On the Move for August

Head’s Up:  we will not be located at the Salesforce Rincon meeting room for the August 19, 2015 meeting. Please stay tuned for additional location information.
We hope you can attend, because we are planning an end of summer pizza celebration for the August meeting, in addition to another great speaker.

Haven’t Renewed for the STC? Get a Free Chapter Membership!

Members who join or renew before June 1, 2015, will receive a free 2015 membership in the referring Chapter or SIG.

Important: Don’t sign up or pay for the Chapter or SIG; instead, include the San Francisco Chapter as a referral on the online application. The referral fields can be found under the Membership tab of the online application. STC will be responsible for signing the member up for that particular Chapter or SIG free of charge. The San Francisco Chapter must be listed online to receive credit.

Free Webinar on February 25: Joe Welinske on Techniques for Mobile User Assistance

The STC San Francisco Chapter is hosting a free, live webinar featuring Joe Welinske on Techniques for Mobile User Assistance on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, at 7:00 PM PT.

Email info@stc-sf.org by Monday, February 23 to save your spot!

About the Presentation

Smartphones have sparked a huge, new software segment – the mobile app. This creates an important pair of questions for user assistance professionals: What is our role going forward in mobile and how can we prepare to take that on? User Assistance does have a role in supporting mobile apps. As the mobile app market continues to soar, this is becoming the next frontier for user assistance professionals. This session provides an overview of current issues regarding design, writing, tools, and planning of your mobile UA.

You Will Learn

  • About contemporary design for user assistance in mobile apps.
  • Why traditional desktop UA translates poorly to the small screen.
  • What techniques are particularly useful to employ.

About the Presenter

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. 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. Check out the Events page for upcoming classes and industry presentations.

About User Assistance Boot Camp, Seattle – April 15-17

We’re going to hit an aggressive agenda at WritersUA West with two separate sequences of UA-specific learning – for newbies and pros. “UA Boot Camp” features certificates in Basic Training and Grad School. Over thirty sessions covering all aspects of software user assistance. Registration is just $695. Read the conference details.

Important Webinar Information

  • Space is limited to 25 people
  • Please register by Monday, February 25
  • Email your name and email to info@stc-sf.org to register. The presenter will send you an email with the connection information.
  • The webinar will be presented using GoToMeeting
  • The webinar will be streamed live and will not be recorded
  • The presentation is scheduled for 45 minutes and there will be time for questions at the end

January 24, 2015: TC Camp

TC Camp is an Unconference focused on Technical Communications issues, skills, challenges, and the various applications used by technical communicators.

The purpose of TC Camp is to provide a local conference for technical communicators that is driven by the members of that community–writers, editors, designers, and the people who support them.

Visit the TC Camp website for full details on the location, agenda, ticket price, and attendees.

Date: Saturday, 24 January 2015
Time: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Venue: Hospitality Management building, Mission College, Santa Clara, CA.
WiFi will be available, you can twitter, live blog!
Register on TicketLeap: choose a workshop or just attend the afternoon unconference

  • Workshop + Unconference + Lunch — $39
  • Workshop + Unconference — $35
  • Unconference + Lunch — $4
  • Unconference Only — Free

January 17, 2015: Annual Chapter Party and Touchstone Awards

Join the Berkeley Chapter on Saturday evening, January 17, to relax with fellow communicators, enjoy a buffet dinner, and celebrate excellence in the profession.

Pre-register to save $10! Visit the Berkeley Chapter website for details and to register.

Every year Touchstone, the Northern California Technical Communication Competition, receives many fine entries. We send the best ones to the STC International Summit Awards competitions. We will announce this year’s winners and display their entries throughout the evening.

During the evening we will also recognize and honor competition judges and Berkeley chapter volunteers for their contributions to the chapter and the profession.

Our yearly raffle: Once again, the generosity and support from the wonderful vendors in our professional community allow us to offer some extraordinary raffle items. Some of the prizes include:

  • From Madcap Software: Madpak Suite, which includes six fully integrated technical communication and content development tools for authoring & publishing, analysis & reporting, translation management and multimedia creation.
  • From Techsmith: Snagit software, which helps you capture great looking images and videos with just a few clicks.
  • From Balsamiq: Three licenses for Mockups wireframing software. Want to create delightful user interfaces? Start by wireframing them in Balsamiq Mockups.
  • From University of Chicago Press: Chicago Manual of Style Online and Scientific Style and Format.

New Location!

We’re moving to a new location!

As previously announced, we will be meeting at the Salesforce community meeting room on the ground floor of the Rincon Center. The entrance is near the dolphin fountain in the middle of the plaza, between the Rincon Towers.

For parking, use either the Howard Street Garage (located between Spear and Steuart) or the garage under the Rincon Center (located on Spear between Mission and Howard). The Rincon Center underground parking garage elevator will take you to the ground floor, on the same side of the building as the entrance to the meeting center. Parking costs $10 for an evening at Rincon Center.

If you are taking public transportation, you can take either BART or MUNI and exit at the Embarcadero Station. Turn right and walk down Spear Street, about half-way down the block. Cross the street and enter the plaza about half-way down Spear Street (on the east side of Spear Street). Walk up the steps, and when you see the Dolphin fountain, look left, and you’ll see the entrance.

Big thanks to Mysti Berry, Salesforce employee and friend of the Chapter, for helping to coordinate! She’ll be at the door to escort people into the building.

2015 Election

Please look out for an email asking you to vote in the 2015 San Francisco Chapter elections. Only those who are members of the Chapter are eligible to vote.

Please be sure to take a moment to vote for the following elected officials:

  • Leah Scampoli–President
  • Marc Smirchich–Treasurer

There’s still time to volunteer for the Secretary and Vice President roles! Contact info@stc-sf.org if you are interested.


TC Camp Well Worth Attending

By Patrick Lufkin

I attended the TC Camp last year and found it to be immensely valuable.

I really liked the “unconference” format in which attendees choose what they want to talk about. The discussions I attended were timely, lively, and informative. With a dozen or more sessions to choose from, it was easy to find plenty to like.

The event is also valuable for its camaraderie. I’ve long missed having a regional event where I could meet with other technical communication professionals and exchange ideas. We used to have such events, but both the STC Regional conferences and the Writer in the Workplace conference went away about a decade ago. Now the TC Camp is filling the void.

The event also included a few traditional presentations and panels, and opportunities to make contact with sponsor-vendors. Some very affordable classes are available at additional cost. Otherwise, the event is free.

I hope to see you there.

Patrick Lufkin