May 12, 2005

STC Seattle Conference Thoughts, Part 1

Back in the office after spending the week at the Society for Technical Communication (STC) annual conference in sunny (ok, for a couple of, hours) Seattle WA. I'll post some more detailed thoughts later, but here are a few quickies:

  • There's a lot of angst among the tech writer population about tool directions. Should I ditch Framemaker for XML? What do I do now that Robohelp is gone? I guess that's good news for "tools guys" like myself, whose business is answering such questions for our users in the Tech Pubs department. It's also a big opportunity for tool software vendors, if they can capitalize on the current Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) running through the community.
  • DITA really dominated the tools-related tracks, with at least five sessions by the IBMers, and even some by other companies (Autodesk with their modified version). Can you spell "momentum"?
  • The tool vendors kept a low-profile. Blast Radius, makers of XMetal, stealthily infiltrated the audiences with people--I took that to mean that they're seriously looking at the Tech Pubs market. Arbortext wasn't around, oddly enough. Even Adobe fielded a booth, and given the recent controversies around their products (including the former MACR/eHelp/Blue Sky), being there was a brave thing (and the right thing) to do.
  • The tech writer community hasn't really changed much since the last time I went to one of these conferences (Toronto 1997?). I don't know what I expected after being away in land and the various states of IA, CS, and UX.
Posted by jameshom at May 12, 2005 11:24 AM | TrackBack
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