Monthly Archives: March 2017

Devil Mountain Views – First Quarter 2017 Issue

Time to Celebrate **** Excusion to the May Model June 3, 2017

Dinner Meeting Recaps

Editor as Collaborator **** Creating User Docs in an Agile World **** Minimalist Writing for Maximum Communication


President’s Message: Time to Celebrate!

Greetings from your new president! If you’re reading the email version of our newsletter, I hope you’ll take a moment to hop over to www.ebstc.org and admire our beautiful new website! We are LIVE on WordPress, and it’s all thanks to our stellar WordPress migration team headed by Jane Olivera, with Joe Humbert, technology insight from Liz Fraley, and driven to completion by past-president Liz Miller. Kudos to the team for completing this major project, and please check out our Friendly new website! Continue reading

Excursion to the Bay Model June 3, 2017

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

The Editor as Collaborator – Communication Makes the Difference

EBSTC January Program Recap

From years of experience, Lori Meyer can say with confidence that when it comes to technical editing, a communicative relationship and empathy with the author is the key ingredient to a productive collaboration. When there is open communication and good teamwork, an editor’s value can change from the perception of a grumpy Comma Cop to a valued resource and key member of the team. Continue reading

Creating User Documentation in an Agile World

EBSTC February Program Recap

In the February 2 dinner meeting, Jane Wilson presented, “Creating User Documentation in an Agile World.” She spoke as a communicator working in Agile methodology. Agile was created by 17 guys at a ski lodge in 2001 as an alternative to the traditional method of document development known as waterfall. Waterfall follows linear steps from Customer Needs to Software Design to Implementation to Verification to Maintenance, in which each step is handed off from one group of developers to the next. Continue reading

Minimalist Writing for Maximum Communication

EBSTC March Program Recap

Bruce Poropat is a practitioner and advocate for converting dense legalese into language that people can understand the first time they read it. In technical writing, the minimalist approach is reminiscent of Plain Language (see the federal government’s definition).

To the minimalist, it is the content’s message that is the priority, not the prose. In Bruce’s presentation on March 2, he first shared examples of minimalism in representational art, music and poetry, including a renowned example of minimalist fiction writing: “For sale: baby shoes never worn.” Continue reading

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.
Continue reading