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Celebrating our 50th anniversarySOCIETY FOR TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
Eastern Ontario Chapter

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2004/2005 Programs

Annual General Meeting

Annual General Meeting
Thursday, May 5, 2005

"Upstairs at Loblaws", Westboro (Richmond Road at Kirkwood)

Free for all attendees.
Food at 6:30pm
Presentation at 7pm

Come and discuss the highlights and lowlights of the past year and meet next year's executive!

Agenda

Presentation of "End of Year Report". This is a quick status report on STCEO events and initiatives over the past year. Introduction of new executive.


STCEO Rechartering Town Hall Meeting

Monday, April 4, 2005
"Upstairs at Loblaws", Westboro (Richmond Road at Kirkwood)
Free for all attendees.
Food at 6:30pm
Discussion at 7pm

The STCEO is holding a Rechartering Town Hall Meeting on Monday, April 4, 2005.
As you may already know, the STC is undergoing a transformation in an effort to better serve you. As part of the transformation, each chapter and special interest group is consulting its members to develop goals and strategies for improving service.
The Rechartering Town Hall Meeting is an opportunity for you to help us clarify our goals and improve our operations. Attendees will participate in discussions that will guide our incoming executive as they begin a new year of promoting our profession and supporting our members in their careers.
If you've ever been interested in volunteering for the STCEO or learning more about how the chapter works, this is a perfect opportunity to get involved and share your views.

Below are the questions our STC community must answer:
1. What is the current name of your chapter (geographic community) or SIG (community of interest)?
2. Do you want to change the name of your community? If so, please enter the new name.
3. What is the mission statement of your community?
4a. What are the goals of your community? (List at least three but no more than seven.)
4b. What strategies will your community strive to implement to achieve your goals? (List one to three for each goal).
4c. What programs and activities will your community offer to implement your strategies? (List at least one for each strategy.)
5. What has been your average annual cost of operating your community over the last three years?
6. Describe the members you hope to attract to your new community.
7. How will your community provide value to the larger STC community and further the overall goals of the Society?
8. List names of community members who took part in this re-chartering process.
Please attend this meeting and help us determine the future direction of STCEO.


STCEO Annual Awards Banquet

You and your friends are invited to attend our annual Awards Banquet, to be held March 10th at the Centurion Centre. Join us as we enjoy a complete dinner, showcase the winning entries from our technical communication competition, and award our annual STCEO Scholarship to a Technical Writing student from Algonquin College. This year we're pleased to welcome Louis Beauregard as our keynote speaker. Mr. Beauregard will deliver the following presentation:

Usability, a dimension of the human habitat

Why are technology products so alienating? The roots of poor usability are social, cultural and even moral. Join Louis Beauregard as he draws on examples in architecture and urbanism to demonstrate that the challenges we face to design usable products and documentation are rooted in a deep cultural chasm that disengages us from our environment. Understand the forces at play as we strive to improve our "cognitive habitat" through usability.

About Louis Beauregard

Louis is a frequent speaker on the subject of instructional design and usability. He holds a Master's degree in Education from the University of Montreal and is the founding President of the Montreal-area chapter of the Usability Professionals' Association. He also publishes a popular monthly newsletter called Hands-on Single-Sourcing with FrameMaker. His company, Convivio, recently released BuildFire 2005 (http://www.buildfire.com), a production assistant for Adobe FrameMaker.

The Awards Banquet is a great opportunity to meet some of the most talented technical communications professionals in our region. All are welcome to attend. Here are the details:

When:Thursday, March 10. Doors open at 6:00 P.M.
Where: The Centurion Centre, 170 Colonnade Road South, Ottawa, Ontario
Admission: Free for STCEO members and competition participants, $10 for students, and $20 for all others, payable at the door. All are welcome.

Agenda: 6:00 - Mix, mingle, and browse our winning competition entries
6:45 Dinner with keynote address to follow.

