deadlines.
-- Great recap of Geoff Hart's October workshop by Chapter
Treasurer Shelly Duncan

If you would like to contribute to the Rough Draft, or have any questions, please contact Gloria McConnell at newsletter@stc-phoenix.com.

JOBS
For our chapter members, we post jobs on the STC Phoenix website. In addition, our website includes lists of technical writing jobs for Phoenix and Scottsdale collected from Indeed.com, an online service that compiles job listings from multiple job sites.

If you are an employer, please feel free to contact us to post your job on our site for all our members to browse. If you have any questions about job listings, please contact Michelle Parcell at employment@stc-phoenix.com.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
You should have received an email about our chapter Holiday Book Drive - Members will have an opportunity to buy an inexpensive new encyclopedia for a child at a grade school, and also to donate used books to the VNSA book sale, which benefits four charitable organizations in the Valley.

For more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact Julie Biel at volunteer@stc-phoenix.com.

WEBSITE
We took advantage of the holidays to retool the website design and replace the publishing tool. These changes will make it easier for everyone to participate online. Look for an email in late January or early February with details about how you can participate with the website by creating content, adding your profile, among other things.

The chapter website address, if you don't know, is:

To learn more about the website, please contact Tim Slavin at web_site@stc-phoenix.com.

Thank you for reading today! We'll see you in early January with the next issue.
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Feb 2009 – An Invitation from STC-SAZ

Save the Date: Thursday, February 12, 2009

Collaborative Tools for Technical Communicators

People have always had the need for better, faster communication. Yesterday’s technology moved us from "snail mail" and "sneakernets" to email, instant messaging, and websites. But now we want more. We want collaboration. Our users want more. They want to be able to edit our documentation. Our teams want more. They want to share content. Today, we use VoIP when we need to talk to someone. We use blogs to share our "voice" with others, many of whom we don’t even know, we use wikis to create collaborative documentation with teams spread around the world, and we learn from the experts through podcasts. Today, we have meetings in places that exist only on a server with people we may never meet in person. Virtual existence is just as prevalent as face-to-face reality.

Join us for the STC Southern Arizona program to hear speaker Char James-Tanny talk to us about  collaborative writing environments, blogs, social media, podcasts, and more.

 

About our Speaker

Char is president of JTF Associates, Inc. (www.helpstuff.com ) and is well known in the Help Community for her knowledge of online Help tools and concepts. She has been a technical writer since 1981 and has been developing online Help since 1990, when she learned to hand-code RTF files for use with Multimedia Viewer. Char provides onsite and remote training, development, consulting, and website design, and likes using computers and technology to make life easier. She is a Microsoft Help MVP (who always capitalizes "Help" when it's used as a noun) and an AuthorIT Certified Consultant. She’s also the co-author, with Kit Brown and Brenda Huettner, of Managing Virtual Teams: Getting the Most from Wikis, Blogs, and Other Collaborative Tools. Char was the design architect behind HAT-Matrix.com and TechComm Toolbox.

 

 

Jan 2009 Renewal Promotion

 

Every year between November and January, the Phoenix chapter of the STC, in partnership with the national organization, sponsors a membership campaign with two goals: to encourage potential members to join our community of technical communicators and to encourage continuing members to renew their chapter membership. One reward of membership is the obvious one, which is enjoying the benefits that derive from belonging to a professional organization, both nationally and locally, that is dedicated to assisting members in reaching their highest potential.

 

At the local level, our Phoenix chapter has tacked on an added bonus to this annual renewal ritual--namely, placing the names of those who sign up as new or renewing members by January 31, 2009, into a drawing for four $50 gift certificates to Barnes and Noble. Winners will be contacted early in February and their names announced at our March 2009 meeting and in our chapter newsletter, the Rough Draft.

 

You can join STC or renew your membership for 2009 via the STC website, which is at http://www.stc.org. Renewing online is easy and fast with your credit card, or if you prefer you can download an invoice from the website and pay by check through the mail.

 

Norm Haskett

Phoenix Chapter Membership Chairman

 

 

Feb 2009 Virtual Chapt Meeting

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Leveraging Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing in Technical Communication with Adobe Software

In today’s Web 2.0 world, the Internet has connected all of us and consumer experiences have become richer than ever with access to dynamic and interactive information and its unlikely people will ever be satisfied with anything else and that includes technical information.

