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2013 Mid Atlantic Conference Program


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2013 Mid Atlantic Conference Program

  1. 1. Mid-Atlantic Technical Communication Conference & Workshops March 8, 2013 - Conference March 9, 2013 - Workshops Giant Community Center 315 York Road Willow Grove, PA Sharpening Your Personal Brand
  2. 2. Contents 2 Presentations and panels ......................................... 3 Presenter bios .......................................................... 7 Workshops ..............................................................11 Workshops schedule ...............................................12 Our sponsors ..........................................................13 Conference schedule at a glance ............................16
  3. 3. Keynote Presentation: Bulletproofing Your Career Online Ben Woelk & Hannah Morgan Willow Grove Room — 9:00-10:00 What are the 10 key steps to building and securing your online reputation? A security guru and a career sherpa provide their perspectives on how to create an online presence that enhances and promotes your career safely and effectively. Branding Panel Marilyn Woelk & Neil Perlin Willow Grove Room — 10:15-11:30 With today’s competitive job market and economic downsizing, it’s difficult to get a job and then to keep it. You need to be able to brand yourself effectively as someone who has emotional and business intelligence in addition to job skills, to be memorable to your (potential) employer, and sell that brand. This presentation will help you develop a personal brand, including how to stand out as a leader in business areas and how to avoid making critical mistakes that can portray your brand ineffectively. Practical Tips for Single-Sourcing to Mobile and EPUB Nicky Bleiel Thunderbolt Room — 10:15-11:30 Delivering content to mobile devices and eReaders is a new challenge, but one that can be managed in a single-sourcing workflow that also includes online help and manuals. Nicky will discuss issues specific to mobile and EPUB outputs, best practices for how to adjust to them, and some testing tips, including: Managing graphics and tables Adapting your table of contents Desktop vs. Mobile terminology Writing style Improving navigation Utilizing videos efficiently Managing indexes DITA and Structured Authoring Cheri Mullins Scenic Room — 10:15-11:30 DITA and structured authoring are fundamental to document engineering and content strategy. This session introduces the DITA XML standard, some of the companion technologies for DITA, including component content management systems, and structured authoring methodologies. Cheri will discuss some of the important differences between traditional and structured authoring, both conceptual and practical, as well as approaches to how to “do” DITA for new and existing technical communications. 3 Presentations & Panels - March 8 Mid-Atlantic Technical Communication Conference & Workshops
  4. 4. When Is Using Free Tools Good Enough? Nitza Hauser Alps Room — 10:15-11:30 As technical communicators, our primary mission is to produce accurate, concise, and user-friendly content. Yet we spend an inordinate amount of time on our tools and in preparations around getting the content out there. Should we reconsider our priorities? In this presentation, two case studies will be used to show how Google Sites and Google Forms can shorten the time it takes to bring content to market or speed up processes, which puts the content and ease-of-use front and center. WordPress – More Than Just Blogs Paul Mueller Willow Grove Room — 12:45-1:45 This session outlines how WordPress provides a content management system that can deliver content in more ways than as just a blog. During this session, we will explore WordPress basics and several example sites that use WordPress in different ways, including an integrated technical support and online help answer station. This session provides various lessons learned during these projects and describes ways to bring related content areas together. 7 Deadly Sins of Project Management David Zimmer Thunderbolt Room — 12:45-1:45 Project Management: A career where many are chosen, but few actually choose it. Project managers are the chosen people, asked to do the impossible, within an unreasonable timeframe, provided limited resources, given full responsibility, and endowed with no authority. In this discussion, you’ll learn the “7 Deadly Sins” of project management and how to reverse those errors and improve your project success rate. 10 Habits to Advance Your Career & Change Your Life Ann Grove & Barrie Byron Scenic Room — 12:45-1:45 As technical communicators, we learn to write and communicate well with the written word. However, the untold secrets of success have more to do with HOW we work than WHAT we know. With a combined 40 years of professional technical communication success as individual contributors, managers, and business owners, Ann and Barrie share their resilience, professional success, and advancement tips. Learn specific strategies for behavior change and professional advancement while you attend this interactive presentation with two lively and experienced presenters. 4 Presentations & Panels - March 8
