May 2011 – intercom

Category: May 2011

Community Achievement Awards

The community achievement Awards (CAA) program recognizes STC chapters and special interest groups (SIGs) for exceptional accomplishments in meeting Society goals. The awards not only acknowledge that the obligations of a properly functioning community have been met, but that the winning communities have performed well beyond expectations. The awards program recognizes, in a visible and meaningful manner, communities that demonstrate outstanding, innovative, and sustained performance in advancing the goals of the Society. STC recognizes the following communities for their efforts. Communities of Distinction Geographic community, 151–300 members Atlanta For excellence in providing member services through networking, resume reviews, and employment… Read the rest

Follow the 2011 Summit on Twitter

Even if you aren’t able to attend the 2011 Summit in Sacramento, you can follow it via Twitter—and even get a little taste of the conference to boot! Username @stc2011 will issue all the official announcements and information on speakers, preconference courses, and more. For a more in-depth view of the conference, check out the hashtag #stc11 for all tweets during the Summit. Attendees are invited to tweet from the conference using that hashtag, and anyone can view their comments by searching on the hashtag. The conference website ( will have a live stream of tweets during the conference.… Read the rest

Introducing <em>The Strategic IA</em>

By Andrea Ames | Fellow and Alyson Riley | Member This column explores the strategic aspects of information architecture and the tools to equip information architects (IAs) for success. Topics will address the business, strategy, user experience, and implementation of strategic information architecture, including organizational, content management, and tactical considerations. Send your comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles to Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years—and by a rock we mean living with no Internet access—you’ve heard about the impacts of the global economic meltdown. You’re probably sick of it, truth be told,… Read the rest

Now Is the Time To Design For User-Defined Content: It's All About Metadata

By Karl Darr | Member In the Continuum of Data to information to knowledge to wisdom, it is the increasing maturity, quantity, and quality of context that enables data, information, or knowledge to elevate to the next level. Proper application of the correct semantic data structures provides electronic data with the context that is necessary to achieve the higher levels of business intelligence, which is required to synchronize cross-functional operations around current, accurate product information. The correct application of semantic structures delivers significant benefits of great value and interest to CFOs, COOs, CIOs, and to all product information stakeholders. Commercial… Read the rest

The Technical Communicator's Machine

By Daniel Maddux | Member The machine In a previous article (“Mythbusting ‘Just Let the Engineer Write It!’” in the February 2011 Intercom), I explained how technical communicators use their training to achieve results that subject matter experts alone just can’t produce. An engineer may use his or her technical training to make sure a mechanical machine runs correctly. Technical communicators use their training with writing and organizing technical information to produce greater efficiency, more safety, and fewer mistakes. The “machine” we use turns complex data into productivity. So, then, the question remains, how does the technical communicator build and… Read the rest

2011 STC Election Results

STC is pleased to announce the results of its 2011 election. Online voting concluded at 4:00 PM EDT (GMT-4) on 30 March 2011. There were a total of 4,469 eligible voting members and 853 voters used their ballot, amounting to 19.09% of eligible voters. The percentage voting was 6% higher than previous years, so thank you for your participation. The results are as follows: Vice President Alan Houser* 532 Victoria Koster-Lenhardt 302 Treasurer Aiessa Moyna* 789 Director (two positions) Rich Maggiani* 422 Tricia Spayer* 370 Bernard Aschwanden 368 Ray Gallon 259 Brian J. Lindgren 130 Nominating Committee (two positions) Jack… Read the rest

Jay R. Gould Award

The Jay R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication honors the distinguished teaching career of the late Professor Jay R. Gould, whose academic mentorship guided many into the technical communication profession. To be eligible for the award, a nominee must have been a member of the Society for Technical Communication for at least ten years and must have been involved in postsecondary education for at least fifteen years. The committee this year includes Thomas Barker, Maury Maryanow, Sonya Borton, and Michael Albers. This year’s winners are: Tharon Howard Clemson University Mark Zachry University of Washington Charles Kostelnick University… Read the rest

Ken Rainey Award

The Ken Rainey Award for Excellence in Research was established by STC in 2006 to celebrate and honor Professor Ken Rainey’s passion for research that results in improvements to technical communication, especially to practice. The goal of the award is to encourage quality and excellence in technical communication research by honoring those whose research studies have made an outstanding contribution to the field. The committee for this year’s award is George Hayhoe, Carol Barnum, Judy Ramey, Ann-Marie Grissino, and Dan Portwood. This year’s winner is Stephanie Rosenbaum. Her citation reads: For her pioneering work in developing new usability research methods,… Read the rest

Frank R. Smith Award

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 Tom Warren (chair), Han Yu, and Jeff Hibbard. The judges are pleased to announced that the Frank R. Smith Outstanding Article Award goes to Tatiana Batova for her article, “Writing… Read the rest

Sigma Tau Chi

STC sponsors Sigma Tau Chi (ΣTX) to recognize exemplary technical communication students in baccalaureate or graduate programs. ΣTX recognizes students enrolled in technical communication programs who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above, are exemplary in participation in STC, and demonstrate a potential for significant contribution to the profession. Students who are accepted into Sigma Tau Chi receive one year’s membership in STC, a pin, and a t-shirt. Congratulations to the students below! Sarah Baca, University of Central Florida Brook Bailey, East Carolina University Kenneth Bellew, Metropolitan State University Corwin Briscoe, Cedarville University Lauren Calvert, Minnesota State… Read the rest