Working is no longer a solo experience, but rather a social one, which means that peer collaboration and real-time screen sharing, for example, are now essential. This virtual meeting will provide an Adobe technology update and demonstrate how the Adobe Technical Communication Suite leverages various innovative Adobe technologies, such as Adobe AIR, Acrobat Collaboration tools and our new Cloud Computing story to enable Technical Communicators to redefine the way they communicate. Don’t miss it!

About the Presenter, RJ Jacquez

RJ Jacquez is a Senior Product Evangelist at Adobe Systems for Technical Communication and eLearning. With over fifteen years of experience, Jacquez is instrumental in addressing customer requirements and market trends in future releases of Adobe applications. Before joining Adobe, Jacquez was the VP of Technology at Quadralay Corporation and Product Manager at eHelp Corporation where he spearheaded the development of an innovative software application, RoboHelp for FrameMaker, which extended FrameMaker’s publishing capabilities. In addition, RJ was a Senior Product Evangelist for Macromedia, Inc., where he promoted both Captivate and RoboHelp.

RJ is an active blogger at http://blogs.adobe.com/rjacquez, and has lectured extensively on various topics, including single-sourcing, ePublishing, eLearning, Delivering Richer Technical Documents, Help Authoring, XML, DITA, S1000D and SPL.

Virtual Meeting Details

Cost: $10, PayPal only

Event Date/Time: 5 p.m. MST (Arizona) Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Registration Deadline: Noon, Sunday February 8, 2009

 

To register for the web-based meeting, go to: http://www.stc-phoenix.com/events/virtual-meeting-registration-form. Please be sure to enter an email address you monitor frequently as you will receive event login information via email.

 

 

Register Online: To register online and pay using PayPal, please click here.

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Rough Draft – Jan/Feb 2009

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In this issue...

available from Newsletter Home Page.

Articles

»  Take Advantage of a
Defining Moment

»  Free, low-cost Webinars

»  Protecting your equip-
ment & data

»  It's tax time!

 

Columns

»  From the Virtual
Desktop

»  Grammar Anyone?

»  Tooling Around

»  The Back Page

 

On the chapter Web site...March Dinner Meeting

Volunteer for AzSEF!

 Phoenix Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication

January/February 2009

Welcome to the New Year’s First Newsletter!

by Gloria McConnell, Managing Editor

We hope that you enjoy this issue of the Phoenix Chapter’s Rough Draft, which is part of our chapter Web site. Over the next few weeks, Web master Tim Slavin will be adding many great features to the site that will allow  chapter members to take part in a true “Web 2.0″ way. For now, enjoy the latest newsletter! Scan the articles here, or jump right to the Newsletter Home Page.

Feature: Take Advantage of a Defining Moment

by David Dick, Associate Fellow

David offers some great advice for job seekers as he explores the power of questions during an interview. Be ready when an interviewer asks you, " “Do you have any questions?” It can make the difference in the outcome of your interview!  Read the article.

Free and Low-Cost Webinars for Tech. Communicators

Several free and low-cost Webinars cover a variety of great topics, including Word 2007, DITA, content reuse, and much more. Read the article.

Protecting Your Electronic Equipment and Data

by Loretta DeMarais, Phoenix Chapter Member

Loretta shares her research and thoughts on how to stay safe when it comes to valuable equipment and data.  Read the article.

Tax Benefits of Membership

It's true! U.S., STC dues are often tax deductible. Read the article.

Become a Published Web Content Writer

Consider joining the ranks of Rough Draft contributors! Read the article.

Newsletter Columns

The Virtual Desktop

Chapter President Karen Zorn reminds us of the value of our chapter. It's real! Read the column.

Grammar Anyone?

Ms. Grammar presents guidelines on the use of commas, parentheses, and em dashs to set content apart in a sentence. Read the column.

Tooling Around

Take a breath of (Adobe) AIR. Learn more about Adobe AIR and the RoboHelp Packager. Read the column.

The Back Page

Consider a career move to the field of content management. The time is right! Read the column.

 

 

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March 2009 Chapt Meeting

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Correction to the Subject Line: March 2009 Chapter Meeting!

A Guide to Surviving the Job Famine: ADDIE for Job Searching

Having experienced several recessions, and with managing a company through three of the toughest ones, Sherry Michaels brings an evaluative expertise focused on what it takes to differentiate yourself in a highly competitive market. In her presentation “A Guide to Surviving the Job Famine – ADDIE for Job Searching,” Sherry will provide lots of tips and techniques for setting yourself apart when you apply for a job, starting with ADDIE: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate.

