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Updates and Predictions
2002, Q1 (June 20, 2007)
By Meredith Blackwelder, Carolina Chapter Programs Manager and Vice President

Updates and Predictions
“So what’s new?” Tony asked, as we met for lunch one brisk day last month. “Well, there’s a lot going on in our local STC chapter, and I seem to have landed in the midst of it,” I said with a grin on my face.

“But I thought you considered yourself an STC lurker,” he remarked. So I started on my long explanation: “Well, yes, I admit I’ve been an STC lurker for years. But I came out of my shell and I’m serving as Programs Manager and Vice President. Without the shell, it was kindda chilly and intimidating at first, but with the help of fellow STCers, I felt at home and comfortable quickly. Next year I will be President from June 2002 to June 2003, and that shell will be long gone. Shed like snakeskin.” And we moved on to the next topic.

So went my lunch conversation. After lunch was over, I thought that I should take some time to write this article and give those whom I haven’t had lunch with the update on how our monthly programs are going and what I foresee happening next year as I become president.

First, let me say that being Programs Manager is fun. No, really, it is! I had the opportunity to listen to what other technical communicators were interested in. I spent a lot of time investigating the types of membership meeting topics the membership body wants to have and how the format of those meetings should go. You wanted more interaction, more discussion. You wanted more topics on software applications and graphics. So, we’re implementing these suggestions, and so far, the membership has responded positively. January and February’s meetings on software tools and graphic design produced wonderful turnouts, and I hope to keep that up with more program topics that were asked for: translations, usability, and balancing life, work, and STC.

By having one — or two or three or even sometimes five — of our members share their experiences through our monthly meetings, these meetings have contributed our the 2001-2002 theme of “Take it all in, give it all back.”

As president in 2002-2003, I want this theme to become second nature in our chapter, with members not thinking twice about “taking it all in” by attending our local events and “giving it all back” by presenting at meetings, volunteering for committees, and sharing professional experiences.

I’m excited to be able to offer everything I can next year to help "design the future of technical communication."
On a similar note, I’m excited to be able to offer everything I can next year to help “design the future of technical communication.” And I want to ask you to do the same. Designing the future of technical communication — in case you hadn’t read it on the national home page lately — is part of the STC mission statement.

It’s not technology that will design the future of our field, but the people in it. STC members are the ones who design the future of technical communication. STC gives us a platform on which we can design our future by learning from each other, sharing our knowledge, supporting ongoing learning, and providing professional networking. In our local chapter, I see members designing for the future by:
  • Presenting at and attending sessions of the STC Carolina Triangle Conference on Documentation (TRIDOC 2002) April 26-27, 2002
  • Networking and introducing one colleague to another at STC events
  • Learning from each other on projects such as the competition judging
  • Sharing ideas at monthly meetings in discussion groups and Q & A sessions
  • Participating in SIGs, where those sitting beside you share similar on-the-job situations and may have suggestions for problems you’re encountering

I’m psyched to wrap up this year with exciting monthly programs and start next year on a quest to help design the future of technical communication. As someone newly out of her shell, I’m open to all sorts of suggestions and advice, so if you have any to share, please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me. We could even do lunch. End of article.

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