STC 2008: Blog round-up and some initial impressions

Sarah O'Keefe / Conferences1 Comment

I attended a bit of the opening session, but then got sucked into BoothLand and never got out into any sessions today.

But never fear, for there are quite a few other places to get STC conference coverage this year. We have:

Twitter: Follow the #stc2008 tag at

Tom Johnson notes that Twitter participation is abysmally low at under 1%. I was excited because there was any at all. I guess my expectations are lower than his.

Tom has also posted his notes from his panel on marketing in a Web 2.0 world.

I’m not finding much blog coverage of the conference. I find that disappointing. I found a few people who said that they are at the conference and will be blogging, but no conference content just yet.

There are two group blogs at ScribbleLive here and here.

A few tidbits on the STC wiki.

Scott Abel has posted his slide deck for Augmenting Your Technical Documentation with User-Generated Content.

The Managing Technical Documentation blog has a writeup of the opening panel.

Based on a highly unscientific survey of a few fellow consultants and business owners, the economy is not directly affecting our business. Most everyone is extremely busy.

Adobe announced Acrobat 9 today. I don’t have any useful assessment of that tool just yet, but I think it’s worth noting that the Adobe booth had up-to-date graphics showing Acrobat 9 as part of the Tech Comm Suite version 1.3. (Did I mention that my standards are low?)

Tomorrow (Tuesday), I’m doing two panels:

  • Getting Inside Information on Collaboration, 10:30 a.m., Room 112AB. In this panel, moderated by Char James-Tanny, my focus will be on building team culture across geographical and cultural boundaries.
  • What is Structured Authoring?, 1:30 p.m., Room 103A. Expect to see a quip-laden discussion between Alan Houser, Neil Perlin, and me about our respective definitions of “structured authoring” and why each of the others is wrong. (Neil and I did a session together at another conference that we labeled the “XML Death Match.” The official title was something so boring I’ve forgotten it. After I referred to Neil as the Time Life operator earlier today (in my defense, he was wearing a headset for a live demo), I expect serious trouble. Wish me luck, although of course I deserve any revenge he might dish out.

Tuesday evening is the honors banquet, where new associate fellows (like me!) and fellows will be…inducted? hazed? I’m not really sure, but check back on Wednesday and I’ll let you know about the whole thing. Except for the secret handshake.

Oops. (Can you be kicked out before induction?)

Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., I’m doing my last session, Paradigm Shifts are Never Pretty. Drop by to see my highly scientific Taxonomy of Problem Writers.

About the Author

Sarah O'Keefe


Content strategy consultant and founder of Scriptorium Publishing. Bilingual English-German, voracious reader, water sports, knitting, and college basketball (go Blue Devils!). Aversions to raw tomatoes, eggplant, and checked baggage.

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