 

A job market that represents double-digit unemployment shouldn’t slow you down from getting the job you want and setting expectations to ensure you keep it.

 

About Sherry Michaels

Sherry Michaels is President and owner of Michaels & Associates Docntrain, Ltd., an S-Corporation dedicated to developing training and documentation solutions that positively impact employees and are strategically and tactically valuable to corporate executives.

 

Sherry has been in the training business for nearly 30 years, the last 15 of which were documentation and training oriented. She has been a member of STC for 15 years, is a past president of the Phoenix chapter of STC, and has served on the STC International Board.

 

In her spare time, Sherry likes to read for both business and pleasure, garden and make jewelry.

 

Dinner Options

Meat Entrée: Oven braised orange roughy with papaya mango chutney served with wild rice pilaf and vegetable

Vegetarian Entrée: Vegetarian lasagna with Italian vegetables

 

All entrees include a tossed green salad, rolls, tea, coffee and dessert.

 

Location

Phoenix Airport Hilton, 2435 South 47th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-6410

 

Registration Information

Cost: Members $25, Non-member $30, Students $15, Program only $10.

New Member Incentive: Member and first-time guest

  • $40 for two dinner/program
  • $10 for two program only 

Registration Deadline: Thursday, March 5, 2009 at noon. We cannot guarantee a dinner to late registrants, although there may be one available.

 

Register Online: To register online using PayPal, please click here.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

 

 

AzSEF

Encourage Young Scientists, Engineers

 

One-day participation means so much to students!

Please join the STC Phoenix Chapter’s AzSEF team for a fun and rewarding day. It is a simple way to work with fellow chapter members to support the youth of today. Plus, this is the 2009 Year of Science! If ever there was a time to participate, this is it!

» What: Judging of student reports (grades 5 – 12); lunch included.
» When: Monday, March 23, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
» Where: Phoenix Convention Center, South Building.
» How: To volunteer, email azsef@stc-phoenix.com by March 1.

 

IMPORTANT - Even if you have verbally volunteered, please send an email. Gloria needs the email record.

 

 

 

2009 Chapter Election

 

 

 

The Chapter Election is Coming Soon

Be the change you want to see in the world. –Gandhi

Change is in the air. A new U. S. president has taken office. The Arizona Cardinals have become a winning football team. What’s next? At the STC Phoenix Chapter, it’s time to think about the election of new officers for the 2009-2010 year.

Consider running for office!

Do you have ideas about changes we should make to programs, workshops or other activities? Does a member you know have ideas you like? If so, consider running for office or nominating another member to run.

Becoming an STC officer gives you the opportunity to share skills you have developed, work with other forward-thinking individuals, develop great friendships, network, and have some fun. If you’re not quite prepared to become a change leader as an STC officer, consider volunteering for a committee position.

To learn more about the responsibilities and activities of each elected office, visit http://www.stc-phoenix.com/2009/02/22/the-chapter-election-is-coming-soon/

 

We are preparing a slate of candidates this month. If you are interested in running for office or nominating another member for office, please contact Chanda Child at chanda.child@cox.net by March 3. The online election will be held April 1-7.

 

We are seeking nominations for:

President

 

Vice President

 

Secretary

 

Treasurer

 

Program Manager

Membership Manager

 

 

 

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And the Winners Are…

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Hello AzSEF Volunteers!

 

Thank you all for coming on Monday - I hope that you all had a good time. I really appreciate your participation, and I can tell you that our winners were also very happy to receive their awards.

 

Speaking of our winners, they are:

 

ELEMENTARY

3rd Place, Smita Gopalakrishnan, Kyrene de la Mariposa School
"Cure of Backache by Yoga Postures"

 

2nd Place, Huanvy Phan, New Vistas Academy
"Using Miracle Grow on Plants to Determine Whether or Not Fertilizers Work"

 

1st Place, Hannah Atkins-Kellison, Riverbend Preparatory Academy
"Do Cats Have a Paw Preference?"

 

JUNIOR

3rd Place, Josh Galvin, Rancho Solano Private School, Hillcrest Campus
"A Series of Experiments Designed to Discover a Way to Slow the Effects of Corrosion"

 

2nd Place, Omar Arafa, Kyrene Middle School
"Measurements of Electromagnetic Fields on Our Environment"

 

1st Place, Hany Arafa, Kyrene Middle School
"Optimization of a Vegetable Battery: Year 2 of Vegetable Battery Experiment"

 

SENIOR

3RD Place, Bryn Pernot, Xavier College Preparatory
"An Investigation of the Relationship Between Population and Amount and Source of Sky Glow"

 

2ND Place Rahul Mitra, Corona del Sol High School
"The Effect of Gold on the Superconducting Transition Temperature of Lead"

 

1ST Place, Scott Boisvert, Basha High School
"The Growth of the Amphibian Pathogen Batra"

 

AND FOR NEXT YEAR... 

