Campaign 2008: The Blog--
My hat is in the ring; I am running for the 2nd VP position for the Society for Technical Communication. Those familiar with professional associations know that the 2nd VP automatically becomes the 1st VP and then the president of the society. In essence, then, I am running to become president of STC in 2010. So maybe my tag line should be "The odyssey continues" (with apologies to Authur C. Clarke).
Actually, I was thinking more along the line of "Expanding our sphere of influence," to reflect how we have broadened and continue to broaden our value proposition. I know it is in vogue to talk about how technical communicators are on their way out, but I have long advocated that just the opposite is happening. We seem to be disappearing because we are redefining ourselves beyond being the mere writers of words. We scaffold the user technology experience by providing information that eases and enhances that experience. Sometimes we do that by writing helpful content, but more and more we do it in less literary ways. We are as much about content planning, architecture, delivery strategies, and management as we are about content development. And we no longer limit ourselves to describing user interfaces; we now help design those user interfaces.
And when we write, we focus our content in new directions. Our documents are no longer about products; they are about the human performance those products support. We don't just instruct patients how to take their medication, we teach them how to live with their conditions. And technology-wise, we have leapt off of the page and into Webs, Wikis, blogs, Flash demos, and knowledge bases.
Having said all that, I'm starting to like "The odyssey continues." Make the trip with me. I will be using my blog space to explore and develop my platform over the next few months. Please respond with your perspectives and to voice your visions and issues.