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STC PMC Newsletter 2003-12


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STC PMC Newsletter December 2003/January 2004

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STC PMC Newsletter 2003-12

  1. 1. December 2003/January 2004 Vol. 38, No. 3 Report on the STC-PMC Membership Survey of August 2003 by Larry Angert his past August we sur- veyed our membership in an effort to determine what you like and dislike about our monthly meet- ings. Our aim is to improve both the quality of and attendance at meetings. Thirty-three members responded to the survey (representing a slightly less than ten percent response rate). The responses were tabulated and analyzed. Your responses to some questions disclosed definite preferences on which we can act. Responses to other questions were quite evenly mixed, so that no decisions can be made based on those responses. To reduce postage costs, the survey instru- ment was a single-sheet, folded mailer. A number of respondents failed to answer any questions on the reverse of the form, and these omissions undoubtedly affected the results of the poll. Some of the most statistically signifi- cant results are listed later in this article. Far more difficult to evaluate, however, were the many free-form comments and responses. Several, voicing common con- cerns and opinions, are included here. All were submitted anonymously. “I would welcome a chance to talk with more people at each meeting...I think that too much time is devoted to eating, and not enough to programs and networking.” “Does Philadelphia Metro still include S. Jersey?” “I am finding a lot of the topics are repeat information...the topics just are not very interesting. They are not cutting edge.” “[As a person with young children at home] I am unable to attend meetings too far from home. The dinner out is time away from my family; I prefer meetings only.” “The quality of the presentations was inconsistent due to the variability of speak- ers’ skills.” “Location is the biggest [reason] why I don’t attend meetings. I’m not driving 40 miles...” “I would like the chapter to consider moving to bi-monthly or quarterly meetings.” “We should adjust the programs to reflect current situations impacting the employment picture...I am more interested in cross-skill marketing to continue being employed than hearing (again!) about XML.” And Now for the Statistics Top three criteria for deciding whether or not to attend a given meeting: Topic (30) 91% Location (26) 79% Distance (15) 45% Note that it is not known whether dis- tance and location are perceived as the same thing. These were free-form responses. If we combine the location and distance responses, they (41) are by far the most frequent criterion mentioned by those responding to the question. In This Issue Features 1 Report on the STC-PMC Membership Survey of August 2003 2 Ready, Set, … 6 STC Telephone Seminars 8 Crossword Puzzle Columns 3 President’s Podium 4 Book Review 7 Membership Update Cost 24 out of 31 (77%) who responded to this question answered “No”. Of those specifying how much they are willing to pay for a full meal: $15-19: 18 $20-25: 22 $30: 07 Of those specifying how much they are willing to pay for coffee/cake/ dessert: $5: 16 $10: 23 $15: 08 (Continued on page 7)
  2. 2. NEWS & VIEWS 2 December 2003/January 2004 STC-PMC Annual Conference Ready, Set, … by Sheila Marshall ur chapter’s yearly con- ference is scheduled for Saturday, March 20, 2004 at Penn State’s Great Valley campus. Seems like a long time away, doesn’t it? Naaaah…it’s right around the corner! In preparation for the big event, I wanted to share with everyone some of the great features we have planned for the confer- ence, and focus on some of the benefits. One of the highlights of any confer- ence is the keynote speaker. The speaker for this year’s conference has actually changed since we first published it in the newsletter. “But why?” you may be secretly wondering. Well, we took a look at our tight economy, low job base, and the very real issues facing the technical writer today, and decided that we had to broaden the focus of our keynote speaker to talk about the future of our profession. In essence, we listened to you, our members, and changed our plans to accommodate your needs. In order to do that, we needed to engage a different speaker. A Dynamic Speaker We found what we were looking for in Ann Rockley. Ann is the founder and president of The Rockley Group, a Tor- onto firm specializing in information design, single sourcing, and content man- agement. She has 20 years of experience developing all kinds of online documenta- tion and has presented papers and workshops around the world. It was Ann’s initiative to revive the dormant Toronto STC chapter in the early 1980s, a chapter for which she eventually served as President. Ann Rockley is one of Canada’s—indeed North America’s—foremost experts in organizing and presenting information. In recognition of her contributions to the profession, Ann was named an Associate Fellow of the STC. In addition, Ann holds an MS in Infor- mation Science. She has taught information design for multiple media and teaches enterprise content manage- ment at the University of Toronto. Ann is also the lead author of a recent book: Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy. Thought-Provoking Sessions The Annual