I would like you to consider taking over the AzSEF coordination next year (if there is a science fair).  Having done it for ten years, I think it is time for some new blood! 🙂  If you are interested, please contact Karen Zorn, president@stc-phoenix.com.

 

Thanks again, and regards, --Gloria Mc

May 2009 Chapt Meeting

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Demystifying Usability

Choosing the Right Usability Technique (Getting the Answers You Need)

Think usability is too hard or too expensive - or just doesn't apply to you? Think again! There are many ways to include usability in your projects. No matter what your situation, there’s a tool in the usability toolkit that will help you improve your work. This virtual seminar will give you a way to make the right choice for your budget, resources, schedule or type of project. Whether you are just learning about usability or have already gotten started, you will learn how to choose the right usability techniques to get the answers you need to understand your audience better.

 

About the Speaker

Whitney Quesenbery is a user researcher, user experience practitioner, and usability expert with a passion for clear communication. She has been in the field since 1989, helping companies from The Open University to Sage Software to the National Cancer Institute develop usable web sites and applications.

She is the director of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) Usability in Civic Life project and has been appointed to the US Elections Assistance Commission’s guidelines development committee, where she works to ensure the usability of voting systems. She represented UPA on an Advisory Committee for the Access Board (TEITAC), working to update US accessibility regulations.

She has served as the President of UPA, Manager of the STC Usability and User Experience (UUX), and a member of the Executive Committee for UXNet, as well as an active participant in local usability groups. In 2005 she was given the STC President’s Award for her work on communities in membership organizations, and in 2007, she was honored with a UPA President’s Award and as a Fellow of the STC.

For more details about Whitney, please visit her website.

Meeting Information

Date/Time

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

5:30 p.m. MST (GMT -7)

 

Location

Your choice! Pick a place with a good internet connection. Bring your own dinner. Bring as many friends as you'd like.

 

Registration Information

Cost: $10 per connection

 

Registration Deadline: Sunday, May 10, 2009 at noon. NOTE: If you register after this time, be sure to email Maggie Haenel at mhaenel@docntrain.com to request registration details.

 

Register Online: Please register online using PayPal. Click here.

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April 2009 Chapter Meeting

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to register for this month's meeting!

 

Also, please don’t forget to gather your (no longer) used books and bring them to the meeting. Books will be donated to VNSA (Volunteer Nonprofit Service Association) for their annual book sale, the proceeds of which benefit Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County, and Toby House, Inc.

Listen!

There are those who listen, and those who are waiting to talk. Join us in an engaging and interactive session and learn how you can employ effective listening and true listening skills to gain information, to help in marketing, to enhance your business relationships, and to add to your professionalism. This session was presented at last year's STC Technical Summit and received high praise.

Topics will include:

  • Listening is a skill that can be learned.
  • Why it's important to learn to listen.
  • How listening differs by culture and why listening can be so difficult.
  • Benefits of listening.
  • Skills for effective listening.
  • Skills for true listening.
  • Behaviors and traits.
  • Barriers to listening.
  • How to get listened to (getting others to listen to you).

If there is something specific you would like Rich to address during this session, please contact him at rich.maggiani@solari.net. He would also like to hear from you regarding what you expect from this session. Your input will allow him to customize the session and add value to your experience.

About the Speaker

Rich Maggiani views the world as metaphor. Through the solitude of mountaineering excursions, he gains the clarity that metaphors bring to an otherwise noisy world. Rich applies these insights to attain the simple, clear communication necessary to enlighten and bring people together toward a common goal (which is why he is so keen on listening). Rich, a Communication Consultant with over 25 years experience, is the founder of Solari Communication, an STC Fellow, and a Director-at-Large on STC's Board.

He writes, teaches, and speaks about communication topics. You can find out more about Rich and Solari at http://www.solari.net.  Rich provides position papers on listening on his site at http://www.solari.net/papers-listening.php.

