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Next Meeting:

Summer hiatus until Sept.



Joe Welinske Webinar

TOUCH, VOICE AND GESTURES:
How to Craft Your User Assistance to Accommodate a Variety of Interaction Types.

For those who missed it, have no fear, click here!

STC Sacramento Calendar


Click here to view the Sacramento Metro chapter's Google Calendar...

Date

Time

Topic & Speaker

Location

6/12/14 6:30PM 8:30PM

Summit Wrap-Up and Social

Don't miss a great night of great Summit info and fun!

The Cattlemans Restaurant in Rancho Cordova

(click for directions)

5/8/14 6:30-8:30PM

Adding Change Management Concepts to Your Toolbox

Speaker: Linda Urban

 Learning to use new technologies, equipment, or software requires that people change how they do things. Research on change has shown that people go through stages as they experience a change and transition to something new. 

 Much of the time, user assistance, instruction, and other tech comm deliverables are written with the assumption that people are either ready to learn a product, or already using a product, and in search of answers to questions. But the stage when people are ready to use something — "ready to adopt" in change management lingo — is actually fairly far along the adoption curve.

 During this interactive session, we'll talk about:

  • How understanding peoples' perceptions of five characteristics of a change can help you identify what information and support is needed
  • The adoption stages that people move through when experiencing a change
  • How to align the materials you create with what people need at each stage
  • Ideas for additional types of content that can both entice people to use a product or technology, and help them through the transition to incorporating it in their work

 These ideas can be useful when you think about content or instruction you are developing for others. They are also useful, when you, or your team, are being asked to use new tools and technologies--for example, transitioning to structured writing or being integrated into agile development teams.

 Bio

 Linda Urban, a long-time technical communications consultant and instructor, is now focusing on organizational performance and workplace learning. She specializes in change management, needs assessment, evaluation, and performance improvement solutions to help individuals, teams, and organizations work more effectively.

 Linda works with technical writing and course development teams to help them work more effectively and improve the quality and usefulness of their content. Linda is also an instructor in the Technical Communication program at UC Berkeley Extension.

 You can reach Linda at:

linda@lucommunications.com

www.urbancreations.com

@lindaurban (Twitter)

The Urban Hive

1931 H St
Sacramento, CA 

4/26/14 11:30AM

STC Field Trip to the California State Railroad Museum!

April 26th 11:30AM

Museum tickets: $10

Lunch is on your own at Joe's Crab Shack.

Preregister and pay by April 25th

Cancelled due to low turnout!

Calif. State Railroad Museum

1251 i Street Sacramento, CA

4/10/14 6:30PM-8:00PM

April 2014 Meeting

The Making of “The Language of Content Strategy” - with Scott Abel, President & CEO of The Content Wrangler

Time is in short supply. Deadlines are tight. Resources, even tighter. If you're like most content professionals, you've got dozens of great ideas, but not enough time, money, and experience to bring them to life. But it doesn't have to be this way. In this content marketing meets intelligent content engineering presentation, Scott Abel explains how he and Rahel Anne Bailie created their new book, "The Language of Content Strategy," with the help of the crowd, structured XML content, a wiki, and a formal content strategy. The two seasoned content strategists enlisted the help of 50 knowledgable experts to create a printed book, an eBook, a companion website, and educational flash cards in record time, all from a single source of content. Scott will talk about why it's imperative that content professionals —regardless of their area of speciality — understand and leverage the power of advanced information development practices. Why? Because a repeatable content-production system, optimized for productivity, and designed to efficiently produce multiple content products simultaneously, is no longer an option, but rather, a necessity. It's really a content marketing project that is made possible by advanced content creation and management practices. And, it's a publishing project that demonstrates what is possible — even on a low budget.


Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler BIO

Known as The Content Wrangler, Scott Abel is an internationally recognized global content strategist who specializes in helping organizations deliver the right content to the right audience, anywhere, anytime, on any device. He writes regularly for business and content industry publications, is frequently selected as a featured presenter at content industry events, and serves on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Information.