  5. 5. Mid-Atlantic Technical Communication Conference & Workshops What Did You Do to Get That Tech Comm Job? Danielle Villegas Alps Room — 12:45-1:45 To get a position in today’s difficult job market is no easy task. New technical communicators can find it exceptionally difficult, even with many positions available. But with some extra effort to promote yourself and your skills, you can get ahead and establish yourself as a technical communications candidate who is above the rest. Danielle Villegas shares pointers based on her own recent experiences. Beyond the Manual – The Next Big Things Panel Ellen Buttolph & Neil Perlin Willow Grove Room — 2:00-3:15 While the basic principles of technical and web writing are the same, writers need to develop a distinctive voice as they create content for the digital world. This panel discusses the differences between traditional technical writing and web writing, and how to write effectively for the web. What Technical Communicators Can Learn from Other Professions Alan Houser Thunderbolt Room — 2:00-3:15 Technical communicators interact with members of several different professions: marketing, engineering, quality assurance, and product management. We often contribute to usability, user experience design, and web design, and also work with professionals in those fields. These professions have different cultural norms, habits, viewpoints, and priorities. This presentation compares and contrasts attitudes and habits between technical communicators and professionals in related fields, with the goal of examining our perspectives and learning from those of others. Single Source / Content Management Beyond Text – Dealing with Graphics & Multimedia Michael Hamilton Scenic Room — 2:00-3:15 For most authors, the concepts of content reuse are not new. Whether you work under the labels of “single-source publishing,” “content management,” or “topic-based authoring,” it all boils down to writing content once, maximizing reuse, and (hopefully) never resorting to content duplication to achieve your publishing goals. In this session, Michael Hamilton explores concepts and techniques to bring graphic and multimedia elements into the content management workflow. 5 Presentations & Panels - March 8
  6. 6. Your Online Persona Panel Adriane Hunt & Cheri Mullins Alps Room — 2:00-3:15 Are you looking for professional growth in your career? An edge that will set you apart and help get you noticed by management, industry peers, and prospective employers? Your personal data is on the internet and it shapes others’ perceptions of you. Your professional online persona should reflect the person that you want others to see. In this session, learn foundational career-enhancing strategies and techniques to help define and refine your personal brand in just a few minutes a day. Shape your digital presence and identity through the use of social media channels, blogging, education, volunteer opportunities, participation in industry events, networking, and helpful free tools. Closing Session Willow Grove Room — 3:30-4:30 Don’t miss our closing session where several of today’s presenters will entertain us with Lightning sessions where each speaker has 5 minutes and 20 slides to present on a topic of his or her choice. We’ll end the day with our annual drawing of door prizes. You must be present to win. 6 Presentations & Panels - March 8 Special thanks to the Giant Community Center for hosting our event!
  7. 7. Mid-Atlantic Technical Communication Conference & Workshops Nicky Bleiel (@nickybleiel) is the Lead Information Developer for Doc-To- Help. She has 18 years of experience in technical communication; writing and designing information for software products in the documentation, media, industrial automation, simulation, and pharmaceutical industries. She is the Vice President of STC. See for a complete list of her articles and presentations. Ellen Buttolph is an independent writer and consultant. After 15 years as a technical writer and manager of technical documentation, her focus is on content management and writing for the web. Ellen is an active member of the STC New York Metro chapter. Over the years, she organized the NY Metro Annual Competition, edited the chapter newsletter, served on the programs committee, and managed the marketing and social media committee. She is a member of the Center for Plain Language, which is an advocate for clear communication and plain language everywhere. Barrie Byron has more than 20 years of technical communication experience, and works for Rocket Software as an information developer. She teaches how to use social media, advocates creative information delivery methods, creates and maintains wikis, and creates and manages web pages in her STC and Toastmasters volunteer leadership roles. Barrie serves as VP Public Relations for Princeton Toastmasters and as the Toastmasters District 38 Public Relations Officer. Ann Grove has been a communications consultant offering extensive experience in instructional design, technical communication, business analysis, and technical marketing. She has presented on topics including LinkedIn for the reluctant user, consulting and contracting, security for the end user, and business communications. A Certified Information Privacy Professional/US, Ann is professionally active in the International Association of Privacy Professionals, the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania, and STC. 7 Presenter Bios
  8. 8. Michael Hamilton is the VP of Product Evangelism at MadCap Software. He previously served as the Product Manager for Macromedia’s RoboHelp product line, and was a founding member of the Training Solutions Program team where he co-authored the certified training materials supporting the RoboHelp family. In 2005, he became one of the founders of MadCap Software. Michael has more than twenty years of experience in training, technical communication, multimedia development, and software development at several organizations, including Cymer, National Steel & Shipbuilding, and the US Navy. Nitza Hauser is the Director, Technical Communication Services at Medidata Solutions. With previous experience as a freelance translater and system programmer, she has been a Technical Communicator for more than a decade. Her background in computer science enables Nitza to bring her extensive experience in the software industry, with a global perspective, to technical communication. Nitza has worked in the educational, hospitality and pharmaceutical software industries. She currently serves as president of the STC NY Metro chapter. Alan Houser is the 2012-2013 President of STC. He is an STC Fellow, a former member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, and a popular presenter at technical communication conferences. Alan holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MA in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, and has worked as a technical communication consultant and trainer for the past 12 years. Adriane Hunt is a technical communications professional with nearly 30 years of experience in all facets of technical content strategy, design, and delivery. Adriane examines industry trends and looks for innovative ways to author and deliver technical content and engage customers “beyond the book.” Adriane has worked at CA Technologies for 23 years and is currently a Senior Director in Technical Information Organization. 8 Presenter Bios