Meeting Information

Date/Time

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

5:30 - Networking, 6:00 - Dinner; 7:00 Program

Dinner Options

Meat Entrée: Lemon chicken with white and wild rice and vegetable

Vegetarian Entree: Southwest avocado sandwich – Fresh whole avocado lightly coated with panko and topped with pepperjack cheese, green chilies, pico de gallo, lettuce and cilantro mayonnaise

 

All entrees include a tossed green salad, rolls, tea, coffee and dessert.

 

Location

Phoenix Airport Hilton, 2435 South 47th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-6410

 

Located just northwest of Route 143 and University Drive. From University, turn north on 47th Place, and the hotel is ahead about two blocks on the left.

 

Registration Information

Cost: Members $20, Non-member $30, Students $15, Program only $10.

New Member Incentive: Member and first-time guest

  • $40 for two dinner/program
  • $10 for two program only

Registration Deadline: Thursday, April 9, 2009 at noon. We cannot guarantee a dinner to late registrants, although there may be one available. Please be sure to ask.

 

Register Online: To register online using PayPal, please click here.

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March/April Rough Draft

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Phoenix Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication

March/April 2009

Spring has Sprung!

We hope that this issue of the Rough Draft is blooming with articles of interest to you. Scan the articles here, or jump right to the March/April Rough Draft.

 

Feature Articles

Freelance Writing - Is It for You?

Freelance opportunities abound today. Weigh the pro's and con's to determine whether it might be in your future.  Read the article.

Texting, Tweeting, IMing...Oh My!

Rich Maggiani, founder of Solari Communication and speaker at our April meeting, explains social media and its effect on communication, focusing on business-to-customer and business-to-business communications.  Read the article.

Properly Formatting Titles

Reprinted from the Proofer's Newsflash from Writer's Relief, this article explains the proper treatment of all of the titles. Read the article.

Chapter News

Elections, Activities, and More...

Lots of chapter news in this issue! Read the articles:

Newsletter Columns

Grammar Anyone?: Ms. Grammar explains how to keep the blah out of your sentences. Read the column.

Tooling Around: Learn the basics of PHP. Read the column.

The Back Page: Standards and structure are not the enemy. Read the column.

On the Chapter Website

May Meeting - Plan Now!

In May, well-known usability expert Whitney Quesenbery, will demystify usability for us in a great virtual chapter meeting. Learn more and sign up now! Go to article.

 

 About the Rough Draft

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STC Phoenix
Society for Technical Communication
P.O. Box 11116
Tempe, AZ 85284

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STC Phoenix July Networking Meeting

Don’t miss the first of STC’s two Summer Networking Dinner Opportunities!

You are cordially invited to participate in STC Phoenix chapter’s first networking dinner opportunity of the summer.  Mark the date on your calendar: July 14th from 5:30 to 8 PM. That’s the second Tuesday of the month.

 

STC has reserved a private room at The Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Phoenix. The address: 1418 N Central Ave, just south of McDowell Road on the west side of the street.

Order from a standard menu. Pay your own tab. And don’t miss the chance to chat up another attendee who just might have some news or information that could help advance your career!

 

Please RSVP to confirm your attendance by sending an email to hospitality@stc-phoenix.com.

 

See you there!

 

Glenn Scott Michaels
STC-Phoenix Hospitality Manager

 

PS:  Be sure to reserve the evening of August 11th (second Tuesday in August) for our second summer networking opportunity at a location to be announced soon!

 

 

June 2009 Chapter Meeting

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out on all the scoop from the STC Summit!

Perspectives on the STC Summit

The Technical Communication Summit, the annual conference of the Society for Technical Communication, was held 3-6 May 2009.

 

Our own chapter president, Karen Zorn and our ByLaws Manager Tom Barnett were both in attendance this year. At our June meeting, they will present their perspectives on this year’s conference - along with lots of photos of the people and events.

 

We have heard that the opening keynote speaker was quite good. He went well over his allotted time and no one seemed to mind because he was so entertaining (and informative as he discussed the use of simplicity in technology and technical documentation). At the end, he even broke out his keyboard and sang a song he wrote, to the tune of a famous Broadway song, about the mass hysteria that occurred when the iPhone first debuted!

 

Come to our last chapter meeting of the year to hear about David Pogue and the other presenters and notable events from this year’s Summit. This is also our annual awards dinner for STC volunteers

About the Speakers

Karen Zorn

President Karen Zorn is a senior STC member and Phoenix chapter member since 2001. Karen has served as Mentoring manager, co-manager for 2004 Publications, Art, and Online Competition, co-manager for 2005 Regional Conference, and Vice President 2006-2008

Tom Barnett

STC Fellow and Phoenix Chapter Bylaws, Sister Chapters, and Technical Communication Week Manager Tom Barnett is a long-time advocate and member of STC. Tom brings much wisdom and insight from his many years of involvement with the Society and chapter.

