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


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Society for Technical Communication, Inc.

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November Program Report

Fig Leaves Optional: First SIN Truly a Night of STC

By Hans Fenstermacher

Adam and Eve never had it so good!

On November 16, 2000, dozens of attendees were treated to a series of mini presentations in progression format on hot topics for today's content creators and technical writers. The event was the Boston Chapter's S.I.N. (Special Interest Night), hosted by IDX Systems in Boston.

After a scrumptious buffet of deli sandwiches and salads, the forum got down to business. Attendees were able to select from four different topics three times throughout the evening, spending about 20 minutes with each speaker. In between, there was time for more munchies and informal discussions with the presenters and each other.

A Night Of Style Sheets, Mentoring, e-commerce, And Translation Memory Joel Sklar talked about cascading style sheets in XML, a topic of interest to many attendees. In particular, he covered the new style properties in CSS2. Joel is an author and technical trainer specializing in HTML, XML, and Web technologies. He also runs Joel Sklar Consulting.

On a very different note, STC and industry veteran Marguerite Krupp talked about mentoring up-and-coming information designers. She exhorted listeners to use mentoring as a way of "casting our bread upon the waters and getting back a lot more than soggy bread!" Marguerite is an Associate Fellow of the STC, a teacher in Northeastern University's graduate technical communication programs, and a technical writer.

First-time STC presenter Steve Budd spoke to enthusiastic groups about the connection between content and e-commerce. Rather than setting themselves up as places to sell merchandise, some Web sites serve as portals and provide services (like newsletters) with products contextually linked. This type of arrangement encourages impulse buying. Steve is a copywriter and editor for Zooba.com and occasionally teaches courses at Bentley College.

Finally, Rosella Margaroli Kikuchi gave a primer on Translation Memory (TM) technology. She explained how the technology works and how the localization industry works with content. Rosella also gave her audience tips on creating content that can take advantage of TM's features. Rosella is Manager of the Translation & Localization Group at ArchiText Inc.

Attendees were very pleased with the format and content for the evening. Reactions included remarks like "Great format!" and "informative and opened new areas of knowledge." The Chapter plans to present another evening of hot topics this spring under the name SIN2. Stay tuned to the Broadside and the STC Boston home page for more information.

In the meantime, hold on to your fig leaves ;-).


Hans Fenstermacher is First Vice President of the Boston Chapter STC. In his day job, he is president and founder of ArchiText Inc., a provider of localization and globalization services.

March 12, 2001