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You’ve got what it takes in Tech Comm? Here’s your chance to PROVE IT!

doctormadeofawesomeCome on, admit it–you know you are good.  You know that deep down, you are one of the best in the tech comm business doing what you do.  Perhaps your co-workers and your manager know it, or your clients know it, but does anyone else?

Here’s an opportunity to show the rest of the world–especially your peers in the field–that you have what it takes to be one of the best technical communicators out there.

The STC New York Metro, Philadelphia (my chapter!) and Houston chapters –three outstanding award-winning chapters–have combined forces to bring you one of the best Regional TechComm Competitions available–and you don’t have to be a member of any of these chapters to submit an entry!

Click on this logo for more information!

You have to hurry, though, as all entries should arrive by 3:00 PM ET on October 17, 2013!

Now, you may be asking the following questions…

Why should I enter?

  • Winners receive awards and tangible recognition of achievement from the STC , which celebrated its 60th anniversary this year
  • Receive detailed evaluations from judges in the technical communications field; this objective peer evaluation supports continuous improvement
  • Validate your methods and earn visibility

Who can enter and what can be entered?

Anyone (student or professional) who produces technical communication, training material, or content for the web and other devices can enter. Membership in the STC is not a requirement. You may submit an entry as a team, an individual or on behalf of a colleague.

Enter your best work in the following categories:

  • Instructional Materials
  • Informational Materials
  • Promotional Materials
  • User Support Materials

Entries are subject to the rules that are defined in the STC General Information and Competition Rules.

The STC offers two levels of competition:

  • Local and regional
  • International

Regional competition entries that earn Excellence or Distinguished Technical Communication awards qualify for the STC International Summit Awards competition.

Sounds good! How to I submit my work?
The STC strongly encourages all entrants to submit the online version of their content or send URLs because:

  • Uploading online entries is faster and cheaper for entrants
  • There is less risk of damage to entries if sent online
  • Distribution of entries to Judges can be done quicker and at lower costs

Whenever possible, send the URL or the online version of your content. Instructions will be given on sending entries via GoogleDrive or FTP.

Okay, I want to do this! I’ve got what it takes! I’m ready to submit, and just need more details on the rules, entry fees, and all that’s involved with this competition, because I want to get feedback from top technical communicators from around the country!

Find all the details you need at the STC-NYC Metro Chapter’s Competition website, found at:

This is a great opportunity, so don’t miss it!


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By Paying Employees To Live Near The Office, Imo Cuts Commutes, Ups Happiness

See on Scoop.itM-learning, E-Learning, and Technical Communications

There’s that one guy who commuted seven hours a day and claimed to love it. But for most people, the daily commute is something we dread. The average commute time in America is 25 minutes, per the Census Bureau (with great variation by region).

Danielle M. Villegas‘s insight:

This is a great follow-up to my post titled, “Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? (Not a tribute to the Clash).” Thanks to @BillCush for posting this on Twitter. I did have a commute just a mile and a half from my house at one point. It was the next best commute I ever had (the best being my current commute, which is working from home). I would have no problem moving to be closer to a company if a) buying and selling a house in this area was easy to do–we know it’s not, and b) if, for my personal circumstances, we could be assured that there was a special needs program or school that would appropriately accommodate my son’s needs. That’s what holds us back now.

But this is what perhaps Marissa Meyer at Yahoo!–and other employers–should consider.  They need to make relocation more practical and accessible, and be in more accessible locations. From where I live–between NYC and Philadelphia, so many people drive more than the average 25 minutes to work. I think 25-30 minutes is reasonable, but others will drive easily two to three times that amount around here. I remember the average commute in Washington, DC could easily be 1-2 hours, and that was considered relatively “normal”. That’s ridiculous, if you really think about it. We live in a time of great technology, and there are social tools we can use. We need to find the right balance between being either very close to work, or allowing for more work-at-home situations.


See on

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Blast from the Past – Volume 1: The First American Technical Communicator?

Today’s entry from the TCGM grad school archives is from April 2010, when I was still a tech comm fledgling. Note the reference to Walter Issacson towards the end of the entry. His name might be more familiar to us now, as he is the official biographer of the late Steve Jobs, and whose book came out just after Jobs’ death last fall.  I have always been a history geek, so it was fun to try to make this connection back then (and I still stand by it!)

So what do you think…would ol’Ben here have been an m-learning advocate? Knowing his love of communication and technology, as well as his avid promotion of literacy and education, methinks he would’ve totally supported it!

Benjamin Franklin On a night when I finally felt mentally and physically exhausted enough to take a break, I found my husband channel surfing on TV. (Now that we have an HD-TV, he’s on it a lot more than he used to be.) Among the channels that he does like to watch– and I do too, is the History Channel in HD. Last night, I think the show was Modern Marvels, and they actually had the whole episode dedicated to the works of Benjamin Franklin. Now, I’ve always had a slight soft spot in my heart for Ben Franklin, ever since I was in about third grade, and read my first biography about him, and knowing that he had strong ties to Philadelphia, which is the city I most associated with when I was growing up (even though I lived halfway between New York and Philly, Philly has family and that was the “culture” I was oriented around.) This was recently revived with a trip to the Franklin Institute with my son.

Anyway, I didn’t catch the whole show, and of course, my husband would be channel surfing during commercials, but from what I was catching of the program, which was towards the end of the episode, they were talking about Franklin being ahead of time on many levels–which he was–and how he was a big player when it came to eighteenth century communication and science. We know that Franklin was the one who was a newspaper printer, a philosopher, a statesman, a politician, and a scientist. But the thing that ties all those other elements of this post-Renaissance man is that he was a writer. He was a prolific writer, in fact, writing everything from the contents of the Pennsylvania Gazette, to books about philosophy, and writing letters and documents that helped to form the United States and its diplomatic ties. He also opened up the first public library in the United States, specifically the Library Company of Philadelphia, whereby patrons could join for a small fee and share the books in the library, for the purpose of learning and being able to exchange ideas.

The  author Walter Issacson, who wrote a biography about Ben Franklin, was one of the commentators, and he was saying that if Ben Franklin lived in this day and age, he’d be loving it! With this being the digital age of email, computer communications, cell phones, Twitter, etc., Franklin would’ve been totally in his element, as he was all about the latest in science and communication, and for a guy in his time, he was on the cutting edge of such things. Part of a segment I saw talked about how Franklin was the first one to help devise the concept of watermarks and other security devices to protect the manufacturing of money, some of which are still used today.  It was also mentioned that if Franklin had a new way of doing something or a new invention, he always shared his ideas and how he did them, with the exception of this currency security printing method, understandably.  So, that makes me think that perhaps with all the cool inventions and discoveries he made, and considering that he was both a scientist AND a writer, that sharing that information made him the first American technical communicator.

What do you think? It’s a pretty good theory, anyway. 😉