Meeting Information

Date/Time

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

5:30 - Networking; 6:00 - Dinner; 7:00 - Program

Dinner Options

Meat Entrée: Chicken Parmesan with egg noodles, and vegetables

Vegetarian Entree: Pasta Ojeda - penne pasta, diced tomatoes, and  green onions tossed in a rosé vodka and garlic sauce, topped with Parmesan cheese

 

All entrees include a tossed green salad, rolls, tea, coffee and dessert.

 

Location

Phoenix Airport Hilton, 2435 South 47th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-6410

 

Located just northwest of Route 143 and University Drive. From University, turn north on 47th Place, and the hotel is ahead about two blocks on the left.

 

Registration Information

Cost: Members $20, Non-member $30, Students $15, Program only $10.

New Member Incentive: Member and first-time guest

  • $40 for two dinner/program
  • $10 for two program only

Registration Deadline: Thursday, June 4, 2009 at noon. We cannot guarantee a dinner to late registrants, although there may be one available. Please be sure to ask.

 

Register Online: To register online using PayPal, please click here.

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Sept 2009 Chapter Meeting

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out on the latest hot topic:

Twitter: Who Cares What You're Doing Now, Anyhow?

Twitter. It's everywhere. Newscasters mention it. Political analysts point to its influence. Marketers use it to get messages out. Journalists and bloggers use it for research. Regular folks use it to keep up with their friends, family, and co-workers. And, people of all types use it for entertainment, research, and education. But, Twitter is more than all of these things combined. It's a revolution in content publishing and its changing forever -- or at least for now -- how we communicate what's important to us to those who want to know.

Topics will include:

  • What Twitter is and why it matters
  • How Twitter is related to text messaging
  • How individuals, companies, and other organizations are using Twitter
  • Really cool things you can do with Twitter that would be nearly impossible without it
  • Twitter and Technical Communication

We'll also look at other useful online tools that are related to Twitter or that are built to rely on its API.

About the Speaker

Scott Abel is a content management strategist and structured XML content evangelist, whose strengths lie in helping organizations improve the way they author, maintain, and deliver their information assets. Scott's blog, The Content Wrangler (http://www.TheContentWrangler.com), is a popular online resource for technical writers with an interest in content management. Scott's social networking site, The Content Wrangler Community (http://thecontentwrangler.ning.com), is a global network of content professionals that attracts thousands of members from around the world. A founding member of Content Management Professionals (http://www.cmpros.org), Scott previously served as Executive Director of the organization.

Scott writes regularly for trade and industry publications, blogs, and newsletters. He also runs several industry events, including the Web Content conference series (http://www.webcontentconferences.com) and Intelligent Content 2010.

 

 

Meeting Information

Date/Time

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

5:30 - Networking, 6:00 - Dinner; 7:00 Program

Dinner Options

Meat Entrée: Chicken Florentine

Vegetarian Entree: Sun-dried Tomatoes & Capers over Angel Hair Pasta

 

All entrees include a tossed green salad, rolls, tea, coffee and dessert.

 

Location

Phoenix Airport Hilton, 2435 South 47th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-6410

 

Located just northwest of Route 143 and University Drive. From University, turn north on 47th Place, and the hotel is ahead about two blocks on the left.

 

Registration Information

Cost: Members $18, Non-member $35, Students $15, Program only $10.

 

Special Incentive for the Fall 2009-Spring 2010 Program Year 

 

Those of you who have contributed $60.00 or more toward chapter dinner meetings at the Hilton will earn a free dinner to be used for the June dinner meeting. (Virtual meeting does not count toward this total.)

New Member Incentive: Member and first-time guest

  • $40 for two dinner/program
  • $10 for two program only

Registration Deadline: Thursday, September 3, 2009 at noon. We cannot guarantee a dinner to late registrants, although there may be one available. Please be sure to ask.

 

Register Online: To register online using PayPal, please click here.

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Oct 2009 Chapter Meeting

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Job Market Trends & Solutions

The recession, rising unemployment, searching for a job, keeping a job-all of these present us with different challenges. They also raise some questions that our panel of experts will address at this month's meeting.

  • What does the future look like for Technical Communicators in the Valley?
  • What skills will help me secure a job or help me keep the job I have?
  • Will using social media help me get the job I need?
  • Is now a good time to retrain, retool? Rethink my goals? Start a new business?