Dinner Menu
Tossed Garden Salad With Assorted Dressings
Marinated Cole Slaw
Sliced Top Sirloin of Beef
Chicken Pieces with a Teriyaki Glaze Chef's Selection of Potatoes
Seasonal Vegetables
Fresh Rolls with Butter
Chef's Selection of Squares
Coffee and Tea


February Event

Being a Freelance Technical Communicator

On February 16, Penny Lange will talk about being a freelance technical communicator. Topics will include:

  • A discussion of terms: Freelancing/contracting/consulting
  • Is freelancing for you?: A questionnaire
  • Styles of freelancing
  • The up side: Advantages of freelancing
  • The down side: Disadvantages of freelancing
  • Finding work: - through agencies - on your own
  • Lessons learned in the trenches

About Penny Lange

An award-winning writer/editor who is featured in Who's Who in Canada, Penny Lange has 17 years of experience in high tech, the last 9 with her own company, Penny Lange & Associates. She specializes in creative wordplay (a.k.a. marketing communications) and in "translating" techno-babble into English. Penny has also taught courses in business communications and technical editing at the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College as well as to business clients. She is a frequent guest-speaker at the Algonquin College Technical Writing Program and at both local and international STC events. She is also co-author of the book The View from Here, about Ottawa-area female executives. In her spare time, Penny writes articles for the international STC magazine, Intercom, and for the STCEO newsletter, Stimulus.

"Upstairs at Loblaws", Westboro (Richmond Road at Kirkwood) Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Free for members, $5 for students, $10 for others.
Food at 6:30pm
Presentation at 7pm


January Event

"More Content in Less Time: Applying the secrets of Lean Thinking and Agile Programming to the creation of content."

Presented by Mark Baker

How can you create more content in less time? With information developers being asked to do even more with even less, the question is an urgent one. Yet writing is a hard thing to speed up. I'm already typing as fast as I can! But actual writing, actually sitting down at a keyboard and pounding out new text, is only a small part of the work of creating content. The rest of the time writers spend in research, learning, testing, reviewing, editing, formatting, administration, and publishing activities, and in the recreation of text that is not new but that already exists somewhere in some other document or some other media.

To create more content in less time, therefore, you need to spend less time on these other activities and more time creating new text. But how? How does Toyota bring a new vehicle to market in one year when it takes most of their competitors two to three years? How did the state of Minnesota develop a Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System one year at the cost of 1.1 million, when the development of a similar system in Florida took 15 years at an estimated cost of 230 million? The answer to the first question is "lean thinking" and the answer to the second is "agile software development".

Can the lessons of lean thinking and agile software development be applied to content development? Yes they can. But it is not about going out and purchasing the latest CMS or single sourcing tool, nor is it about converting all your content to XML. It is about looking at your entire content development process and identifying and eliminating sources of waste from that process. Lean thinking provides a way of systematically identifying and eliminating waste that can be applied to any process, including the content development process. This presentation will introduce the main ideas of lean thinking and agile programming and provide some key examples of how the techniques developed in these disciplines can be used to create more content in less time. Examples will focus on things you can do today without a huge technology investment, but the presentation will also shop how the principles of lean thinking and agile programming can be use to guide a move to content management or XML.

About the speaker

Mark Baker has been studying methods for improving the efficiency of content creation for 15 years. His former positions include Manager, Information Engineering Methods at Nortel and Director, Communications, for SGML pioneer, OmniMark Technologies. He has spoken frequently and written many articles on content development, markup, single sourcing, and content management. He was named one of 20 leaders to watch in the content management industry for 2004 by CMS watch. He is currently president of Analecta Communications, a writing and consulting company in Ottawa. He is also an associate of the Center for Information Development Management.

"Upstairs at Loblaws", Westboro (Richmond Road at Kirkwood) Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Free for members, $5 for students, $10 for others.
Food at 6:30pm
Presentation at 7pm


December Event

Thursday, December 9, 6:30pm
"Upstairs at Loblaws", Westboro (Richmond Road at Kirkwood)
Food, drink, and even a cooking demo. Meet your old friends and make some new ones.