  9. 9. Mid-Atlantic Technical Communication Conference & Workshops Hannah Morgan is a job search, career, and social media strategist. She combines expertise in marketing, social media, employee engagement, and digital environments into a powerful and entertaining workshop that helps maximize productivity and customer relations. Hannah shares information about the latest career management trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog. Hannah is a speaker and author who has had numerous articles published by U.S. News & World Report. Paul Mueller owns UserAid, which designs and implements innovative communication solutions. Paul has managed information development, usability, and graphic design teams across the United States, Bolivia, and India. Paul presents at conferences on technology and management topics, and speaks to STC chapters, youth groups, and university students about technical communication. He is the 2013 Technical Communication Summit Conference Manager. Cheri Mullins is an information architect, writer, educator, content strategist, and researcher. A principal at Mullins Consulting, she currently is dedicating most of her professional time to the Content Information Architecture DITA XML initiative at Advanced Micro Devices in Austin, Texas. Other research projects currently clamoring for her attention are in the areas of international technical communication and outsourcing, cultural communication, and DITA XML. Neil Perlin is a consultant, strategist, trainer, and developer for online content with 34 years of experience. He has represented STC to the WorldWide Web Consortium for four years, is MadCap Certified for Flare and Mimic, Viziapps Certified for the Viziapps Studio mobile app development platform. He provides these services through his company, Hyper/Word Services ( Neil is an STC Fellow and the founder and manager of the Bleeding Edge stem at the STC summit. You can reach him at 9 Presenter Bios
  10. 10. 10 Danielle Villegas is a web publishing consultant for BASF North America. She started her successful technical communications blog,, during her graduate school studies. She was invited to be a Thought Leadership expert for Adobe Systems. Danielle has worked for companies such as Church & Dwight, CIBA Consumer Pharmaceuticals (now Novartis), Blackwell’s Publishing, Princeton Learning Systems, the Associated Press, Princeton University Press, and World Learning. Ben Woelk is a Policy and Awareness Analyst for the Rochester Institute of Technlogy (RIT) Information Security Office. He has authored a number of articles on information security for non-technical users and is an adjunct faculty member at RIT in “Professional and Technical Communication” and “Networking, Security and Systems Administration.” His current activities include leveraging Web 2.0 technologies for security awareness, co- chairing the Awareness and Training Working Group in the EDUCAUSE Higher Education Information Security Council, and serving as the Outreach Team Lead for the STC Community Affairs Committee. Ben is past president of STC Rochester. Marilyn Woelk is a business owner with more than 20 years of experience in screening, hiring, and managing employees and subcontractors in the technical communications field. Marilyn has extensive experience as a president and operations manager, consultant, and technical communicator. Clients she has worked with include Xerox Corporation, Eastman Kodak Company, EDS, Johnson & Johnson, Fujifilm, the U.S. Postal Service, and many others. David Zimmer is an evangelist for project management, helping others to learn proper techniques in managing their projects. Clients include AT&T, Cisco, Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Sprint, Siemens, ENDO, Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer, Hitachi USA, Janssen Pharmaceutica, LandAir Wireless, Ltd., Cutler Properties, and American Axle. He runs an online project management school and founded the American Eagle Group in 1992. Presenter Bios
  11. 11. Mid-Atlantic Technical Communication Conference & Workshops 11 Workshops - March 9 Bulletproofing Your Career Online Workshop 8:30-12:00 Maintaining a positive, secure internet brand is key to a successful career today. Managing that brand safely and effectively yields positive results. Practicing safe social networking protects yourself and others. Understand and apply tools and practices that will protect you online Understand and mitigate social networking privacy risks Determine the best social networks to further your career Create an effective social profile that showcases your brand Learn how to monitor your online social presence Conversations to Help You Connect to the Career You Want 1:30-4:15 Top off Saturday with several interactive sessions with seasoned STC members who will share their experiences in technical communication. Discussion topics will include: Interviewing Resume writing and critiques Showing your best work: Portfolios and critiques Technical communication management Growing your career through continuous learning Job hunting through social media Advancing in the technical communication field Enjoy the opportunity to meet one-to-one or in small groups for conversation that will broaden your network and move you closer to your next job.
