Monthly Archives: March 2017

Excursion to the Bay Model June 3, 2017 [Event]

EBSTC and the Berkeley chapter are planning a trip to the Bay Model on Saturday, June 3. Contact us if you are interested in joining us on this excursion. Patrick Lufkin, who is arranging the excursion, explains what is the Bay Model and its significance to technical communicators.

The Bay Model is a huge–several acres–working model of San Francisco Bay and the Delta, operated by the Corps of Engineers. Once a working scientific research tool, it is now primarily an educational site. It offers a unique experience that very few people in the Bay Area know anything about. We all live in the Bay Area and deal with the state’s water issues, and it behooves us to know more about them. Continue reading

President’s Message – 2017-Q1

I’m excited to announce our Q1 Devil Mountain Views, published on March 20. Meanwhile, here’s a quick summary of what’s been going on at our dinner programs.

Nuremberg_Funnel_-_ad_stamp_1910 WITH ATTRIB

Public Domain*


Purchased from Shutterstock

Our February and March programs were entertaining and practical! In February, we heard Jane Wilson speak about Creating User Documentation in an Agile World and, in March, Bruce Poropot talked about Minimalist Writing for Maximum Communication.

Whether or not you’ve worked in an Agile environment, Jane’s presentation offered food for thought. Where does the technical writer fit in the world of scrum masters, product owners, and team members? How do you link your documentation to the software user story? At Jane’s company, they remind people that doc writers support multiple teams. (Does this happen where you work?) Finally, Jane recommends writers be involved in all ceremonies, such as planning, stand-ups, and retrospectives. Even for non-Agile environments, being involved in the day-to-day work is good advice.

Bruce began with fascinating examples of minimalism in art, music, poetry, and fiction. He also spoke of the Nuremberg Funnel as a metaphor for fast knowledge transfer. One way to transfer knowledge quickly is to use fewer words. Bruce provided many examples, and his talk invigorated my writing. In fact, weeks later, I find myself eliminating “word fat” and removing things the audience already knows in order to streamline my own writing.

Read more about a fun summer activity and recaps of all three 2017 programs are available on the individual event pages. It’s almost as good as being there.

And I hope you’ll be able to join us for one of our upcoming (first Thursday) programs!

— Gale Naylor

Gale Naylor

*By Unknown – Website:, Public Domain,

Silo Busting – 6 Apr 2017 [Meeting]

A good technical writer provides services that go well beyond documentation.

Every business has silos: business groups that compartmentalize functions and information. Different silos often have different ideas and priorities – divergent visions that can impair a project

The technical writer’s unique role allows us to move above and beyond business silos. We can find those damaging disconnects and help businesses get their teams on the same page.

Join us to learn more about how you can bust your team’s silos and bring value to your project that no one else can.

Read the meeting recap
Continue reading