Scott is a founding member of Content Management Professionals, serves on the Awareness Committee for Translators Without Borders, co-produces several annual conferences Intelligent Content, Information Development World, and Content Strategy Workshops, and is the producer of The Content Wrangler Content Strategy Series of books from XML Press. The first book in the series, The Language of Content Strategy, co-produced by Rahel Anne Bailie (with the help of 50 expert contributors), is both a book (print, eBook, audio, and web) and a content marketing case study in single-source, multi-channel publishing.

Scott's message is clear: Content is a business asset worth managing efficiently and effectively. His firm, The Content Wrangler (www.thecontentwrangler.com), exists to help content-heavy organizations adopt the tools, technologies, and techniques they need to connect content to customers.
The Urban Hive

1931 H St
Sacramento, CA 

3/13/14 6:30PM-
8:00PM

March Meeting

Title: Lightning Talks

Do you have an idea, passion, or humorous story you could share with your fellow STC members? Are you thinking of presenting a talk at the STC Summit next year? 

Give your presentation a test drive. Create 20 slides and talk for 20 seconds per slide. Be creative and have fun. Everyone is invited to participate. If you don't want to present, attend the meeting to cheer on the speakers and learn something!

Participants, send your PowerPoint slides to stc.sacramento.metro@gmail.com.

Sunrise 2 Sunset Grill


10113 Folsom Blvd, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

1/16/14 6:30PM-
8:00PM
Our January Meeing Speaker:

Tom Johnson - Presents:

Why Users Can’t Find Answers to Their Questions in Help Content

One of the main goals of help material is to help users find answers to their questions, but so often this doesn’t happen. Users foray into the help muttering under their breath only to leave it cursing vocally afterwards — because the help didn’t answer their question, or at least the user couldn’t find the answer. Why not? Why is it so hard to guide users to the right information when they need it?

I recently conducted a poll on my site -- http://idratherbewriting.com -- asking tech writers to rank the top reasons (from 20 listed) why users can't find the information they're looking for. After 130 voters, about 7 reasons trended to the top with the most votes:

1. The answer isn’t in the help because the help only sticks with obvious information.

3. The answer is an isolated task, but the user needs a more connected beginning-to-end workflow. 

4. The user searches for the answer, but the help’s poor SEO prevents the answer from surfacing. 

7. The help uses terms unfamiliar to the user (e.g., “gizmo” instead of “widget”).

8. The help has been fragmented and dispersed over many small topics so the help is a maze. 

14. The help doesn’t provide concrete examples that make the concepts understandable.

20. The answer is buried in a long page, but the user only spends 2 minutes max on a page scanning. 

In this presentation, I'll lead a discussion to analyze these reasons, explain why they pose the challenges they do, present potential solutions, and more. In so doing, I hope to address the root of why so many users feel disdain and apathy towards help material. I 'll also touch on the topic of SEO in the context of help documentation — that is, SEO for technical writers and their help material. 

About Tom Johnson:

Tom Johnson is a technical writer at Badgeville, a gamification company in Redwood City, California. He has a well-known blog, idratherbewriting.com, where he writes about important issues in technical communication. He has been named by MindTouch as the most influential person in #techcomm 3 years in a row. Frequent topics he writes and speaks about include findability, visual communication, organization, search, screencasting, and more. Aside from technical writing, he loves basketball, bikes to work, and has four daughters.

The Urban Hive

1931 H St
Sacramento, CA 

12/11/13 6:00PM-9:00PM

2013 Xmas Party!

Please join us for our last event of 2013. This will be a catered event and it's, (HO HO HO) FREE!

Please note this will be on a Wednesday evening this time, not our usual Thursday night.

Please let us know you're planning to attend and RSVP today.

