I just renewed my membership in the Society for Technical Communication (STC) for the 33rd straight year. It was an easy decision. Here’s why.
When I joined STC, in the days before the Internet, it was the forum for discussing and learning about technical communication. If you wanted the best articles, you had to read Intercom and Technical Communication — and to read them, you had to be a member. STC’s annual conference was the only place to hear presentations by influential professionals from around the world — and then meet those people one on one.
I also lived in a place that had a vibrant STC chapter, offering lots of worthwile activities and allowing me to meet great people.
Over time, I became involved as a volunteer, as a leader in my chapter, and even as a member of the STC board of directors. In those roles I developed leadership and management skills while working closely with top professionals from all over the world.
STC also saw fit to recogize me as a Fellow, which means more to me than any other professional honor I’ve received.
But that’s the past.
Today, STC’s publications still deliver great content for practitioners and researchers. But I can get great content from other sources, and most of it is free on the web.
Today, the STC Summit is still an outstanding conference. But I can pick from several other conferences that rival it in size and quality.
Today, my chapter still offers great activities and still contains great people. But I can attend those activities, and meet those people, without being a member.
So why do I decide, year after year, to continue as an STC member? STC remains the preeminent organization for advancing our profession through research and through the exchange of information. It’s still home to many of the top people in our profession — people who exemplify what it means to be a technical communicator, people who have the vision to point us to the future and the wisdom to show us the way.
I want to support all of that. I love being a part of it. That’s why I re-upped.
Please use the Comments section to tell me what you think.