Conference features three sessions focusing on two different tracks: Professional Development and Tools. For each session, you can choose between sev- eral topics of interest. What kind of ses- sions, you ask? Why don’t you tell us? What topics interest you? What do you want to see at the conference? Now is the time to contribute! Tell us what you’d like to see presented or submit a proposal to present yourself. You’ll find a call for proposals in this mailing: fill it out and send it in! Or email with your ideas, contributions or request for proposal. Last year’s topics ranged from learning how to create PDF forms to exploring how to choose a new career path. This year’s topics will be just as, if not more, interesting. Join us as we talk about the topics that are near and dear to a tech- nical communicator’s heart. Networking Did you know that most jobs are not filled by answering ads in the newspaper or online, but by networking with friends and colleagues? What better time than our Annual Conference to network with others in your field, chat with friends about job opportunities, and expand your Newsletter Staff Managing Editor Lori Corbett Layout Editor Rose Marie Sosnowy (610) 792-4031 Associate Editors Al Brown (856) 222-7427 Seán Fitzpatrick Rebecca Richardson Mary Shaw Contributing to this Issue Jill Cassidy (215) 590-9815 Giacomo DeAnnuntis Zsolt Olah Gloria Reisman (610) 660-5118 Lois Shank Mike Sharp (610) 854-2141 Submissions and Reprints ISSN 1078-9952. News & Views, published six times per year, is the official publication of the Philadelphia Metro Chapter of STC. We encourage letters, articles, and other items for publication. Note: By submitting an article, you implicitly grant a license to this newsletter to run the article and for other STC publications to reprint it without permission. Unless otherwise noted, copyrights for all newsletter articles belong to the authors. The design and layout of this newsletter are copyright STC, 2003. Address submissions or comments to Lori Corbett, Managing Editor, News & Views, 834 Westridge Drive, Phoenixville, PA, 19460, phone (610) 382-8683; email You may reprint original material appearing in News & Views, as long as you acknowledge the source and author and send us a copy of the publication containing the reprint. Toolbox We produce News & Views with Frame- Maker 6.0 on various Pentium computers and Acrobat 6.0. News & Views (Continued on page 9) “Right now, we need your input for session topics.”
  3. 3. December 2003/January 2004 3 NEWS & VIEWS Chapter Officers President Nad Rosenberg (856) 848-6593 Vice President Sheila Marshall (610) 933-9573 Treasurer Steve Lungren (267) 620-2421 Secretary Jill Cassidy (215) 590-9815 Immediate Past President Jeff Stein (856) 728-1254 Region 1 Director/Sponsor Jon Baker (978) 443-3049 Chapter Committee Managers Employment Giacomo DeAnnuntis (215) 482-1255 Programs Gloria Reisman (610) 660-5118 Julia Margulies (610) 397-2448 Membership Mike Sharp (856) 854-2141 News & Views Lori Corbett Nominating Mike Sharp (856) 854-2141 Web site Lois Shank Online Competition Donn DeBoard (484) 595-6216 Marc Green (610) 358-0631 Brian Winter (610) 640-4200 Address correspondence for the Philadelphia Metro chapter of STC to STC-PMC, P.O. Box 60069, Philadelphia, PA 19102-0069. Mission Statement: Designing the Future of Technical Communication. The Society for Technical Communication (STC) is an organization dedicated to advancing technical communication. Membership is open to those employed in, interested in, or concerned with the profession of technical writing, publishing, or associated disciplines. Contact STC at 901 N. Stuart St., Suite 904, Arlington, VA 22203, (703) 522-4114 or STC-PMC Leadership Society for Technical Communication President’s Podium Offshoring and What It Means for Us by Nad Rosenberg ffshoring – if you haven’t heard this word before, you’re going to start hearing it a lot shortly. That’s because it means outsourcing jobs to foreign shores. The main beneficiaries of this trend, particularly in the IT area, are countries with the appealing combi- nation of an educated, English-speaking workforce and labor costs much lower than ours. First, some facts: ❏ A recent study by Deloitte Research surveyed 27 global financial institutions, including 11 of the top 20 (based on market capi- talization), and found that 33 per- cent of the respondents have sent IT work offshore and 75 percent said they intend to do so within the next 24 months. ❏ Giga Information Group, a market research firm, predicts that IT outsourc- ing to India likely to grow by 25 percent in 2003. ❏ And for an interesting twist on this whole phenomenon—companies are recruiting in Silicon Valley for jobs in India. This recently happened at a job fair in Santa Clara. The big question is how this trend will affect technical communicators. The likely answer is—it will affect us a lot. Here’s a real life anecdote from one of our own STC-PMC members that mani- fests offshore scope-creep. A technical communicator at a local firm was recently informed that the Indian pro- gramming team working with his company was asked to get involved in designing online Help. This came as quite a surprise to our colleague because he has been the company’s main resource for the design, development, and deployment of the firm’s Help systems. So now that we know this is hap- pening, what can