We'll discuss these questions and more. Be part of the solution! Bring your questions (and solutions) and join in a lively discussion with our featured panelists.

About the Panelists

Barry M. Maid, Professor and Head of Technical Communication at Arizona State University

For more than fifteen years, Maid has actively participated in online communities and has used them as teaching/learning spaces. He has also done consulting/training for diverse groups in industry, government, and higher education. He will bring his unique perspective on the Technical Communication field and the current marketplace.

 

Sherry Michaels, President of Michaels & Associates

Having experienced several recessions, and with managing a company through four of the toughest ones, Michaels brings an evaluative expertise focused on what it takes to be differentiated in a highly-competitive market. Sherry will answer questions on what to do in today's highly-competitive marketplace.

 

Meeting Information

Date/Time

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

5:30 - Networking, 6:00 - Dinner; 7:00 Program

Dinner Options

Meat Entrée:  Pot Roast

Vegetarian Entree: Oriental Vegetable Stir Fry with Steamed Veggies

 

All entrees include a tossed green salad, rolls, tea, coffee and dessert.

 

Location

Phoenix Airport Hilton, 2435 South 47th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-6410

 

Located just northwest of Route 143 and University Drive. From University, turn north on 47th Place, and the hotel is ahead about two blocks on the left.

 

Registration Information

Cost: Members $18, Non-member $35, Students $15, Program only $10.

 

Earn a Free Dinner to use for the June 2010 Meeting! 

 

Starting with the Sept. '09 meeting, those who have contributed $60.00 or more in dinner meeting attendance, "program only" attendance, or combination of the two, can enjoy dinner at the June meeting free of charge. (Virtual meeting does not count toward the bonus points.)

New Member Incentive: Member and first-time guest

  • $40 for two dinner/program
  • $10 for two program only

Registration Deadline: Thursday, October 8, 2009 at noon. We cannot guarantee a dinner to late registrants, although there may be one available. Please be sure to ask.  No-shows will be billed.

 

Register Online: To register online using PayPal, please click here.

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Nov/Dec Activities

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Hi Subscriber,

Welcome to the sixth issue of "At a Glance," a summary email from the STC-Phoenix chapter. "At a Glance" provides a quick overview of chapter events and news for the upcoming months. This email should make it easier to plan your participation in our chapter. Your comments and ideas are always welcome.

IN THIS ISSUE

-- Chapter Meeting Schedule 2009-2010
-- Rewards Program
-- IDL SIG
-- Rough Draft/Blogging/Website
-- Volunteer Opportunities

CHAPTER MEETINGS
In the next few months, here are the Chapter meetings and topics:

Nov. 10, 2009 (Tuesday) "Meet & Greet" style dinner meeting at the Duck & Decanter(www.duckanddecanter.com).  Catch up with colleagues in a relaxing atmosphere. Bring a friend. Order what you want. Pay your own tab. What could be easier than that? We'd love to see you there!

Dec. 8, 2009 (Tuesday) "What's the Buzz at Madcap Software?" Mike Hamilton of Madcap Software will tell us about Madcap's current software innovations.

It's also STC membership drive time! What better time to get involved again with the Phoenix chapter? AND ... if you become a member or renew your membership at the Dec. meeting or before, you'll be eligible for some cool prizes...the GRAND PRIZE being an STC MEMBERSHIP sponsored by Madcap Software!

January's meeting promises to be inspiring for those of you searching for a job. More details to follow...

Chapter events for the ENTIRE YEAR can be found online here:

http://stc-phoenix.com/events/

You can also find information on the coming month's events on Facebook and LinkedIn.

To join us on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=91921013345

To join us on LinkedIn:

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?about=&gid=2053568

On both sites, you also can search on the term “STC Phoenix” to find the groups.

If you have any questions about chapter meetings, please contact Jan Kruse at programs@stc-phoenix.com.

REWARDS PROGRAM

New this program year!  Attend 6 "program only" meetings, 4 dinner meetings, or any combination of the two to reach a total of $60.00 and you are entitled to a FREE dinner at the June meeting! (Virtual mtg. attendance excluded.)

IDL SIG
The Instructional Design & Learning SIG has been hosting virtual meetings that are very reasonably priced.  The October 29th Webinar was on Job Task Analysis. Look for IDL SIG events on the Phoenix chapter website.