The Clubhouse @ Stanford Village Court Rocklin, CA 95765

11/14/13 6:30PM-
8:00PM

Collaborative Single-Source Development of Training and Documentation

Presented by Homer Christensen

Training and Documentation are often seen as separate and different creatures and teams are often in silos competing for scarce resources. They are, in reality, siblings that can produce amazing results if they work together.

The Collaborative Single-Source Development Approach (CSSDA) we developed for our project allowed us to save approximately 20% in upfront development hours, but promises to save the client additional time and effort on updating both sets of materials by using one set of files.

We were able to continue to develop on schedule while the size of our combined teams diminished.

Using our single-source methodology allowed us to quickly produce multiple outputs, such as related job aids, with minimal efforts, and customize training materials for specific audiences.

One of the unintended consequences we discovered was the happy result of a more unified, flexible, and collaborative team who could step in to assist others as individual workloads lightened or increased. 

Homer Christensen

HomerChristensen.com

Bio:
R. N. Homer Christensen is an award-winning technical communicator and instructional designer with over 20 years experience. His client list has included Microsoft, Macromedia, and other leading software companies, nationally known authors, and state and local government. He has presented nationally, has been an invited reader at poetry festivals in California, and was Poet-in-Residence at Salmon Publishing in Ireland.

He has received a Stevie award for Best Product Developer, as well as the International Award of Distinction from the Society for Technical Communicators, two Awards of Excellence, and an Award of Merit from the Society for Technical Comunicators. He is currently the Senior Instructional Designer and Documentation Lead for Dynamics Research Corporation on a contract for the State of California.

In his spare time, Homer is a permaculture designer, working his urban food forest in historic Folsom, California.

The Urban Hive
1931 H St
Sacramento, CA 

10/19/13 6:55 AM

Climb aboard the STC Sacramento Metro Train for a fun-filled day at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose!

We’ll depart from the downtown Sacramento Amtrak station Saturday morning Oct. 19th at 6:55 am. Enjoy breakfast with your STC friends while breezing by the beautiful scenery of the Bay on the Coast Starliner.

The cost is $115, transportation, museum entry, breakfast and afternoon snack on the train included.

Tour the museum’s main exhibits and the opening day of the new Star Wars® : Where Science Meets Imagination exhibit! Get in touch with your inner Jedi!

Enjoy a no-host lunch at Original Joe’s, a short walk from the museum.

After lunch we’ll return to the Amtrak station to catch our return train at 4:30.

This is going to be FUN! Sign Up Now!

Leaving from Sacramento Amtrak Station
9/12/13

6:30PM - 8:00PM

STC Sacramento Metro September Meeting

Networking/Fall Program Line-up

NO CHARGE!!

Free drink with registration

Sam's Hof Brau
8/15/13 7:00PM - 8:00PM

Touch, Voice, and Gestures: How to craft your user assistance to accommodate a variety of interaction types

New ways of interacting with software, like touch and voice, mean a rethinking of how we develop our associated user assistance. This session is a guide for appropriate language choices to use for emerging interaction types like touch, voice, and hand gestures. Topics include device-specific instructions using conditional text, micro-concise instructions for small screens, writing for first user experience, flat navigation, and options for voice support. This session applies to both mobile platforms and the emerging use with desktop systems.

Bio
Joe Welinske specializes in helping your software development effort through crafted communication. The best user experience features quality words and images in the user interface. The UX of a robust product is also enhanced through comprehensive user assistance. This includes Help, wizards, FAQs, videos and much more. For over twenty-five years, Joe has been providing training, contracting, and consulting services for the software industry. Joe recently published the book, Developing User Assistance for Mobile Apps. He also teaches courses for Bellevue College, the University of California, and the University of Washington.

Promo
WritersUA East in Newport, Rhode Island
The WritersUA conference will be visiting the East Coast this Fall. A great roster of speakers and topics is scheduled for Oct 27-29 in Newport, Rhode Island. This should be an informative and fun experience for all who attend. Registration is open. WritersUA.com.

