By Leah Scampoli
Although I wasn’t able to attend this year’s STC Summit, I did take a look at the track descriptions. That got me to thinking about how the themes have changed over the last few years. Comparing the last five year’s track descriptions, I noticed that, aside from a few lineup changes, the track descriptions have remained mostly unchanged. However, there was interesting recent development.
Early on, Web Technologies was a mainstay. However, this year, Mobile Content Design and Development made an appearance as Web made its exit. I don’t think it’s necessarily that writing for the web is any less important, but more that writing for the web is now an emerging and vital skill. With improved smart phones and tablets, more and more people are viewing the web and other applications on their portable screens. This type of viewing is very different than reading off of a large monitor and presents a new set of challenges–and skill set. I can only assume mobile will continue to be part of future summit tracks.
Much like the rise of wikis and user-contributed content changed the technical writing landscape, the omnipresence of smart phones and tablets (and the possibility of watches and glasses) seems to be a trend that will only grow in importance. I think that the STC has done a great job by placing the topic on its track lineup to keep its members ahead of the curve.
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