Atlanta STC On-Site events

August 11, 2008

Like many STC chapters, we have members who work and live all over our metro area.Traffic is bad, gas is high, people are busy — all of these make it hard to attract members to the Atlanta chapter’s monthly programs.

At the STC Summit in Philadelphia, we heard about the Chicago chapter’s successful lunch events. These get-togethers were held simultaneously at several locations throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Chapter members enjoyed meeting up with each other at locations convenient to where they worked.

We thought we’d try that approach this year. Then Rachel Peters offered to hold a program at her office in Marietta to demonstrate how they use a wiki at work. We set a date and worked out the arrangements for lunch and voilà! the STC On-Site event was born. Nearly 30 people have signed up for the August 14 program. You can read the details here.

If you live in the Atlanta area and would like to show your STC colleagues what you’re working on, we can hold an STC On-Site at your office, too.


Videocasting as technical communication

June 16, 2007

Common Craft has two videocasts explaining wikis and RSS respectively.

The audio could be better and the video is a bit jerky, but the striking thing about these is their simplicity as well as their effective use of imagery and storytelling to instruct their audience. No fancy production equipment needed, just a piece of paper and a magic marker. They call this format “Paperworks.”

In their own words:

We produce short videos that make complex subjects and messages easy to understand. . . . We use simple concepts and plain language to create an engaging experience for viewers.

Isn’t that what all technical communicators should strive to do? It’s this kind of innovation that makes me excited to be in this field.

Wikis in Plain English

[ ?posts_id=251312&dest=-1]

RSS in Plain English

[ ?posts_id=209879&dest=-1]

Thanks to the Chicago STC’s blog for turning me on to Common Craft.

The people behind Common Craft are Lee and Sachi LeFever. They seem to have a lot of fun with whatever they do. Last year the team traveled around the world and blogged about their experience in The World is Not Flat. Some good advice here for anyone else who is thinking of chucking the rat race and traveling for two years.  (I wish)

And, of course, Common Craft has a blog. Wiki on

May 29, 2007

Stumbled upon It’s free to join and then you can add your 2 cents to the content. If you to practice working with a wiki, this might be the place to start. It’s a wiki and a blog with a mission similar to this blog:

Our mission is to provide a place where expert content developers, technical communicators, information architects, and web designers can come and express their views about the profession. . . created for and by professionals who want to keep up with the important issues in the transformation of technical communication.

The site includes articles as well, including some “reprints” from the Carolina Communique, the online newsletter of the Carolina STC Chapter, which is also a wiki disguised as a Web site (or vice versa).