we do about it? I sent out a query on this subject to the STC presidents’ email list and have received a lot of thought-provoking responses. I’ve summarized the ones I think are significant and have added my own two cents when appropriate. One response to this problem is, of course, legislative. By this I mean, the tra- ditional American recourse of contacting your legislator or those running for office to see where they stand. As was recently reported in a Mecury News article (see link at the end of this article), “With union support, leg- islation has been pro- posed in eight states to limit offshoring. None of the bills has yet become law.” This approach presumes that the current wave of globalization, which includes off- shoring, can be stopped or slowed down. Realistically, because of the popularity of this trend, I am not sure this is possible. Another approach is to align ourselves more closely than ever with our com- pany’s knowledge base and business goals — so that we are perceived as committed partners in the business endeavor rather than interchangeable cogs in the IT wheel. This may work at some compa- nies, but other, more short-sighted firms, may be dazzled by the immediate pros- pect of lower labor costs. Interestingly, even though the direct labor costs involved in offshoring are considerably lower, CIO magazine has reported that there are other large hidden costs involved in setting up an offshore enter- prise (see link at the end of this article). One more solution would be to do what technical communicators have (Continued on page 9) “The big question is how this trend will affect tecnical communicators. The likely answer is—it will affect us a lot.”
  4. 4. NEWS & VIEWS 4 December 2003/January 2004 Book Review Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed by Josephine Giaimo hat does your home- page say about your web site and your organization? In Homepage Usability, experts Jakob Nielsen and Marie Tahir “deconstruct” 50 Web sites in detail, pointing out what works and what doesn’t. This book examines fifty top sites and the first impressions they make, pointing out opportunities for get- ting and keeping users’ attention each step of the way. This glossy, coffee-table sized book is not a dry presentation of do’s and don’ts. Instead, it offers readers a strong visual approach that features numerous full-size color pictures of homepages captured from the Web. The book’s distinctive and refreshingly contemporary graphic design makes an exceptional presentation that stands on its own. Nielsen and Tahir employ every oppor- tunity to communicate critical information in novel ways, perhaps even suggesting glimpses of future trends in book design. For instance, the inside cover, typically offering a general sum- mary, is re-appropriated, effectively describing “How This Book Works.” We may speculate that this and other approaches reflect the impact that the Web may be making on the design of books and other media. Homepage Usability’s first chapter introduces and discusses Nielsen’s 113 guidelines and forms the basis for his homepage evaluation. The guidelines, which Nielsen warns us not to treat as axioms, are a robust list of recommenda- tions that most homepages should follow, reflecting Nielsen’s common-sense approach. Grouped into 27 subject areas, the authors’ 113 guidelines are based on years of extensive research with thou- sands of users. The extremely useful second chapter discusses homepage design statistics for download time, page layout, fundamental page design ele- ments, navigation, frequent features, graphics and multimedia, advertising, typography, and recommended homepage design values. Subsequent sections present and discuss 50 homepages, one at a time, in detail. The book’s appendix includes “quite powerful and visually stunning” comparisons of different aspects of the homepages, including window titles, taglines, breakdowns of screen real estate, logos, search features, and more. Each homepage evaluation discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the orga- nization’s homepage in the context of the organization and its goals. Also provided is a color-coded breakdown of screen real estate and a pie chart that shows the pro- portion of real estate dedicated to specific purposes. Zapf Dingbat callouts identify selected aspects of each homepage, which are discussed in turn. Each discussion is specific and brief, with alternatives to current implementations included where appropriate. Taken together, these evalua- tions provide the reader with a concrete way to learn about what works for users, and provides a basis for generalizing to other homepages. Nielsen’s 50 homepage evaluations are listed alphabetically, and include such popular sites as Amazon, CNET, eBay, ESPN, FedEx, General Motors, IBM, Microsoft, MotherNature, MTV, Philip Morris, Red Herring, Ticket- master, Wal-Mart, and Yahoo. To use this book, Nielsen suggests that you “flip through the pages; mark exam- ples that apply to your work; show the book to your colleagues; immerse your- self in the details.” Nielsen also invites us to take further action, for instance, to apply all 113 guidelines to a site and also to determine a compliance rate. He offers recommendations for interpreting com- pliance rates, suggesting, for example, that a site scoring under 50% should be redesigned from scratch. January 15 e-Learning, Drexel