Summit Recap – 7 Jun 2018 [Meeting]

Our presenters will enlighten us with their thoughts and notes from the 65th STC Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, held in May 2018.

This is what STC Summit is all about:

People from all over the world and from all different backgrounds attend the STC Summit! And it’s not just technical writers who attend: project managers, consultants, content architects, web managers, professors, developers, illustrators, and policy writers are just some of the many people you’ll meet at the Summit.

The STC Summit session topics cover many aspects of technical writing: editing, project management, usability, content management, intelligent design, and publication production.

Come and hear about the sessions our panelists attended, the people they met, and what they learned.

Panelists include:

  • Jane Wilson, STC President
  • Gale Naylor, EBSTC President
  • Philip Powers, SV STC President
  • Liz Fraley
  • Maybe more!

To get ready for the meeting, read posts by Summit Attendees from other attendees:

Meeting Logistics

Date: Thursday, 7 June 2018.

Meeting Recap

Did you know that a member of the EBSTC chapter is the newly elected President of STC? We were both proud and honored to have  Jane Wilson at our June 7 dinner meeting to share thoughts on the 65th STC Annual Conference in May. At her side were Philip Powers, president of the Silicon Valley chapter and Liz Fraley of Single-Sourcing Solutions. Liz Miller also introduced a special guest and a new EBSTC partnership. Read more…

Project SEED wants you

During the chapter business meeting, Liz Miller introduced Elaine Yamaguchi, featured in our recent article Planting a SEED to STEM Careers announcing a new EBSTC partnership. The Summer Experience for the Economically Disadvantaged (SEED) program welcomes any STC member who is willing to provide editorial support for a student applying for a college scholarship. Making 350 words in two boxes sing is no great effort for us. But the outcome of a couple hours and a few emails with a SEED student could result in a life-changing transformation for a budding young chemist’s college prospects. Learn more about the STC partnership in this short presentation prepared by Liz, Planting a SEED to STEM career. Once you are inspired, contact Elaine and CC Liz Miller.

STC Summit panelist summary

Philip Powers saw the importance of constant skill acquisition in a world where the tools of our trade are constantly evolving. With today’s improvements and uses for artificial intelligence (AI), technical writers who learn new skills and tools to navigate the shifting landscape are less at risk of being usurped by chat bots who (yes, who not that) are just smart enough to deliver “good enough” content. He hopes the integrated human+machine future for AI (think Ironman) wins out over the full robotic approach.

A writer with a sound systems engineering background wondered whether a machine could replace a human’s skill to design an effective integrated circuit. (The consensus was not yet.) A job seeker pointed out that having a great writing portfolio is not as valued today as having the depth of social media and multi media experience that younger candidates tend to have.

President Jane Wilson cited a few of STC’s ideas to maintain overall global society health and help smaller chapters survive, including a minimum chapter baseline (two officers: president and treasurer; quarterly meetings mixing social with educational; and a half dozen required financial, comunity engagement, and membership functions ).

Since the president was sitting right there (!), discussing the evolution of STC’s annual fees was irresistable to a couple of long-time members. Jane stressed that STC is already operating at a “bare bones” budgetary level, and STC leadership is looking towards ways to maximize the value. Among other ideas, a new Women in Technical Communications special interest group (SIG) coming and possibly another SIG focusing on medical and health writing.

Liz Fraley took time in advance of the June 7 dinner meeting to post Gale’s report as well as two other reports of the STC Summit on our web site:

Liz also mentioned a new program pairing writers with academics to author articles for the STC publications.

Highlights from Gale Naylor’s report

Leadership Day

  • WordPress Workshops immediately following the Summit:
    • Recordings of both STC-hosted WordPress Workshops are now available to chapter webmasters. ( is now available to host all chapter WordPress sites)
  • STC Reports
    • Jane Wilson: Have established “minimum requirements” for chapters (Chapter
      Model). Chapter Buddies – coming soon.
    • Jim Bosquet: New requirements for Activity Report and Engagement Plan. (CAC
      webinar on this is coming soon.)
  • Main Session and Pacesetter Awards
    • Ideas to engage young people and students to increase membership through social media and online meetings
    • How three chapters united after six folded to become the dyanmic new Florida Chapter
    • Find out what eight other chapters around the country did to achieve STC’s Pacesetter Awards and read Gale’s impressions of the Florida Chapter’s presention and the Leadership Day breakout sessions she attended in her full report

Summit Session notes (with links)

    • Fueling Your Future – FL Chapter
    • Teaching Tech Writing to Engineers
    • How Tech Writers Will Support SMEs in Writing
    • Structured Content
    • Watch the June 1 WordPress 101 “Basics” seminar
    • Watch the June 15 WordPress 201 seminar and view the associated slides and notes
      • Clicking the link seminar links will take you to a GoToWebinar registration form. Enter the your name and email address, then click Register to view the recording.