 
6/13/13 7:00PM

Managing and Reusing Content - Webinar

Hosted by David Singer

This will be a 40-minute live presentation that outlines the challenges facing authors who develop topic-based modular content. It introduces the concepts of the Information Mapping method for structured authoring and its application to creating effective modular content. This webinar is fast-paced and informative. It's usually followed by a question and answer session. 

David Singer
Content Development Manager,
Information Mapping US

 

David Singer has over 30 years’ experience in helping organizations achieve better control over their business-critical information. In the early 1980's, he joined Information Mapping, Inc., a company founded by Robert E. Horn to bring his research-based Information Mapping Method for structured authoring to the marketplace. The Method has become a content standard for large enterprises and government entities in at least 30 countries, and more than 600,000 people have been trained to use Information Mapping techniques. Over the years, David has held several positions within the Information Mapping organization. As Content Development Manager at Information Mapping US he speaks to audiences all over the country about content management and the Information Mapping Method. David also addresses these and many other topics in the Information Mapping blog.

David served as an officer of an STC chapter in Massachusetts in 2000.

Webinar
5/22/13 6:30-8:00PM

STC Summit 2013 Lite Version

6:30 - Networking

7:00 - Presentation

Brookfields Restaurant, Sacramento (click for map)
4/11/13 6:30-
8:30PM

STC Sacramento April Meeting:

Information Architecture Essentials

Information architecture (IA) is at the heart of technical communication. It defines the structure for information and helps make information findable.

In this talk, we'll define IA terms, look at examples, and review IA principles that can help improve the quality, consistency, and clarify of your documentation.

We'll talk about IA structure at a few levels:

  • Deliverables (what information goes into particular books or information sets)
  • Topic level (patterns for how different types of information are organized and presented. For example: concepts, tasks, reference, trouble-shooting, and command syntax)
  • Clusters of topics that work together, to address user needs

We'll talk about a bit about metadata--the tagging systems that allow information to be generated, searched, and sorted in different ways.

And we'll also talk about the importance of making sure your content aligns with user needs and business goals. The best IA in the world won't do much, if it's not supporting the right content!

Bring your questions, ideas, and experiences, and be part of this interactive discussion.

About Linda Urban
Linda Urban is a long-time technical communicator and instructor. She works with technical writing and course development teams to improve the quality of their content, focusing on usefulness, usability, and alignment with performance  goals and objectives. She helps teams clarify their goals, determine what changes would help them get the results they want, and designs solutions to help them move in that direction. She is a skilled facilitator, and her workshops regularly receive excellent reviews.

She also teaches in the Technical Communication program at UC Berkeley Extension. Among the courses that she teaches are Principles of Information Architecture and Technical Communication I.

You can reach Linda here:
linda@ lucommunications.com
www.urbancreations.com

Arthur F. Turner Community Library
in West
Sacramento)

3/27/13

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM EDT


12:30 PM - 2:00 PM CST CDT
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM MDT

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM PDT

Instructional Design and Learning SIG Webinar

E-Learning: Do You Have What it takes?
Featuring Jane MacKenzie


Are you interested in moving your career in the direction of designing or
developing e-Learning courses? Are you wondering whether you have the
skills to make that move easily? In this webinar by Jane MacKenzie, you'll
learn the skills you need at each stage of the e-Learning process and have
an opportunity to evaluate which skills you have and which skills you need
to acquire.

Jane MacKenzie (formerly Smith) has been an instructional designer for
over 25 years. She has written, designed, and produced training for
instructor-led classes, e-Learning, and audio training.

Virtual
3/14/13 7:00--8:00PM

Maxwell Hoffmann Presents:

Adobe Tech Comm Suite for Word Users

Since Word is the most common denominator amongst us all for content creation, this session will focus on how to understand the power of FrameMaker / RoboHelp and other aspects of Tech Comm Suite in terms that Word users can relate to. The session will be more of a “what you can do” rather than “step-by-step” “how to’s”.