University Come learn about e-learning from the experts! Our January 15th meeting will be held at Drexel University and will feature a panel of Drexel faculty and staff members who will discuss a variety of topics including e-learning tools, trends, research, etc. As an extra bonus, free snacks will be provided. So please join us starting at 6:00 PM. Location: Drexel U., Phila, PA (36th and Market Street). Parking is available. Note: There is no charge for the January meeting. Registration is required. Please check the web site for last minute updates. February 19 Back to School: Local Area Technical Writing Programs at Philadelphia University “Back to School Night,” presented by representatives from local Technical Writing programs. In this lagging economy, it's crucial to hone your job skills and credentials to give you that edge when competing for limited jobs. Come discover the educational opportunities available right here in the Delaware Valley. Representatives from four schools will be on hand to discuss their masters and certificate programs. Included are instructional design, pharmaceutical and scientific writing and editing, instructional technology, and more. Don't miss this one-time opportunity to learn about the wealth of programs in our area. Location: Philadelphia University, Phila., PA (10 min. from 76E City Ave. exit) directions/maplarge.html STC-PMC Calendar (Continued on page 5)
  5. 5. December 2003/January 2004 5 NEWS & VIEWS January 26–29. The 50th Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS) will be held at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott. For more information, please visit February 7–11. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) will hold the ASTD TechKnowledge 2004 Conference and Exposition at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel in Anaheim, CA. For more information, contact ASTD at (703) 683-8100 or visit their web site February 12–16, 2004. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual convention at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center and the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers in Seattle, WA. For more information, contact AAAS Meetings Department at (202) 326- 6450 or, or go to February 27–28. The Atlanta Chapter STC will hold its annual regional conference, Currents, at Mercer University in Atlanta, GA. Topic steps include learning new skills and tools, contracting, satisfying users, education/professional development, and management. For more information, contact Cheri Crider at or visit the Atlanta chapter’s web site at February 27–29. The American Society for Information Science (ASIS) will hold its Information Architecture Summit 2004—Breaking New Ground, at the Hilton Austin Hotel, in Austin, TX. For more information, contact ASIS at (301) 495-0900 or visit their web site at STC and Related Events Around the World I recently applied Nielsen’s guidelines to a site I was asked to review, and found the resulting compliance rate consistent with the general reports already received regarding the site’s usability. After deter- mining which of the 113 guidelines were followed, and which were not, Web designers and developers can use the information as the basis for subsequent redesign efforts. Nielsen’s guidelines may offer other uses: as a starting point for determining the scope of a Web design or redesign project; for prioritizing addi- tional features for an existing site; and perhaps as the basis for evaluating the overall quality of several different com- peting Web designs or redesigns presented to your organization for review. If you take this book’s advice, says Nielsen, “you can increase the business impact of your homepage by a very sub- stantial amount.” Homepage Usability reflects the extensive and successful efforts of Nielsen and Tahir to provide us with an extremely usable guide to designing homepages and web sites. I highly recommend this book as an essen- tial guide to anyone responsible for developing, designing, or evaluating web sites. Nielsen, Jakob, and Tahir, Marie, Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Decon- structed. Indianapolis, Indiana: New Riders Publishing Company, 2002. ISBN 0-7357-1102-X (paper), 322 pages, $39.99. Josephine Giaimo has provided usability consulting to AT&T, NJIT, and IITRI. She is the President of New Cognitive Systems, Inc., a productivity consulting firm. ■ (Continued from page 4) STC-PMC Meetings January Meeting Come learn about e- learning from the experts! Our January 15th meeting will be held at Drexel University and will feature a panel of Drexel faculty and staff members who will discuss a variety of topics including e- learning tools, trends, research, etc. As an extra bonus, free snacks will be provided. So please join us starting at 6:00 PM. There is no charge for the January meeting. Registration is required. Please check the web site for last minute updates. A Seminar on E-Learning: Tools and Trends Thursday, January 15th, 6–8 p.m. Drexel University, University City– Main Campus, Stratton Hall - Room 113 Stratton Hall is located on the SE corner of 32nd and Chestnut Sts. Parking at meters on the street and also two pay parking lots at 31st and Market Sts. (about two blocks away). ■ Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed Check our web site at for the latest information on upcoming meetings.
