Category: July/August 2011

Mark Your Calendar

Organization events across the globe F.Y.I. lists information about nonprofit ventures only. Please send information to 1 5–9 Sept The International Society of Logistics (SOLE) presents its 46th Annual International Logistics Conference and Exhibition, themed “Logistics Chain Resiliency,” to be held at the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas in Dallas, TX. For more information, contact: SOLE +1 (301) 459-8446 2 19–23 Sept The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) will hold its 55th annual meeting at the Red Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. For more information, contact: HFES +1 (310) 394-1811 3 7–12… Read the rest

Associate Fellow Recommendations Due 10 October

By Linda Oestreich | Chair, Associate Fellows Committee [Editor’s Note: The original deadline of 4 October was changed after Intercom went to press. The new deadline is 10 October.] Each year, STC members and communities have the opportunity to recommend senior members for the rank of STC Associate Fellow to the Associate Fellows Committee. This honor recognizes members’ achievements in the field of technical communication, contributions to STC, or both. Any voting member of STC may submit a nominee’s application to the Associate Fellows Committee, and this year, senior members can apply on their own behalf. The committee reviews each… Read the rest

We're Looking for a Few Good Fellows: Applications Due 10 October 2011

By Mary R. Wise | Chair, Fellows Committee [Editor’s Note: The original deadline of 4 October was changed after Intercom went to press. The new deadline is 10 October.] Each Year, the Fellows Committee invites STC Associate Fellows who have held that rank for three years or more to submit information to the committee for potential elevation to the rank of Fellow. This honor recognizes members’ achievements in the field of technical communication, contributions to STC, or both. If you are an Associate Fellow who was inducted to that rank at or prior to the 2009 STC Annual Conference, we… Read the rest

Nomination Process Opens for STC Awards

By Nicky Bleiel The Society for Technical Communication recognizes individual member achievement through several awards programs. Below is information on two. Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication The Jay R. Gould Award honors the distinguished teaching career of Professor Gould and celebrates true academic mentorship, demonstrated by the personal and professional concern that great teachers extend to their students beyond the classroom. The Gould award nominating committee is seeking nominees for the award. To be eligible, a nominee must have been a member of STC for at least ten years and must have been involved in… Read the rest

2011 International Summit Awards Results

By Jackie Damrau | Fellow The STC International Summit Awards (formerly the STC Competitions) sets the standard for quality technical communications. People enter the STC competition not only with the hope of winning an award, but also to receive a thorough critique and constructive feedback from a body of their peers. The local STC chapters and communities typically host local and regional competitions in September, October, November, and December. Entries that win a Distinguished or Excellence award are eligible for entry in the STC International Summit Awards Competition. In 2011, STC reorganized the competition into four categories: Informational Materials, Instructional… Read the rest

Planning Has Begun for 2012 Summit in Chicago-Rosemont

Work has begun on the education program for the 2012 Technical Communication Summit in Chicago-Rosemont, Illinois, 20–23 May. The program advisory committee made a site visit to Rosemont to match up available space with session requirements. The committee has selected track managers and the process for the call for proposals has begun. “We expect to open the call for proposals in late August,” stated STC Deputy Executive Director Lloyd Tucker, “then make selections by late October and have the conference registration available by 1 December.” The call for proposals will build on the outstanding comments and suggestions STC received from… Read the rest

In Memorium: Peter Heikes, Associate Fellow (1950–2011)

By Deanne Levander | Fellow and Lynda Shindley | Associate Fellow Peter Heikes was an evangelist for STC wherever he went, including to his family, his coworkers, and even his minister. His contributions ranged from chapter treasurer to workshop presenter, to regional conference manager, SIG leader, and President. In addition, Pete created innumerable opportunities for local members to meet and share expertise. His passion for STC and its members never wavered. He created the Twin Cities Chapter’s Saturday Brunch series, which began as a benefit to members who were always questioning the value of belonging to STC. Combined with brunch,… Read the rest

The Importance of Terminology Databases in Technical Communication

By Emmanuel Margetic When executives and managers think of possible threats to their business, they don’t often think of synonyms, but they should. Synonyms are a rhetorical conundrum that play significantly into people’s reaction to a business—for better or for worse. The words a company uses to communicate with its current and potential customers can have a lasting effect on their experience with a company’s products, services, and overall branding. This is especially true with technical communication. If inconsistencies in a company’s technical communication cause customers to distract their focus from the positive aspects of their experience, they may not… Read the rest

Accessible PDFs

By Linda Roberts | Senior Member This column shares information about accessibility requirements and techniques, and introduces standards and policies that might affect your products. If you have feedback, contact Linda Roberts at I remember (way back when) in graduate school when PDF documents were fairly new and were becoming a big help in making our course reading materials more accessible to students with visual disabilities. Back then, the chapters and articles that we had to read for the course were scanned and saved as PDF files. An assistive technology (AT) could then read the articles aloud. Unfortunately, the… Read the rest

The Technical Communicator's Essential Toolbox

By Neil Perlin | Fellow This column presents overviews of new technologies that may affect technical communicators in the near future. If you have feedback, or would like to suggest topics for subsequent columns, please contact Neil Perlin at There’s a school of thought in tech comm that says that tools aren’t important; what counts is the ability to communicate well. This is partly true. If we can’t communicate well, the best tool is useless. But without tools, we can’t deliver our content to readers no matter how good it is. So tools are important. But which ones? This… Read the rest