Features covered will include:

  • Quick ways to set up "bullet proof" autonumbering
  • How to use unique page layout features leveraging both master pages, ref pages and system variables
  • "Smart Art": Generate tables of views or parts from 3D graphics, and make hot spots from graphic areas to relate text
  • Hints for quick and easy index markers
  • Making the most of Cross Reference Formats
  • Publishing from FrameMaker to HTML5 via RoboHelp using DEFAULTS loaded with Tech Comm Suite.

Maxwell Hoffmann
ABOUT THE PRESENTER: 
Maxwell Hoffmann is Adobe’s Product Evangelist for Technical Communications and a former product manager for FrameMaker at Frame Technology.  Hoffmann spent nearly 15 years in the translation industry, where he managed or published over 1,000,000 pages of multilingual content in thousands of projects.  He has managed projects in DITA, XML as well as authoring tools ranging from Word, InDesign, Quark Express to structured FrameMaker. Hoffmann is based in a virtual Adobe office near Portland, Oregon and claims to have presented face-to-face, hands-on training to over 1,200 people in scalable authoring solutions over several years.

Login creditials will be sent out after registering, before the meeting.

Virtual

2/13/13 6:30 - 8:00PM

Robert Hershenow Presents:

Record Killer Audio with Simple Equipment

Robert Hershenow works as an independent technical communicator in Berkeley, California, and has been recording and editing audio for 30 years. In this presentation he will show how to get the most out of your equipment and recording space without a lot of hassle or expense.

Stanford Village Community Clubhouse
Stanford Village Court

Rocklin CA

12/13/12

6:30 to 8:00pm

STC SacMetro's Holiday Networking Event

Join Us!

You're invited to join the STC Sacramento Metro Chapter for a holiday networking get-together. Don't miss this great opportunity to mingle with your fellow professionals and suggest future chapter programs.

Best of all, this free event will be catered, so food and drink will be provided (sorry, no alcohol). All we ask is that you RSVP by clicking the button below. See you there!

Stanford Village Ct. Community Room

Stanford Village Ct.
Rocklin, CA 95765

12/6/12

6:00 PM (Pacific)

Free Student Webinar

On Adobe Connect: STC Student Membership: Challenges, Opportunities, and Benefits.

During the presentation, we will discuss the challenges, opportunities, and benefits of student membership in the Society for Technical Communication, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of all aspects of technical communication. We will have a question and answer session for students interested in creating a student chapter at their university or in having contact with STC student members at other universities.

No registration is required
When:  Thursday, Dec. 6th, at  3:00 PM EST

 Logon Instructions:
·         Internet Explorer or Safari is recommended. (There are known issues with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox)
·         Open:  http://stc.adobeconnect.com/studentchapters1206/
·         Select Enter as a Guest.
·         Enter your name in the field. You can add your school name as well (e.g., Joe Smith MWSU)
·         Click Enter Room.  Join Audio Conference will display.
·         Choose one of the following:

Ø  Dial-out:  Enter your phone number.  You will receive a call to this number, and you can speak through your phone and watch the conference presentation on your computer. On the main menu bar:
·     From the speaker menu, select Mute my speakers to avoid feedback.
·    From phone menu, select  Mute my phone so we can’t hear you during the presentation.

Ø   Computer: Use Internet Explorer or Safari. You will need a microphone to speak during the question/answer session. After you enter the room, on the main menu bar:
·     From the microphone menu, select Mute my microphone.
·     If during Q&A, your microphone does not work, from the Meeting menu, select  Audio Setup Wizard. Run wizard to setup its use with Adobe Connect.

Hope you can join us on Thursday.  If you have any questions , please let me know: sally.henschel@mwsu.edu


 

 

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