  12. 12. Workshops Schedule - March 9 8:00-8:30 Registration 8:30-12:00 Bulletproofing Your Career Online Workshop Ben Woelk & Hannah Morgan 8:30-9:15 Review key concepts in safe social networking, including privacy expectations, technical solutions, and best practices. 9:15-10:00 Review key concepts in online reputation management. Develop branding statements and writings. 10:00-10:15 Break 10:15-11:00 Learn to create effective passphrases, use a password vault, determine and configure typical security software, and understand and choose effective social networking privacy settings. 11:00-11:45 Create or modify existing social networking profiles appropriate for your career goals, see where you rank in search engines, and review tools for monitoring page ranking such as setting up Google alerts and BrandYourself. 11:45-12:00 Wrap up 11:30-12:30 Lunch Afternoon-only registration 12:45-1:00 Introductory Remarks Lori Corbett and Donn DeBoard 1:00-1:15 Opening Remarks: Conversations to Help You Connect to the Career You Want Hannah Morgan 1:30-2:00 Roundtable 1 2:10-2:40 Roundtable 2 2:50-3:20 Roundtable 3 3:30-4:15 Closing Session: Interviewing and Hiring: Both Sides of the Story Paul Mueller 4:15 Networking 12
  13. 13. Mid-Atlantic Technical Communication Conference & Workshops Our Sponsors 13 Receive 50% off ebooks and 40% off print books using discount code DSUG Receive 20% off using discount code STC2013
  14. 14. Our Sponsors 14
  15. 15. TimeWillowGroveRoomThunderboltRoomScenicRoomAlpsRoom 8:00-8:30Registration 8:45-9:00OpeningRemarks 9:00-10:00KeynotePresentation: BulletproofingYourCareerOnline BenWoelk&HannahMorgan 10:00-10:15Break 10:15-11:30BrandingPanel MarilynWoelk&NeilPerlin PracticalTipsforSingle- SourcingtoMobileandEPUB NickyBleiel DITAandStructuredAuthoring CheriMullins WhenIsUsingFreeTools GoodEnough? NitzaHauser 11:30-12:30Lunch,CompetitionAwards Ceremony,VolunteerRecognition, &ashortpresentationonLeadership SteveAdler&NickyBleiel 12:45-1:45WordPress–MoreThanJustBlogs PaulMueller 7DeadlySinsofProject Management DavidZimmer 10HabitstoAdvanceYour Career&ChangeYourLife AnnGrove&BarrieByron WhatDidYouDotoGet ThatTechCommJob? DanielleVillegas 1:45-2:00Break 2:00-3:15BeyondtheManual– TheNextBigThings EllenButtolph&NeilPerlin WhatTechnicalCommunicators CanLearnfromOtherProfessions AlanHouser SingleSource/ContentManagement BeyondText–DealingwithGraphics &Multimedia MichaelHamilton YourOnlinePersonaPanel AdrianeHunt&CheriMullins 3:15-3:30Break 3:30-4:30ClosingSession:LightningTalksand DoorPrizes ScheduleataGlance-March8