Boston Broadside
March/April 2001
Vol. 58, No.4

Inside . . .

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President's Message: The STC's Membership Campaign

Director-Sponsor's Report; The Chapter Volunteers

Designing Your Web Site for the Blind

Society Highlights

Chapter Highlights

November Program Report

Chapter Membership Reports

Boston Broadside Sponsors

Society for Technical Communication, Inc.

STC-Boston chapter Web site

Broadside Back Issues

President's Message:
The STC's Membership Campaign

By Denise Dunne, Boston Chapter President

STC's membership worldwide is at the highest in its history. As of December 31, 2000, the total number of STC members internationally is 23,884. The Boston Chapter STC membership remains healthy at 1180 members. As this year's president, I would like to increase our local membership by 10%.

With the enormous growth of the Internet, increasing demand for content for audiences around the world exists. Many companies have their product's marketing, reference and training materials on the Web. Technical communicators are an integral part of professional work environments more now than ever before. Writers, editors, programmers, Web developers, and designers are involved in content development. Many companies are reaching customers internationally. Large costs are involved in translating documentation. To reduce these costs, technical communicators have an opportunity to help streamline content for ease of translation.

Please refer your coworkers to our STC Boston home page, Invite them to a program. Some STC programs are relevant to everyone who is involved in content development including writers, editors, graphic artists, Web programmers, and designers. Often programmers and Web developers work with content developers to prepare a Web site, or to develop content for different platforms. Don't forget: one reason professionals get involved in STC is to network and problem-solve with their colleagues. Invite upper management to our Competitions Showcase in May. They should be aware of what type of documentation is being presented by their competitors. Maybe now you can convince them of some of the changes that you would like to see within your company.

The Boston Chapter Council has been very active this year meeting with colleges and universities that offer certificate and degree programs for technical communication. We are excited to get these students involved in our organization. If you are a teacher or if you are taking a course in information design, then please promote STC. Accompany your students to a meeting. Encourage student membership. Student memberships are discounted.

Speaking of the Information Highway, most of the information about the Boston Chapter STC will be through the Internet as well. Our recent membership survey revealed that over 90% of our members want more information e-mailed to them. The Society office has changed its policies on e-mailing members. In the past, you could only get e-mail from the Boston Chapter STC by subscribing to STC-Info. When you renew your membership for the year 2001, we will use your e-mail address to send announcements of programs, workshops, conferences, Broadside updates, and other important information. If you do not want to receive these e-mails, then you can update your membership information and delete your e-mail address. Please be aware that the Boston Chapter STC will be using email to communicate with members.

I hope that you can help me with our membership campaign. One other note: the 48th Annual Conference will be in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency from May 13-16, 2001. More information will be coming in the March issue of Intercom. You can also go online at for developing information. Hope to see you there.

Denise Dunne is president of Microtech Professionals in Waltham, MA.

March 12, 2001