Bye bye STC

Before I say anything on this topic I’ll confess that I am not fully versed in the history of the organisation. I am not a member, this is merely my take on some of the blog posts I’ve read on this matter.

And there in is the my main point.

I’ve read a lot about the issues the STC are currently facing but have yet to read anything from the STC itself. No doubt there is an STC mailing list ablaze with such news but given the amount of negative press currently floating about on blogs and on Twitter I’ve yet to spy any sort of formal, or informal, word from the STC.

I’ll let you read into that what you will.

Elsewhere there are plenty of suggestions to solve the initial woes, and many ideas of how to help the STC modernise and become the organisation the members want and, as I’m not a member, I can allow myself to suggest that perhaps the time has come to wrapup the STC and let a new organisation grow from the ashes.

Those who are interested, and who believe our profession needs such an organisation will rally round and rebuild something. If there is not enough interest then perhaps that is a further indication that the STC has had its time.

I’m not suggesting that technical writers do not need an organisation like the STC, there are many many good benefits, and I’m fully aware there is a lot of history and hard work that has gone into creating and building the STC. But sometimes it’s better to cut your losses.

Of course, a large part of me hopes that it won’t come to that.

But I must admit, part of me is intrigued to see what would happen if it did.

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I, too, am relatively young as STC membership goes. And I knew in high school what career I wanted. But I also knew that STC had a legacy. And I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to get the scoop on the latest methods, techniques, and technologies. I also wanted the prestige.
So, here I am a Senior Member and 1st VP of the Lone Star Community of STC. I’ve only recently begun to examine the inner workings of the parent STC org and am disturbed that they have not done more for their public image. I think this is due to a variety of reasons and the main one is manpower vs priority.
Right now, they’re not concerned about letting the non-member public in on their plans. Like any organization with severe economic woes, it is disseminating privileged info. But, they are definitely doing something (a lot of somethings) and they are taking action based upon blogs, tweets, comments, articles, etc.
As you mention, those interested are rallying. That is what you are seeing. Like the Iran election, you may not have been voting, but you’re seeing the mobs. Unlike the Iran election, STC is reaching out to these digital mobs and asking advice and guidance. Kudos on their efforts, even if it’s a bit late in the game.
I think the lack of interest in STC comes from both a lack of definition of itself as well as a lack of awareness within related fields. They are also addressing these matters.
I hope that over the next couple of years not only will STC recover, but it will define itself in such a way that even those who never had any interest in joining will nod with respect at their achievements.

I am an engineer who happens to love to write. I consider it my biggest passion in life. I am moving out of engineering into tech writing and have been thinking of joining the STC. I live in Dallas, so it is even more interesting to see the reply by Arroxane.

Is STC still relevant enough to join, or is there another tech communications organization that is more modern with local networking.

Renee Baker

Cornélius Carcajouriadis says:


Perhaps it’s time for STC to do a thorough strategic planning session?

As president of the Intermountain Chapter of STC, I can say that there is a lot of dialogue going on, and STC has plans in the making. You’re right that most of the conversation has not been going on with anyone outside STC, and not much outside the leadership yet. It has been up to the community leaders to relay info back to the general membership, but I’m sure STC will be sending out some communications to the members in the near future.

If STC can get past the initial hurdle of solving the shortfall problem, I think we’ll have a much better organization. I expect to be posting about this soon on my blog. It may be that what emerges from the ashes is a better STC rather than some different organization.

To reply to Renee, I’ve seen comments from people for whom networking has been the biggest benefit of STC, and they have secured jobs and contracts because of that networking.

Count me in if you’re doing some collective thinking on the new organization. I think the focus should be on technical content rather than technical communication.

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