ROUGH DRAFT/BLOGGING/WEBSITE

The Rough Draft as you know it, will no longer be featured on the STC-Phoenix website. Never fear!  The blog is up and running and will still keep you abreast of what's happening in the chapter and in the field. We welcome your comments or your contributions. All it takes is a quick setup and a little time with WordPress.

Here are more details:
The chapter's community blog is set up here:

http://stc-phoenix.com/blog

And the quick start guide is here, to help you get blogging easily:

http://www.stc-phoenix.com/wp-manuals/how-to-blog-quick-start.pdf

The community blog is a great way to share resources, local news about jobs and job skills, the daily grind, and just to keep in touch. The community blog can be the best way to keep up with everyone between chapter meetings. Also, if you choose to contribute to the blog, it's a great way for you to develop an online presence on the topic of technical documentation, which can help differentiate you in a tight job market.

To learn more about the website, please contact Tim Slavin at web_site@stc-phoenix.com.

JOBS
For our chapter members, we post jobs on the STC Phoenix website. In addition, our website includes lists of technical writing jobs for Phoenix and Scottsdale collected from Indeed.com, an online service that compiles job listings from multiple job sites. You can find job bank listings here:

http://stc-phoenix.com/job-listings/

If you are an employer, please feel free to contact us to post your job on our site for all our members to browse. If you have any questions about job listings, please contact Michelle Parcell at employment@stc-phoenix.com.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
We are looking for someone to coordinate the AZSEF in the spring. For more information about this and other volunteer opportunities, please contact Karen Zorn, Phoenix Chapter President at president@stc-phoenix.com.

Thank you for reading today! We'll see you in the new year with the next issue.
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Dec 2009 Chapter Meeting

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What's the Buzz at Madcap Software ?

For our December 8th dinner meeting, Mike Hamilton, Vice President of Product Management of Madcap Software will fill us in on the latest news about Madcap’s software. Mike spoke with us a few years ago, shortly after Madcap Flare was released. A lot has changed since then. Come join us to see why Madcap was given the TechAmerica High Tech Award this year for it’s innovation in architecture, customer focus, profitability and growing global market share.

It's also STC membership drive time! What better time to get involved again with the Phoenix chapter? AND ... if you become a member or renew your membership before or during the December meeting, you'll be eligible for some cool prizes...the GRAND PRIZE being an STC MEMBERSHIP (including a chapter membership and a SIG membership) sponsored by Madcap Software!

About the Speaker

 Mike Hamilton, VP of Product Management for Madcap Software 

 

At Madcap, Mike is currently working on the next generation authoring tool, Madcap Flare. Before joining Madcap Software, he was a product manager for the RoboHelp product line. Mike has over 20 years of experience in training, technical communication, multimedia development, and software development at several organizations including Macromedia, ehelp/Blue Sky Software, Cymer, a leading supplier of laser illumination sources in the semiconductor industry, National Steel and Shipbuilding, and the U.S Navy.

 

To learn more about Mike and Madcap, check out his blog: Madcap Mike's Musings

 

 

Meeting Information

Date/Time

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

5:30 - Networking, 6:00 - Dinner; 7:00 Program

Dinner Options

Meat Entrée:  Chicken Absolut

Vegetarian Entree: Vegetable Lasagna

 

All entrees include a tossed green salad, rolls, tea, coffee and dessert.

 

Location

Phoenix Airport Hilton, 2435 South 47th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034-6410

 

Located just northwest of Route 143 and University Drive. From University, turn north on 47th Place, and the hotel is ahead about two blocks on the left.

 

Registration Information

Cost: Members $18, Non-member $35, Students $15, Program only $10.

 

Rewards Program: Earn a Free Dinner! 

 

Starting with the Sept. '09 meeting, those who have contributed $60.00 or more in dinner meeting attendance, "program only" attendance, or combination of the two, can enjoy dinner at the June meeting free of charge. (Virtual meeting does not count toward the rewards program.)

New Member Incentive: Member and first-time guest

  • $40 for two dinner/program
  • $10 for two program only

Registration Deadline: Thursday, December 3, 2009 at noon. We cannot guarantee a dinner to late registrants, although there may be one available. Please be sure to ask.  No-shows will be billed.

 

Register Online: To register online using PayPal, please click here.

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Tempe, AZ 85284

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Upcoming Events
  1. Chapter Management Advisory Council Meeting

    December 11 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm MST
  2. East Valley Happy Hour

    December 12 @ 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm MST
  3. STC AZ Workshop: API Doc Overview

    December 14 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm MST