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The Prez Sez...
1996, Sep-Oct (July 10, 2007)
by Bill Albing

As always, the debates go on about what makes a technical communicator. Discussions abound about knowledge management and its role in an organization. Still, we are a disorganized group, lacking certification and offering disparate talents. We publish a manual here, an online help there, but no standards exist across the profession. Such is the life of the technical communicator.

To organize all this would smack too much of power, mean responsibility, and thus real work. But our talents are creative, and like our literary cousin the writer, we cling to irresponsibility, complaining about our lowly role and surviving until the next contract, the next technology.

Like the Republicans rally in San Diego, I think about our own ability to find consensus on professional issues. While we probably won't agree anytime soon on certification or standards, we can agree that we all need to be more Internet-literate and have more of a Web presence as an association. With that in mind, I propose a goal for the end of my term as president: to give every member the chance to create a resume in HTML and a place to publish it.

Beyond our Summer Conference, our Publications Competition, and our monthly meetings, I propose a virtual enterprise — a gathering of information in electronic form that can be available all over the world. We have several members already involved in creating Web pages, online job listings, and program announcements. Perhaps our membership listing will contain email addresses for all of us one day.

We have a lot going on this year. Besides a full slate of monthly programs, there is the Annual Kick-Off Picnic in September and the Pubs Competition starting in October. Remember that, like last year, we are also having an Online Pubs Competition.

As a Chapter we are healthy and growing. We topped 350 members earlier this year and know that it will top 400 before long.

Our Summer Conference in July was a success with over 100 people attending and plenty of discussion about various aspects of our profession. I was impressed by the amount of interchange and am thankful to all those who participated. Already it is fading into memory, like the Olympics last month, as we plan next year's conference and begin to promote the events coming up this fall. We are in a profession where such interchange of ideas is essential. I encourage all of you to attend the SIGDOC conference in October or our own STC Region 2 conference slated for the weekend before the SIGDOC conference here in RTP. The Governor of North Carolina has proclaimed October 13-19 as Technical Communication week, so if you want your boss to take you to lunch, that's the week to ask for it.

As always, if you have some ideas or suggestions about what the chapter could be doing or doing better, contact me. This chapter is organized to serve you (and all of us) and to further the profession. As we grow in size, it gets harder to keep in touch with all of you, but with e-mail, I am always available! Let me know what you think about our chapter kgbill at aol dot com. End of article.

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