STC Members & Students $10 ; Others $15

Cash bar, Dinner and Cooking Demonstration

RSVP here by Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. if you wish to to attend. Then call your writer pals and fill up a table of six. Relax, chat, network, schmooze, eat, drink ... & be merry!


Read Pen Inc. Fundraiser

Please join Read Pen Inc.for their second annual fundraising event on Friday, November 19, 2004. It will take place at the Travelodge Ottawa West which is located at 1376 Carling Avenue.

Time: 11:30 am to 1:00 pm.

This event will be of interest to organizations that develop, test, deliver, manage, and/or consume technical information. This year's theme is Breaking the information barrier.

Admission is free with donation to the Ottawa Snowsuit Fund.

To learn more about this event, visit http://www.readpen.ca/events.htm


November Program Event

Requirements - The Cornerstone of Software Quality
Presented by Marie Grant - Testing IT Write Inc.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004
"Upstairs at Loblaws", Westboro (Richmond Road at Kirkwood)
Free for members, $5 for students, $10 for others.
Food at 6:30pm
Presentation at 7pm

Marie's presentation "Requirements - The Cornerstone of Software Quality" demonstrates the importance of having a well defined set of requirements upon which to base the testing of the project deliverables. These requirements should also be used to provide guidance to managers and developers in the successful delivery of the product. In her presentation, Marie will interactively demonstrate what constitutes a "good" requirement.

Marie Grant has lived in every Canadian province and is now happily settled beyond the west end of Ottawa. She shares her home and home office with her husband, two dogs and a cat. Marie has an extensive and varied background in the aviation and aerospace industries and has developed a diverse background working in the IT industry since 1996, primarily as a Software Test Specialist and Technical Communicator.

Marie's extensive knowledge and experience in software testing and quality analysis covers a broad range of public and private sector products including client/server-based government services applications; web-based/internet enabled government services e-commerce applications; 3-D, real time, virtual reality simulation software; web-based stock portfolio management software; and interactive software tutorial applications.

In addition to performing testing tasks, leading, supervising and managing test teams, Marie has been instrumental in bringing projects back on track through the development, implementation and management of requirements. Her company, "Testing IT Write Inc." focuses on improving the quality of software being delivered to market. This is accomplished primarily through the proper application of requirements definition, process implementation and effective communication.


October Program Event

"Technical Writing and Structured Writing: What's the Difference?"
presented by Kim Hale, Master Trainer, Communicare Inc.
Wednesday, October 13, 6:30pm
"Upstairs at Loblaws", Westboro (Richmond Road at Kirkwood)
Free for members, $5 for students, $10 for others.
Food at 6:30pm
Presentation at 7pm

Technical Writing and Structured Writing: What's the Difference? What is Structured Writing? Is it different from Technical Writing? If so, what are the similarities and differences between the two? Does Structured Writing have an advantage over Technical Writing when it comes to such modern communications developments such as Content Management Systems and Single-Source Documentation? This presentation will address these questions with examples and illustrations that demonstrate the differences between Technical Writing and Structured Writing.

Kim has over 15 years experience as a facilitator, beginning her training career with Bell Canada. She joined Communicare in 1998 and is a certified Information Mapping Master Trainer. Kim has been involved in numerous documentation consulting projects for public and private sector clients and has experience in creating and mapping large manuals and other sophisticated documents.


Wine & Cheese

Sponsored in part by:

BuildFire 2005
G.R. Baird Financial Inc

An opportunity to meet the new executive, catch up with old friends, and make new contacts. There will also be door prizes and of course, wine & cheese. Please bring along any friends or co-workers who might like to learn more about what the STC has to offer.

Dow's Lake Pavilion
Monday, September 27 at 6:30pm
Free for STC members and students, $10 for others

Dow's Lake Pavillion is at Prince of Wales, just south of Carling Avenue

For bus routes: http://www.octranspo.com/mapscheds/systemmaps/sys_map_2004/map.asp?lang=eng&x=5&y=13&z=60

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