Are We Working on Now? Share and Compare Notes & Ideas
attendees an enjoyable and relaxed opportunity to get the inside scoop
on each other's projects, discoveries, events, and ideas.
happens when you get a group of technical communicators in a room
for show and tell? The answer is, Just about anything! The diversity
of the interests, talents, and activities of the participants at our
August 25th meeting was nothing short of amazing. From tools, tips,
and tricks to new business ventures, we saw and heard a sampling of
the creativity and originality that abound in our chapter. As one
participant put it, it was like attending a mini-conference!
and networking opportunities also helped several people create connections
with others who have complementary needs or interests. What a great
way to meet your next client or collaborator!
are some highlights from the event:
Region 8 Conference review...
(right), a visiting member of the Santa Barbara STC chapter,
described her experiences at the recent Region 8 conference
in Las Vegas. She also provided highlights of the two presentations
she gave on 1) how to develop a company style guide and 2)
how to make the transition to management.
the Book: How to Develop a Company Style Manual (a
184K PDF file) offers comprehensive help on compiling a style
guide, encapsulating a dozen years of experience, mostly at
Tetra Tech, Inc. in Santa Barbara. With her permission, we have
added this item to our site's collection of best
practice tools. Click the image to view or download the
all in the marketing...
Lujan and Debbie Bruton (from left) show Robin
Dudley and Jennifer Shay how they successfully combine communication
skills with a new crafts business called The Corks of Wreath.
In addition to hand-crafting wreaths from recycled corks,
they have designed flyers, business cards, press releases,
and other pieces, and will soon be setting up a Web site
all with help from STC colleagues. Information presentation
has never been this much fun!
Dudley (third from left) later explained how she is making
the transition from a small business owner to a marketing consultant,
d.b.a. Dudley Business Development. After years in the car rental
business, she's tapping her design skills and a passion for
writing and advertising to help other businesses with their
marketing needs. Although the start-up road continually challenges
a new consultant, Robin's secret for success is simple: Network,
little experiment leads to a breakthrough...
Morgret, a technical communication specialist at Quintron,
made a significant discovery recently in the area of user manual
design. After finding it difficult to get company employees
to read the typical 8.5" x 11" notebook-style manuals,
one day she tried printing a copy on a new Canon copier/printer.
she was looking for a more user-friendly manual size for the
field technicians, she started experimenting with the copier.
She selected the automatic print-and-saddle-stitch feature,
which caused the printer to automatically reduce, repaginate,
staple, and fold the copies into little brochure-sized booklets.
(For anyone familiar with what goes into designing a saddle-stitch
format using a page layout program, the ability to do this on
the fly is truly astonishing!)
long, Keri began to receive requests from many people in the
company, including the president, to get copies of that cute
little user manual. Now everyone wants to read it
SLO STC's best kept secret...
Sommers gave an overview of the growing collection of technical
communication shareware resident on the SLO STC Web
you know that you can get templates for and examples of project
plans, typeface conventions, editing checklists, a generic test
plan, a product test and release checklist, and now, tips on developing
a style manual?
of this and more is available in our best
practice tools section. You can download and use the tools
as they are, or modify them to suit your needs!
if you have any checklists, planning or contract documents, templates,
or other tools you'd like to share, please let us know! Contact
by Mary Meyer.