ASTC (NSW) 2010 wrapup
This weekend I attended the ASTC (NSW) 2010 conference in Sydney. That’s the annual conference of the Australian Society for Technical Communication (New South Wales branch). I had a good time, learned a lot and met some great people.
That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it: the people. I made many new acquaintances and met up again with old friends. The conference lasted two days, Friday and Saturday. There were about 50 conference attendees, so that’s plenty of scope for networking and making contacts!
There were 14 sessions over the two days of the conference. Topics ranged from interior decorating through to travel insurance, with some technical writing along the way. 😉 I attended all the sessions and took notes from some of them so that I could blog about them. I wish I could have blogged about them all, but I just don’t have the time. Every single speaker was great and every session enjoyable.
These are the sessions I have blogged about, with a link to each post:
- One profession, many practices – towards a unified communication profession, by Neil James.
- Nobody ever came to work intending to do a bad job: Righting the wrongs of corporate information, by Bede Sunter.
- Five ways to deliver an intranet that works for staff, by James Robertson.
- Software usability: some second thoughts, by Jon Jermey.
- Counting on you: communicating numbers, by Irene Wong.
- Travel insurance: the communication challenge, by Rob McGregor.
- How to write for translation: New challenges for the writer, by Sarah Forget.
- Six step system to winning documentation using graphics: Interior decorating and the art of documentation, by David Keen.
- I spoke about using social media and other techniques to engage your readers in the documentation. If you like, you can download a copy of my slides in PDF form (2,593 KB): Engaging your readers in the documentation (slides only). I’ve put a lot of information and references into the speaker’s notes too. Download the slides with notes in PDF form (2,578 KB): Engaging your readers in the documentation (slides with notes).
- Rachael McAlpine presented two sessions. The first was titled From copywriting to content strategy: the silver lining to your career cloud. The second, Year after year of usable, accessible, findable content, focused on comparing the benefits of the online training solutions offered by her company, Contented, against the costs of face-to-face training.
- Bob Trussler spoke about Clumsy styles: our opportunity for excellence. He gave us some excellent tips on how we can use our Word document skills, especially with Word styles, to improve the documents produced by our organisations.
- Charles Cave gave a great case study on Creating e-learning using PowerPoint and Articulate, showing us how he uses a combination of PowerPoint, Articulate and Captivate to create and host e-learning material. He also gave us this great tip: use screenr.com to create, tweet and download screencasts as MP4, free of charge.
- Elizabeth Abbott gave a very useful presentation on the project management skills that are essential for any technical writer, whether we’re working as independent consultants or as an employee.
The people and the fun
A special thank you to Janet Taylor, for inviting me to speak at the conference and for getting me involved in the first place. It was an excellent event, heartily recommended for all technical writers and communicators. A big thank you also to Bede Sunter, Rob Phillips, Jasmine Andrews, all the ASTC committee and everyone else who put so much hard work into organising this event.
(Click the photograph to see a bigger version.)
More photos on Flickr
Take a look at my photo set on Flickr. You can view it as a slide show too. Let me know if you have any more photos or if you find any other blog posts or news about this conference. Hope to see you there next year!