Competition Awards Celebration and 60th Anniversary Kickoff

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THIS JUST IN! Rescheduled due to weather

Competition Awards Celebration and 60th Anniversary Kickoff

STC Washington, DC – Baltimore Chapter
Thursday, March 12, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EST)
McLean, VA

Register using the Eventbrite widget below or go directly to the Eventbrite page and register there.

Celebrating our heroes is our favorite thing to do here in the STC Washington, DC – Baltimore chapter and our annual competition, which just ended, has yielded us all a fresh crop. We will celebrate the winners in our 2014-2015 STC WDCB Summit Competition for Technical Communication at La Sandia, a Mexican delight in Tysons Corner Center, which is an easy walk from the new Silver Line Metro stop. The winning entries will be available for review but it’s the people that will make the party!

Come meet some local techcomm heroes, meaning professors: Dr. Liz Angeli from Towson University, Dr. Allen Brizee from the Loyola University of Maryland, and Dr. Heidi Lawrence of George Mason University. Also meet several of our winners, who will share their secrets for creating award-winning techcomm, and our chapter’s long-distance secretary, Lori Meyer, who will be visiting us from California.

Our chapter is celebrating for another reason as well. This year is our 60th anniversary as chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. We received our charter in December 1955, just two years after STC was founded. Since then, our chapter has been a standout among all chapters in STC, winning awards and encouraging our members to become technical communication heroes.


6:30-7:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30-9:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony and Dessert


First Course: Crimini Mushroom Quesadillas, Grilled Chicken Quesadillas, Chicken Flautas, and Beef and Chorizo Empanada
Second Course: Choice of the following entrees:

  • Chile Relleno: Lightly battered chile poblano, four Mexican cheeses, sauteed vegetables, chile chipotle sauce, refried black beans
  • Chicken Enchilada Divorciadas: Chicken tinga, tomatillo sauce, entomatada sauce, mexican rice, refried black beans
  • Pork Carnitas: Slow roasted pork shoulder, fresh corn tortillas, guacamole, pickled onion, salsa verde, habanero salsa, Mexican rice, charros
  • Jalisco Shrimp Enchilada: Oaxaca cheese, corn, rajas, crema fresca, Mexican rice, refried beans

Third Course: Tres Leches and Churros
Bottomless non-alcoholic selection of seasonal fruit waters made in-house, fresh house-made lemonades, horchata, soda, iced tea, and coffee.

Cash bar

Check out our other events and join us for great technical communication.

Competition Winner badge - 2014 164x208Competition Best of Show badge - 2014 164x208

InfoDevDC Meetup: Putting out fires with content strategy

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Tues 12/9/14 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
11955 Democracy Drive, Reston, VA

Join us on the 11th floor

Our speaker this month is John Collins – Senior UX Content Strategist at Rosetta Stone.

You’ve probably heard—or said—something like “All I did today at work was put out fires.” We’ve all been there. We don’t want fires, but they happen. So, let’s see how content strategy helps put out fires in software development, some examples, and what you can do to prepare for or shift to a glamorous content strategy career. Chances are you’re already well on your way if you’re interested in the InfoDevDC meetup.
Speaker Bio

John Collins grew up surrounded by content, taking his first job in high school working with paste-up boards at a publishing house. After a stint as an award-winning journalist, he became a technical writer and then a content strategist at Rosetta Stone, where he’s done everything from architecting and writing Help systems, to writing user interface microcopy, to working with locale strings in source control, to leading internationalization projects, and even wireframing user flows.

Passionate about quality content, content strategy, user experience, and localization (It’s all related!), John enjoys sharing experience with his peers. He has spoken at WritersUA, the Society for Technical Communication Summit, the Society for Technical Communication Academic Special Interest Group, and Information Development World. You can find John online at his blog,, or on Twitter: @jrc_collins.

Putting out fires with content strategy

Tuesday, Dec 9, 2014, 6:30 PM

11955 Democracy Drive Reston, VA

14 Information Developers Went

Our speaker this month is John Collins – Senior UX Content Strategist at Rosetta Stone.You’ve probably heard—or said—something like “All I did today at work was put out fires.” We’ve all been there. We don’t want fires, but they happen. So, let’s see how content strategy helps put out fires in software development, some examples, and what you can …

Check out this Meetup →


InfoDevDC Meetup — Getting Organized: Practical Guidelines for a Scalable Project Architecture

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Join us as we partner with InfoDevDC for Getting Organized: Practical Guidelines for a Scalable Project Architecture, featuring speaker Richard Rabil, Senior Technical Writer at Opower and STC WDCB member.

Register on the InfoDevDC meetup group event page

A description of his presentation appears below.

There is an abundance of information on the web about the features and capabilities of sophisticated documentation tools (such as MadCap Flare and Adobe RoboHelp), and yet many of these resources seldom include an in-depth analysis of one the most obvious challenges that writers face: no matter how powerful a tool is, we still need to set up and maintain a scalable system for the hundreds of files we inevitably create.

As the sheer number of topics and deliverables maintained by a documentation team grows, it becomes increasingly important to develop a system of content management that is well-organized, relatively consistent, and optimized to support long-term expansion and maintenance. In this presentation, I’ll provide some practical guidelines and techniques for designing a scalable project architecture. While the underlying principles I will be discussing are tool-agnostic, there will be an emphasis on creating scalable projects for help authoring tools (specifically I will use MadCap Flare for my illustrations). You will learn:

  • Practical ideas for organizing projects and folders at the right level of granularity, with team collaboration and scalability factors in mind
  • Guidelines for establishing and abiding by naming conventions for different types of content
  • Guidelines for policies your team can use when creating reusable content such as graphics, CSS, snippets, and other resources

Ideas and Notes from STC WDCB Summer Vision Day 2014

Photo fo a seat at the beach with a chair, sunglasses, coconut drink with an umbrella

The recording for Summer Vision Day 2014 in in our list of podcasts in the sidebar.

Download the Summer Vision Day 2014 PowerPoint Slides (3.2 Mb .pptx).

During the meeting, we asked members to post ideas and needs for future events. Please use our WDCB website as a forum for sharing ideas.

  • What kinds of events would you like to see in the coming months?
  • What kinds of topics should we cover?
  • For what kinds of speakers should we look?

We asked to hear from you, the membership, and we mean it. What’s on your mind? What do you need?

Please share your thoughts here.