Professional programs compared

Hello, my name is Spring!

I’ve resurfaced, finally, after completing a long contract. Now there are IOU lunches to plan and vacation photos to edit, and after criss-crossing Canada, it’s a must-do to get back into the swing of professional development.

They say to carry a pocketful of business cards and memorize your elevator pitch. You just never know what can become of a networking opportunity. This week I scored four professional events happening in downtown Vancouver. It’s always instructive to observe, even better to hone the pitch, and totally awesome when your card is pulled for a door prize.

Offerings Agile Vancouver Editors’ Association of Canada International Association of Business Communicators STC Canada West Coast
Event Name Domain Driven Design Practices Plain Language Certification How to Network Effectively H.A.T. Tricks
Presenter Eric Evans, author Domain-Driven Design, Addison-Wesley 2004, thought leader in software design and domain modeling Katherine McManus, Director of SFU Writing & Communications Program Karen Lee, IABC Canada – Master Communicator, teaches for the University of Victoria in the Public Relations diploma program Neil Perlin, internationally-known online content consultant
Date March 18, 2013 March 20, 2013 March 21, 2013 March 19, 2013
Time 6:00-9:00 pm 7:00-9:00 pm 5:30-7:00 pm 6:00-8:30 pm
Topic Exploring and Distilling the Core Domain: An Anonymized Case Study SFU’s role in grant-funded project to launch international certification in plain language Industry expert advises how to effectively network your way through an event Overview of help authoring tools and history
Format Standup presentation, slides Standup presentation, slides, voice recorded, photographed Instructor led presentation (no slides) and networking practice Webinar, remote presentation
Networking Before and after Pre meeting dinner, before and after Before and after, and during as an activity Before and after
Venue Renaissance Harbourside Hotel YWCA Harbour Centre, SFU YWCA
Freebies Coffee and tea Door prizes, fruit, homemade cookies Door prizes, donuts, juice Tea, cookies, grapes
Registration Online thru Eventbrite, at door Online, at door Online, at door, by phone Online, at door
Seats Filled 80 33 20 12 (+9 remote)
Member $10 $0 $0 $5
Non-member $10 $10 $10 $20

Feeling the pull

expecting the pull

I followed the unexplainable to do this thing called president. Now I’ve stepped in it. Going to lead the Canada West Coast chapter for the 2011/12 year.

It’s an honour, really. Engage with the world’s largest professional association serving technical communicators.

The Society for Technical Communication has 11,000 members in over 100 chapters. We work in high-tech, health care, natural resources, legal, utilities, business services and government. The CWC chapter is a geographic community rich with technical communicators.

Past presidents set the model for doing good and giving back. I hear you: uphold this standard!

My chapter has given me tools to profit. So that’s my reason to follow this path. My vision, while still taking shape, will seek ways to engage our 118 members.

Magicians, mystery shoppers and technical writers

birds tweeting
credit: DryIcons.com

These occupations require keen observational skills and stealth at blending in anonymously. Workers unite through professional organizations such as the Society for Technical Communication, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.

Workers are guided by codes of their professional community.

  • Respect the rights of authors, creators and inventors and obtain permission before using their tricks.
  • Follow principles of honesty, professionalism, fairness and confidentiality to guard the interests of the public and clients in order to promote good business practices.
  • Evaluate communication products and services constructively and tactfully, and seek definitive assessments of our own professional performance.

These occupations are among the top 10 in the Philippines.

A talented magician can earn up to 173.45 USD per party.
A mystery shopper can earn 81.64 USD per project to dine, phone or test a service.
A passionate blogger can earn more than 69.38 USD for an article.

It’s someone’s job to produce something from nothing but it’s unknown who shops for market researchers or writes a manual for magicians.

Time to renew

Kiss this decade goodbye.

It was a tough year whether you worked or not. iTunes, for one, has not seen much spending from this customer. But I’m less worried about Apple. On the other hand the professional society I belong to went splaaat. A financial shortfall almost closed the doors.

Chapter members heard countless pleas to financially assist the society and responded with a.) ways to keep the society afloat, and b.) reasons to cut bait.

Canadian STC chapters get fewer benefits – no discounted insurance programs, no salary survey covering this country, no directorship, and lots fewer Canadian job postings. We are losing our pass-through dividend and probably lots of members too due to the dues increase.

More money for fewer services. I’ve gone back and forth – to fish or cut bait.

Traditions and resolutions get the better of me. I’m reviving our 1990’s practice of ringing in the new with a cup of warm sake.

And I’ll renew my STC membership for 2010 for the price of three artists complete sets on iTunes.

Happy New Year’s Day.