  6. 6. NEWS & VIEWS 6 December 2003/January 2004 STC Telephone Seminars What Is a Telephone Seminar? A telephone seminar is similar to a conference call in which the speaker makes a presen- tation over the phone. As a participant, you simply dial the 800 number from your phone, enter your personal identification number, and you're connected! You then sit back and listen to the presentations and join in the lively Q&A discussion that follows. Upcoming Telephone Seminars January 14, 2004, 1–2:30 p.m. Web and telephone-based seminar Effective Web Sites: Structure, Navigation, and Graphics Presented by Jean-luc Doumont January 28, 2004,1–2:30 p.m. Demonstrating the Value of Technical Communication Products and Services Presented by Saul Carliner February 11, 2004, 1–2:30 p.m. Don't Make Me Do That! Making Learning Fun and Engaging Presented by Lance Gelein February 26, 2004, 1–2:30 p.m. Designing Web Applications Presented by Whitney Quesenbery March 10, 2004, 1–2:30 p.m. Keywords for Indexing and Searching Presented by Seth Maislin March 24, 2004, 1–2:30 p.m. Winning New Business: Preparing and Submitting Proposals 101B Presented by Judith Herr For the latest information and to register for a seminar, please visit the STC web site at ■ The annual STC election will be held in early 2004, and only members who have paid their dues by February 28, 2004, will be eligible to vote. An option on the dues renewal forms and new membership applications for 2004 allows members to receive their election materials via e-mail. In March, members who selected this option will be e-mailed the slate, candidate biographies, and voting instructions. Members who did not select this option will receive these materials by first-class mail. The election closes April 15. Be sure to renew by February 28 to have a say in STC's future! Procedures for STC's 2004 Election
  7. 7. December 2003/January 2004 7 NEWS & VIEWS Location Of those specifying whether they’re willing to meet at varying locations each month: Yes: 18 (82%) No: 04 Of the suggested locations, the distribution of the most frequently mentioned was: Others (total of 9), included: Horsham, Bucks County, Airport, Exton, Media, Ft. Washington, Delaware County, and “anywhere along the route 202 corridor.” Do you prefer the same location each month? Yes: 04 (14%) No: 24 (86%) Would community/meeting rooms in shopping malls be acceptable? 33 (100% of respondents) said Yes. Locations where only on-street parking is available? Yes: 22 (67%) No: 11 (33%) Locations in Camden, such as the Rutgers University campus? Yes: 07 (23%) No: 24 (77%) Scheduling of Meetings Is the current (third Thursday) schedule suitable for you? Yes: 25 (81%) No: 06 (19%) Would you prefer that meeting nights vary throughout the year? Yes: 11 (42%) No: 15 (58%) Reasons for Attending Meetings Did presentations during the past year meet your expectations? Yes: 22 (81%) No: 05 Did you choose NOT to attend many meetings because the topic did not interest you? Yes: 24 (89%) No: 03 Would structured networking make meetings worth attending? Yes: 16 (59%) No: 11 (41%) Inducements Would you consider bringing a guest if there was a price reduction for both? Yes: 30 (73%) No: 11 (27%) Would you attend meetings where no food or beverages served, if there was no ticket charge? Yes: 28 (90%) No: 03 (10%) If you did not avail yourself of the opportunity to participate in this survey, be sure to raise any concerns at the next meeting. We hope to see you often! ■ South Jersey Suburbs 9 Delaware 7 King of Prussia 5 PA Western Suburbs — 5 Bala Cynwyd — 3 Others 9 Plymouth Meeting 13 Center City Philadelphia 11 Programs: 32 (39%) Networking: 29 (35%) Food; conversation: 11 (13%) Night out: 07 (09%) Other: 03 (education-2; friends-1) We extend a warm welcome to new chapter members who are either joining STC for the first time or have transferred from another chapter in the months of September and October: ❏ Loretta A. Augustin ❏ Rebecca A. Britt ❏ Scott Jewett ❏ Renee M. Nelson ❏ Kristin G. Peterson ❏ Julie Poindexter-Anderson ❏ Sarah Steggell ❏ Nathan Relles ❏ Derek A. Scott ❏ Mary-Elizabeth Smith As of the end of October, our chapter membership is 388. Membership Update (Continued from page 1) Report on the STC-PMC Membership Survey of August 2003
