Category: April 2010

A note from the editor

Notice anything different about this month’s issue of Intercom? STC has taken the next step in the magazine’s transformation—a cover-to-cover redesign. While professional designers will no doubt note the myriad changes and improvements in the overall design and templates of the feature articles and regular columns, even the most casual readers will discern the updated look and increased readability. STC is undergoing organization-wide transition and transformation, and it is only fitting that Intercom also adapts to the times. Technical communicators understand that changes in publication design and delivery are best made in manageable but measurable steps instead of “overnight changes.”… Read the rest

Clarity and Concision in Business Communication

By Glenn B. Fatzinger |Member Today’s workers are overwhelmed with information, so effective employees must write short, clear, concise correspondence in plain English to capture the attention of very busy people. Business communication has improved greatly in the past 100 years since the advent of the typewriter. From the Corona (America’s first portable typewriter in 1906) to today’s high-tech laptop (see photo), early typewriters forced the use of correct spelling, punctuation, layout, and orderliness, and enhanced a mechanical orientation of users. The overall result was permanent and accurate business records. How has teaching business writing and speaking changed in the… Read the rest

Mark Your Calendar

Organization events across the globe FYI lists information about nonprofit ventures only. Please send information to intercom@stc.org. For STC’s complete calendar of events, visit www.stc.org/edu/relatedEvents01.asp. 1. 2–5 May 2010 The Society for Technical Communication (STC) will hold its 57th Technical Communication Summit at the Hyatt Regency Dallas in Dallas, TX. For more information, contact: Lloyd Tucker +1 (571) 366-1904 lloyd.tucker@stc.org http://conference.stc.org 2. 13–15 May 2010 The American Society for Indexing (ASI) will be holding its annual conference in Minneapolis, MN. For more information, contact: ASI conference@asindexing.org www.asindexing.org/site/conferences/conf2010/index.shtml 3. 14–18 May 2010 The Council of Science Editors (CSE) will hold its… Read the rest

Accessible Publishing

By Linda Roberts | Senior Member Looking for an alternative to an old-school book? This column explores the different formats and platforms that are available for all readers. If you have feedback, contact Linda Roberts at lerober1@yahoo.com. Most technical communicators develop a document that is designed for hard-copy printing and then publish it electronically. But is that electronic version usable by all of your users? Enter the world of accessible publishing. What is accessible publishing? Accessible reading materials are usable by people with print access disabilities. For years, Large Print versions of select publications have been available to people with… Read the rest

Using Word’s Drawing Tools

Vector Art for Basic Charts and Diagrams By Marc Lee | Senior Member This column addresses media subjects for technical communicators. It discusses graphics, audio, animation, video, and interactive media as they relate to technical communication. Please send comments to marc@mlmultimedia.com. Given today’s recession, most of us have to economize. Maybe your department can’t afford the greatest tools or won’t invest in the latest technology, but that’s life in a downturn. For simple illustrations, drawings, diagrams, and charts, you can certainly do good work with Microsoft Word’s drawing tools. In fact, you can create more effective graphics than Word’s critics… Read the rest

Contributing to Intercom

Tips for Putting Your Best Material Forward When you submit articles to Intercom, the editorial team works hard to ensure that your final article is as good as it can be. For some articles that come in, all that is required is some straightfoward copyediting. For other articles, however, more extensive revisions are needed; sometimes, these revisions include significant content reduction so that an article will fit in its allocated space. There are things that writers can do, though, to reduce the amount of rework and markup that has to occur after articles have been submitted. We’ve outlined some of… Read the rest

More Details on the “Class of 2010″

Fellows and Associate Fellows The February issue of Intercom announced the names of this year’s Fellows and Associate Fellows. Below we present the citations to further honor them. STC awards Associate Fellow to Senior Members who have attained distinction in the field of technical communication. The rank of STC Fellow is conferred upon Associate Fellows who have attained such eminence in the field of technical communication that the Board deems them worthy of being singled out as one of the select few who have distinguished the Society and the profession. The new Fellows and Associate Fellows will be honored at… Read the rest

Distinguished Chapter Service Awards

The Society for Technical Communication has long recognized the importance of the hard work and commitment of its chapter members. Without their energy and enthusiasm, the Society would cease to be the largest, most effective, and most prestigious organization of technical communicators in the world. In 1988, the Society initiated the Distinguished Chapter Service Award (DCSA) to recognize exemplary dedication to the chapter and its activities. The first awards were presented in 1989. Following is a list of DCSA winners for 2010 with their official citations. Alberta Mai-Ann Sprung In recognition of your exemplary leadership and outstanding contributions to the… Read the rest

The Three Reasons I Attend the STC Summit

By Michael Hughes | STC First Vice President There are three reasons I go to the STC Summit, and I’d like to share them with you. 1. Network. I think of the Summit like Twitter and Facebook in 3D. It’s the latest craze after virtual reality—it’s called reality! This is my opportunity to meet face to face with current contacts and make new ones. As I look at my social networking online, the vast majority of the people I contact with any frequency are the ones I have nurtured through face-to-face conferences and committee work. Jump start your network at… Read the rest

Frank R. Smith Award Winners Announced

Each year, the editor of Technical Communication appoints a judging committee to select the outstanding article from the previous year’s issues. Judges base their decisions on article content and form. The award honors the memory of Frank R. Smith, during whose 18-year tenure as editor Technical Communication became established as the flagship publication of STC and the profession. This year’s judging team for the Frank R. Smith competition consisted of Saul Carliner (chair), Roger Munger, and Vici Koster-Lenhardt. The judges are pleased to announce that the Frank R. Smith Outstanding Article Award goes to Han Yu for her article “Putting… Read the rest