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Publications > Dateline Houston > April 2004 > Chapter News

Volume 43, Issue 7

April 2004

Chapter News

April Program Meeting

Overview of Annual Conference Presentations

Get the latest techniques and tips from STC Houston members who will present at the STC Annual Conference in Baltimore this coming May.

Nicole Wycislo will deliver Adapting Policies and Procedures for Online Availability.

Next, Paul Mueller will discuss Using JavaScript so Writers can Write. As we continue to integrate information into the user interface, writers learn more about technical implementation details and focus less on writing. Solutions are often created for specific situations, and these solutions are not easily applied to other products and situations. To provide flexible, reusable solutions, Paul shows how to use JavaScript and Jscript to create standard layouts. Writers can quickly create new autoruns and Quick Previews for products without writing any JavaScript and worrying about the technical implementation.

George Slaughter and Jocelyn Williams have combined forces to give Web Site Usability Testing Demystified.

Also at the April meeting, you will vote for the 2004-2005 STC Houston council members. This is your opportunity to make a difference. The winner of the science-writing contest will be presented with a scholarship check, and Volunteers for the Month will be announced.

Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, at the Hilton Houston Westchase (9999 Westheimer at Briarpark) with a snack buffet. Following the chapter announcements at 6:30 p.m., Nicole will launch her presentation. After the program, stay and welcome next year's Administrative Council members.


Hilton Houston Westchase
9999 Westheimer Road


Tuesday, April 13


5:30 p.m. networking (hors d'oeuvres)
6:20 p.m. announcements
6:30 p.m. program


$10 (members)
$15 (nonmembers)
$ 5 (student and unemployed members)
$ 10 (student nonmembers)


A drawing for various prizes is held at the end of each general meeting. Proceeds benefit the Marx Isaacs Student Scholarship Fund.

March Meeting Report

"Measuring Our Value Added with the Balanced Scorecard"

by Deborah Long, Principal, Long Communications

At STC Houston's March program meeting, Immediate Past President George Slaughter shared his research findings about how technical communicators add value to the bottom line in corporations.

From his well-documented slides, we learned that technical publications actually do affect in a positive way all metrics being used to cut costs in today's business world. He cited studies conducted by the likes of Saul Carliner, who has outlined a four-level model consisting of basic valuation tenets. He also informed us that companies are using standardized measuring tools, such as the Balanced Scorecard, to justify budgetary spending. With such multilevel management systems in place, we cannot escape close scrutinization and assessment of our performance.

The good news is that our profession is on the "radar screen," but we are not completely home free. Gone are the days when technical documentation was considered pure overhead. It is, therefore, up to us to produce measurable results. How can we do this? According to George, by continuing to better serve customers and keep looking for ways to save them (or make them) more money.

For those members who missed the meeting, a complete presentation is available online at

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P.O. Box 42051, Houston, TX 77242-2051 | 713-706-3434