  8. 8. NEWS & VIEWS 8 December 2003/January 2004 Crossword Puzzle by Zsolt Olah ACROSS 1 Resolution (A spooky ghost movie by Spielberg) 11 The 8th dwarf that hung himself when he learned what his name means in British slang 12 Shortly illuminate 13 One of our serious states 15 told you “_” 17 Government out of order 19 To produce some mouth-activated pompous manner 22 Depression in a lonely bone cell 25 NIN 26 To reduce itensity (backwards) 27 Trinitrotoluene, and it’s not even a character from the Matrix 28 Volcanos become violent 30 Your chance to win something with this crossword 31 DOSPA 33 Ends of the year 34 Semi-transparent water dweller 38 Sweet, sticky liquid variant 39 Nairobi is its capital 41 Human construction worker DOWN 1 Bad boys go here 2 Object-oriented 3 LPE 4 Temptation’s doing 5 Lense holder organ 6 Spasmodic laugh about naughty stuff 7 Speech in an elevator 8 ILN 9 One of the evil succubi 10 TMY 14 Half road 16 Deciding word 18 Prosecutor or yes in Russian 20 Not your typical hero 21 Sum of the internal energy of the sys- tem plus the product of its volume multiplied by the pressure exerted on it by its surroundings 23 Baggage claim playground 24 British diaper 29 Mayonnaise-based violent sauce that killed the fish & chips 30 Intensifying word 32 Conditional word 34 Boom of a derrick 35 LUD 36 IKI 37 Hand with vowels on strike 40 YE 1 P 2 O 3 L 4 T 5 E R 6 G 7 E 8 I 9 S 10 T 11 R O P E Y 12 I L L U M E I 13 E M E 14 R G E N C Y 15 S 16 O P 17 O G V C 18 D 19 O R 20 A T 21 E 22 L A 23 C U 24 N A N 25 N I N 26 E T A B A 27 T N T 28 E R U P 29 T 30 S L I G H T 31 D O S P A O H A 32 I U 33 Y R 34 J E 35 L L Y F 36 I S 37 H T 38 S I R U P 39 K E N 40 Y A 41 B O D Y B U I L D E R STC MEETING EVENT RECEIPTS FOR ALL EVENTS ARE SELF-SERVE FROM THE CHAPTER’S WEB SITE: Guidelines: Not your typical crossword. The definitions may be vague, associative, even funny. A single word CAPITALIZED (e.g., across 31) is your guide. Use it ‘as is’. ‘Backward’ (e.g., across 26) reverses letter order. Puzzle solution on p. 9
  9. 9. December 2003/January 2004 9 NEWS & VIEWS STC Annual Conference May 9–12, 2004 Baltimore Convention Center A grand opening reception on Sunday night opens the conference on a festive note. Three days of sessions cover everything from the nuts and bolts of management, writing, and editing, to the latest trends in tools, usability, and information design. A fourth day (May 13) presents half- day or full-day post-conference workshops and tutorials covering the same range of topics in greater detail, at an additional charge. See the STC web site ( for details. Puzzle Solution Navigating the Future of Technical Communication 1 P 2 O 3 L 4 T 5 E R 6 G 7 E 8 I 9 S 10 T 10 R O P E Y 11 O 12 I L L U M E I L 13 E M E 14 R G E N C Y E 15 S 16 O P E 17 O G V 20 D C 21 I 18 D 19 O R 20 A T 21 E 22 L A 23 C U 24 N A N 24 M 25 N I N 25 I 26 E T A B A O 27 E E 27 T N T 28 R E 28 E R U P 29 T 30 S L I G H T 31 D O S P 34 A O E H 36 K A 32 I E U 33 Y R 39 E 34 J E 35 L L Y F I S H 42 I T 38 S I R U P R O 39 K E N 40 Y A 46 M 41 B O D Y B U I L D E R horizons? STC-PMC consists of almost 400 members—what an awesome oppor- tunity to meet and greet professionals who may know of a job opening, either now or in the future! Networking with colleagues also keeps you