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Tri-Doc 2005: Value from STC Carolina
2004, Q4 (June 25, 2007)
by Terry Smith

The theme of Tri-Doc 2005, “Shaping the Future of Technical Communication,” focuses on initiating positive change in our field and in our own careers. It will be held April 8–9, 2005 at the North Raleigh Hilton.

The first Tri-Doc was held in 2002. Michael Harvey, who was chapter president at the time, spoke in his president’s message about the economic downturn and questioned whether it might last all year. Now, three years later, the economic downturn has become a cataclysm—a time of upheaval and fundamental change. It is not unusual for accomplished professionals to spend long periods of time looking for jobs. Many of us work with teams that span the globe. The tools and skills needed to meet the demands of this work environment are changing. Now as then, more documentation is online, but now we need to structure the information, add metadata, and provide graphics and multimedia for users accustomed to television and rich web sites. Most of all, we have to strengthen our network of professional associates and friends.

In response to these changing demands, STC Carolina approached experts on a variety of current topics about presenting at a local conference in 2005. The response to the Call for Presenters was outstanding and after a brutal vetting of proposals, our program is jam-packed. Whether you are interested in the fundamentals of essential tools, advanced skills like XSL that will set you apart from the crowd, or more important than even soft skills, the Tri-Doc 2005 has 40 slots spread over half a dozen tracks filled with meaningful presentations and demonstrations.

Here are some of the topics and presenters grouped into tracks. Final tracks may be somewhat different. See the web site for abstracts, biographies, tracks, periods of time looking for jobs.

Writing and Editing
Visual Rhetoric: Some Basic Principles of Document Design, Typography, and Layout David Covington
An Approach to Quality Technical Information: Outlining Nine Quality Characteristics Michelle Corbin and Fran DeRespinis
Editing Indexes for Quality and Usability Richard Evans
It’s Never to Late to Make a First Impression: A Usability Case Study Meredith Blackwelder
Global English Skills: Why and How Sue Kocher
Developing Technical Curiosity Michael Harvey

Online and E-Learning
Storyboarding: The Missing Link in Online Development Frances Wirth
Interactive Documentation: Including E-learning Modules in Online Help Systems Yvonne C. Earnshaw and Jennifer Raisig
Learner-Centered Online Information Design and Development Brad Mehlenbacher
Search Engine Optimization Basics Paul Kaufman
Improving Your Web Site’s Appeal Kevin Campbell
CSS: Separating Design and Content Kevin Campbell

Structured Authoring—A Case Study: Implementation Overview Sarah O’Keefe
You Can’t Afford NOT to Plan Alexia P. Idoura
Making the Case: Getting the Resources You Need Alexia P. Idoura
The Art of Friendly Persuasion S uzanna Laurent
Teamwork and Collaboration: the Role of the Technical Communicator Michael Harvey

XML: Exciting, Momentous, or Lackluster? Sarah O’Keefe and Neil Perlin
Structured Authoring Case Study: Technology Overview Sarah O’Keefe
HATs and XML Neil Perlin
XML and XHTML Concepts Neil Perlin
Introduction to XSL Sarah O’Keefe
Setting up a team authoring environment using DITA XML and Ant Royce Espey and Guanjun Cai
Making Open Source Usable Betsy Eble and Craig Lightfoot

Tools and Technologies
Online Review with Acrobat 7 and the Free Adobe Reader: Finally, an Online Solution You Can Afford to Implement Terry Smith
Understanding Data-Driven Web Pages Dan L. Barker
Creating Great Screenshots Terry Smith
Tips & Techniques for Editing Product Photos in Adobe Photoshop Jules Cohen
Global English Skills: Why and How Sue Kocher
Creating Web Sites with Dreamweaver Ann-Marie Grissino
Introduction to Flash Brenda Currin
FrameMaker Versus Word Terry Smith
Advanced Microsoft Word Techniques Lorraine Stephens
Using Camtasia to Create “Cheap And Easy” Professional Flash Demos, Usability Testing...and More Lainie Hoverstad

Career Development
Technical Communicators in Nontraditional Roles Larry Kunz
The Road Not Often Taken: Alternate Career Paths for Senior Technical Communicators George Hayhoe
From Technical Writer to UI Designer Carla Merrill

Take advantage of early registration!

To make attending the conference possible for as many of our members as possible, we set the prices at half the average price of two-day regional STC conferences held in the past year. The early registration price for STC members is only $125, which includes two days of presentations; breakfast, lunch, and snacks both days; and vendor exhibitions. The price rises quickly after the early registration deadline of February 15, although even the at-the-door price is no more than the early registration cost of other STC regional conferences. Register online at http://www.stccarolina.org/conference/TriDoc2005/Registration.shtml. End of article.

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