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From the Editor's Desk
2005, Q2 (July 06, 2007)
by Meredith Blackwelder, Managing Editor, Carolina Communiqué

Conferences, conferences, conferences! This issue of Carolina Communiqué was inspired by recent STC conferences. Anjela Dukes’ article touches on our Chapter’s award-winning Tri-Doc 2005 conference, and Terry Smith’s article details its successes, in both quantitative and qualitative ways. Articles by E-Ching Lee and me provide a glimpse into the 52nd annual STC conference in Seattle, WA.

The value of attending conferences is obvious. I don’t need to tell you that they provide ways for us to keep up to date on theories, tools, and trends in our field. They also provide great outlets for networking with others and meeting those who share our interests. How many parties can you attend where everyone knows an acceptable way to avoid hanging prepositions or the difference between the Latin abbreviations i.e. and e.g.?

I attended my first Leadership Day at the 48th Annual Conference in Chicago. On that day, I learned about the value of chapter newsletters. Several enthusiastic newsletter editors shared their excitement and passion for writing articles, asking others to share their knowledge via articles, and keeping members up-to-date with chapter events. These are ways the newsletter editors contribute to their chapter and the technical communication community.

After meeting these admirable folks, I decided I would like to make similar important contributions to the Society:

I would like to be a creative and dedicated STC member and follow in their path as a newsletter editor. This year my goal is to share my enthusiasm about the STC via the newsletter. I will strive to provide inspiring articles about technical communication and STC’s contributions to the field. I also plan to enter the Society’s newsletter competition so our hard-working, talented newsletter staff and chapter members are recognized at the International level.

I would like to say thanks to the brilliant newsletter staff that has preceded me, setting the bar high and the goals lofty.

Though most of this newsletter focuses on conferences, three articles cover more technical aspects of our profession. Sunita Shelar’s article compares documentation development processes to the assembly line manufacturing process. He advocates that the assembly line approach delivers output faster in the initial phases of document creation while producing better informed domain and process experts in the later phases. Andrea Wenger’s article answers questions in the back of our minds about hyphens, em dashes, and en dashes. She educates us so we are able to embrace punctuation marks without the fear of misusing them. And lastly, Bill Albing’s article makes us think twice before we replace all of our text with graphics: he points out the advantages and disadvantages of using graphics in the place of words. End of article.

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