September—A Great Month for Networking

by Mary Jo David and Alison Phillips

STC/SM hosted two casual networking events around Southeastern Michigan during September: A happy hour event was held at Granite City in Troy, and a morning coffee/tea time was held at Sweetwaters (Plymouth Green) in Ann Arbor.

September 17: STC/SM Secretary Alison Phillips hosted the Granite City happy hour event in Troy. Four attendees enjoyed a balmy late-summer evening on the patio, sipping drinks and exchanging ideas and personal anecdotes on a variety of subjects, including cross-cultural considerations in technical documentation, indexing, the ups and downs of contract work, and career changes. Because most of the attendees had some background in the automotive industry, it was a common thread that wound though many of the conversations. In addition to sharing some experiences writing different types of auto-related technical documentation (from engineering specifications to owner’s literature), the group talked about autonomous vehicles, automotive regulations, and technology of crash test dummies.

September 29: STC/SM President Pat Martz hosted the morning coffee/tea at Sweetwaters in Ann Arbor. Seven attendees participated—three from nearby Siemens; others from Ann Arbor, Saline, and Canton; and one truly dedicated individual who traveled all the way from Ortonville! The morning’s conversation covered a range of topics, including, but not limited to, STC Summit annual conference experiences over the last few years, writers becoming editors (and vice-versa), life as an indexer, the Oxygen learning curve (the XML editor—not the TV station!), online card-sorting tools, experiences with online training (,, etc.), project planning, and World Usability Day and its “Innovation” theme.

STC/SM casual networking events are designed to promote small-group networking among technical communicators in local communities throughout Southeastern Michigan. Future casual networking events are slated for January (in Livonia) and February (in Detroit). Check our calendar for our current list of events.

In the meantime, join us for our October STC/SM program on the topic of leveraging the power of image and video in your communication on October 14, 2015, or either of the area World Usability Day events on November 12, 2015 in Michigan and Toledo.