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Newsletter of the Society for Technical Communication, San Francisco Chapter
October/November 2004

President's Notes and News
By Susan Becker

New STC Membership Opportunities!

If you're working in business these days, you know that we don't have problems any more -- we have opportunities. Well, one is actually coming your way. The new STC membership structure presents an opportunity for you and for our chapter, too!

You can read more about it at, but I'll summarize some of your opportunities here. With the new membership categories you can

The cost is about the same as now at $145 or as low as $125 for regular members ($50 for students), depending on the category, and you can add more communities (SIGs and chapters) for $5 or $10 a pop, respectively.

The whole STC is at your fingertips. You can join any of the 21 SIGS that meet virtually on everything from AccessAbility to Usability or any of the 150 chapters that meet locally around the world. (Why not Australia or France -- my personal favorites?) But contact with other technical communicators via email and the Internet, though important, is no substitute for face-to-face interaction.

If you live or work near San Francisco, I encourage you to choose our chapter as your local community for in-person networking, learning, and socializing.

Of course, I wish everyone would not just select the SF STC, but also attend chapter meetings regularly, join the leadership group, and run for office. But even if you attend a chapter meeting only occasionally or just the holiday party, if you respond to a survey or vote every year or so, if you send an email comment, question, or critique once in a blue moon, if you simply read the newsletter or email announcements now and then, you are an important part of our chapter. And we want to keep you.

We do get a "rebate" for each chapter member from the annual dues that you send to the Society when you renew. For fiscal year 2004-2005, we received $24 each for the first 150 regular members, $16 for each additional regular member, and $10.80 for each student member, for a total of $4,356.

But there is more than money involved. We value your presence in our community. Choosing the SF STC again is your vote of confidence that we are providing value through our chapter Web site, ActiveVOICE online, monthly chapter meetings, holiday party, chapter scholarship, and other activities.

Why Am I a Member of STC? Members Respond.

Thanks to those who responded to my request to hear why you are a member of the SF STC. I'd like to share what Lu Rehling, past president of our chapter, wrote:

I am an STC member because…

I want to keep my professional knowledge current, so I appreciate reading STC journal, magazine, and newsletter articles, participating in SIG listserv discussions, plus learning from presentations, chapter meetings and conferences. My career has benefited from my own STC publications, presentations and awards, as well. I also feel good about contributing to my profession by supporting an organization that promotes high standards and ethical practices. Networking also is an STC benefit for me and STC has helped me to find good faculty and internship sponsors for SFSU's Technical & Professional Writing Program. Last, but definitely not least, I sincerely enjoy the people that I've met through STC, especially the members of our San Francisco chapter!

Plan Ahead

The year-end holidays are not quite just around the corner, but it's not too early to mark December 15th on your calendar as our chapter holiday party. Hope to see you there!

Susan Becker is a technical communicator and online help developer. She has 16 years of experience working primarily as a contractor in software development for the financial services and human resources industries.

Copyright © 2004 by the Society for Technical Communication, San Francisco Chapter ( This article may be reprinted in another STC publication under the provisions of the chapter's copyright policy.

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