on top of the hot issues in the field. Want to know more about ISO 9000? Talk to someone who has already implemented it. Considering XML as a single sourcing solution? Find out more from someone who uses an XML-based content manage- ment system everyday. Come on out and enjoy the day. Meet new people, chat with old friends, scope out the job market. STC-PMC’s Annual Conference has it all. Continuing Education The Annual Conference also provides you with the opportunity to talk with local colleges and universities who have tech- nical communication or related courses. If you have been considering taking a few classes or returning for that master’s degree, the conference is the place to find out more! Awesome Raffle Prizes Last year we gave away free T-shirts, software packages and more. This year, we’ve got even more goodies for you! More to come… As we work toward finalizing the plans for the conference, we’ll update the web site and the newsletter. Right now, we need your input for session topics. If you wish to help in any way, please contact I look forward to seeing you at the conference in March! ■ always done—accumulate new skill sets so that, if needed, we can morph into instruc- tional designers, web masters, quality assurance specialists and even managers of offshore (as well as domestic) projects. A multiplicity of skills will inevitably make us more valuable to our current employers, and will provide extra insur- ance for the whatever lies ahead. The approach you take to this growing issue depends upon your outlook and your personal circumstances. Certainly there are other approaches that I have not addressed in this article—and I would be very interested in hearing from you in this regard. Just drop me an email at presi- I’ll share any insights I receive with all of you in the next newsletter. For some interesting reading on this subject, take a look at the following: mercurynews/business/7225976.htm money.htm ■ (Continued from page 3) (Continued from page 2) Offshoring and What It Means for Us Ready, Set, …
  10. 10. Newsletter Address News & Views Lori Corbett 834 Westridge Dr. Phoenixville, PA 19460 First Class Mail NEWS & VIEWS 10 December 2003/January 2004 Upcoming Meetings The information in the following table was correct at the time News & Views was published. Be sure to check the web site ( for details and to check for late-breaking updates to the schedule. For all Thursday meetings, reservations are due by the Monday before the meeting. Note that the Conference in March will require special registration. Date Meeting Topic Location December, 2003 No Meeting This Month—Happy Holidays to All January 15, 2004 e-Learning Drexel Univerity, Philadelphia, PA February 19, 2004 Back to School: Local Area Technical Writing Programs Philadelphia University March 20, 2004 Second Annual Philadelphia Metro Conference Penn State University, Great Valley, PA April 15, 2004 Contracting Panel TBD May 9—12, 2004 STC Annual Conference Special Registration Required Baltimore, MD May 20, 2004 Content Management presented by Cheryl Lockett Zubak Doubletree, Plymouth Meeting PA June 1, 2004 Authorit Workshop presented by Cheryl Lockett Zubak TBD October 9, 2004 Philadelphia Mural Tour Philadelphia, PA A Look Inside... ❏ Larry Angert gives the results of the membership survey taken in August 2003. (p. 1) ❏ Sheila Marshall talks about the upcoming STC-PMC Annual Conference. (p. 2) ❏ President Nad Rosenberg talks about what offshoring means to STC-PMC members. (p. 3) ❏ Read a review of Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed by Josephine Giaimo. (p. 4) ❏ Check out the list of STC telephone seminars offered next year. (p. 6) ❏ Check your crossword puzzle skills in our newest feature by Zsolt Olah (p. 8) Deadline for next issue: January 15