Clear and to the Point

9 November, 2010

Technical Publications and Online Documentation contests

If you’d like to have your technical documentation evaluated, with suggestions for improvement, enter Canada’s national “tech pubs” competition. This year the Toronto and Southwestern Ontario chapters are holding a competition for all chapters across Canada. Non-members are welcome to enter as well. Submit your online communication or technical publication entry by Tuesday December 3rd. Read more on the STC Toronto Chapter web site (

This is a great opportunity to have your work reviewed by both regional and international industry professionals. The best chapter-level entries will be submitted in the spring to the STC International Competition. A win reflects credit on both you and your employers.
Questions? Contact

20 May, 2010

STC celebrates new honorary ranks

I’m sorry to say I missed it, but the annual conference in Dallas held a banquet and celebrated its international winners, from the technical publications winners to the new Fellows and award-winning communities.

The Toronto community won a PaceSetter award and your humble correspondent became an Associate Fellow for contributions over the years to the Toronto chapter.

RAS_1134, originally uploaded by STC Office.

10 July, 2009

STC is retiring its discussion forum

Filed under: online resources,technical communication — monado @ 16:20

The STC international organization is retiring its STC Forum as of July 31. As of July 8, the forum was closed to new posts. Members have until the end of the month to retrieve their posts to save elsewhere.  Here’s the notice:

The STC Forum will be retired July 31, 2009 in favor of new activities and closed to new posts on July 8. If you have posted information there that you want to keep, please capture it.

“The Forum served members and nonmembers by providing opportunities for questions, comments, and suggestions in more than two dozen areas,” lauded STC President Cindy Currie. “The discussions have been of use as a snapshot of how the contributors felt about issues and, at times, have been an outlet for members and nonmembers to vent about industry and other challenges.”

“Currie indicated several options for the next generation of a hosted service are being considered by the Board of Directors. In the meantime, Bill Swallow has created a password-protected website on Ning ( to capture discussions about how STC can deal with the current economic crisis and invites members to participate. He can be contacted by Email.

I have heard that the STC Forum wiki will also disappear, but I’m not sure whether that’s the case. It seems likely, though.

12 January, 2009

STC Toronto judging is done

Filed under: people,technical communication,writing — monado @ 19:52
Tags: , ,

The STC Toronto judging team descended on Front Runner, whose offices hosted the judging day, on January 10th. Each team of three judges had two or, rarely, three entries to judge.

The entries could be for technical publications (in one of many catergories) or the parallel online tech pubs competition. And each entry was judged by three judges.  We all had a chance to evaluate the entries in advance, using detailed guides that instructed us to consider each aspect of an entry and assign a score to that aspect. So the judging day was mostly for discussing the entries and selecting a concensus score for each aspect.On my team the opinions were fairly close so there was little angst about choosing a score that we all felt fair.

It took several hours but finally all the scores were harmonized among the teams of judges for each entry. A good job well done.

23 October, 2008

STC’s November Intercom is online

Filed under: technical communication — monado @ 10:44
From the STC:
The November issue of Intercom has been posted to

Among the topics covered in this special issue on standards:

  • why technical communicators should be aware of the new ISO user documentation standard
  • the enhancements made to the DITA 1.1 version specification
  • how to maximize translation reuse through LISA standards

This issue also provides a comprehensive list of international standards relevant to technical communicators and features a column by John G. Bryan that presents an ethical dilemma with probing questions to consider.

To access Intercom articles online, you’ll need your STC Website username and password.
—Liz PohlandSTC
Editor, Intercom
Society for Technical Communication

15 October, 2008

STC chooses new logo

Filed under: technical communication — monado @ 16:53
Tags: ,

The Society for Technical Communications has adopted a new logo:

The updated version was developed by the public relations task force, led by Char James-Tanny and Rich Maggiani, with the creative expertise of Patrick Hofmann. Maggiani also revised the logo guidelines to aid in the use of the refreshed logo….

The refreshed logo keeps the basic look of the STC traditional logo and adds graduated blue color plus a hint of curvature and dimension. Remaining inside the “box” are the “STC” letters with the “TC” in yellow to emphasize Technical Communication. The updated version also includes slight changes to the choice of typeface.

The new version will begin appearing on the STC Website tomorrow—and in documents as existing supplies of letterhead and envelopes are exhausted. “With the current economic condition it makes sense that we get the most use of our supplies and signage,” explained STC Executive Director Susan Burton, who indicated that the logo project was undertaken without the expenditure of any additional Funds. “I am especially thankful to Patrick Hofmann for his work on this project,” Burton observed.

Senior Member Patrick Hofmann, of Teeswater, Ontario, Canada, created the new design as a contribution to the Society. “Given the time and investment that went into the STC rebranding back in 2001, I wanted to maintain the overall look and feel of the original STC logo, yet give it a good dusting, polishing, and sprucing up,” explained Hofmann.

The refreshed logo will be posted shortly on the STC Website logo in various formats with guidelines for its use. Chapters and SIGs that have independent logos are encouraged to consider updating their logos and may use elements of the STC logo in their design.

he refreshed logos, both colored and B&W versions, can be used in a variety of new and innovative ways, such as in conjunction with community logos and specific event logos.

Patrick Hofmann is a member of the Southwestern Ontario community of the STC.

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