The New Site is Up!

After a quiet summer — too quiet — the new Ars Communica web site is finally live!

The content of this blog has been migrated to the new site. All the posts that are available here, plus all the comments, are now live on It’s our plan to continue the discussions we had on this blog on the Ars Communica web site. We have a more robust taxonomy on the new site; blog-type posts are clearly labeled as such, and they have have bylines, so you’ll know who wrote what. I definitely want to see a stronger mix of ideas and opinion on the new site.

This site won’t be updated any further. I want to thank everyone whop participated in the discussions on these pages. Ars Communica needs to keep in mind that our purpose is to support the community of tech writers on Montreal — emphasis on community.


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Blitz Talks Tuesday Evening

Just a quickie: Don’t forget that the first of our new social/creative events is tomorrow night — Blitz Talks! If you haven’t RSVP-ed yet, well, what are you waiting for? It’s going to be great!

Here’s the details:

Regular posting will resume soon. Promise!

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What is the Future of the Blog?

It’s been five weeks since my last post. This was unintentional — illness and heavy work schedule left little time for anything but the essentials.

However, this blog will continue to be an important part of this association. The plan is to fold it into the main web site and make it a regular feature. One of the problems with the current web design is that it is very news-and-events heavy, and provides no space for the administrative council to speak their minds. A new design is underway that will rectify that issue. The content of this blog will be moved into the main site, and the thread will pick up there.

So what’s happened in the last month?

  • We have a new name! Ars Communica!
  • Volunteer meetings have been keeping to a regular schedule. New people have been taking up roles within the organization, and you’ll be hearing from them soon.
  • We have a entirely new kind of event — Blitz Talks — coming up at the end of the month, a new kind of participatory event that has both a creative and social dimension. The announcement will be forthcoming this weekend.
  • We’re building a new web site.
  • We’re building a proper business plan.
  • We’re researching software to manage membership — something to handle payment, acknowledgement and followup emails, and renewal and cancellation, all automatically.

And none of this is happening as fast as we’d like. But all our effort is on a volunteer basis, subject to the available time that each of us has in our own lives.

The gears are engaged, the wheels turning, and Ars Communica is coming to life. It’s going to be a great year.

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Volunteers’ Meeting: April 17

The next volunteers meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

As usual, the location is the Press Café near the ETS school on Notre Dame. The time is 6:30 pm. Google Maps.

The agenda will be coming shortly, and will be both emailed to participants and appended to this posting.

Newcomers are always welcome. If you want to attend, just leave a comment below to let us know know you’re coming. If you have an idea to suggest or a task you’d like to take on, speak up!


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March Volunteer’s Meeting Report — Closing in on a New Name

The new organization’s volunteer group met on March 20, 2012. Good progress was made toward picking a name for the organization, and we’re moving forward with a social event inspired by Pecha Kucha.

Attending were Charles Roburn, Jim Royal, Mary Perchanok, Sebastien Cayer, and Susan Armstrong. Two members of the group — Chris L. and Kelly L’Archeveque — could not attend, but submitted comments in advance by email.

The Name Game

To recap, during the most recent round of polling, the following were the top contenders:

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Volunteer’s Meeting March 20

The new organization’s volunteer group will be meeting on March 20, 2012 at the Press Café near the ETS school on Notre Dame. The time is 6:30 pm.

Topics will include the organization’s name, planning new social events, seeking volunteers for administrative roles, and the membership structure of the new organization.

If you want to attend, and haven’t received an email on the subject in the last few days, just leave a comment below to let us know know you’re coming.

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Open Thread on Naming the Organization

It was gently pointed out to me that the previous post on picking a name for the organization crossed a line. There’s a crucial difference between guiding a conversation and pushing an outcome, and I stepped over that line. So, I’ve widthdrawn the posting.

Instead, I would like to open up the discussion to you with an open thread on the general topic of naming. How do we proceed with this project in the weeks and months ahead?

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Name Voting — Second Round

The results of the first round of voting are in, and I have to say I’m a bit surprised by the results. The voting was far from conclusive, so we’re going to do another round.

Those names that got no votes last time have been disqualified. And as before, if you have a new suggestion to make, please do! This is a great time to exercise your creativity.

Edit: Some people have asked in the comments if we are restricted to voting for these names. Absolutely not. Check out the previous post on naming for additional suggestions. But one idea that is coming out of this process is that maybe a long name that turns into an acronym is too stuffy, too 90s. This process will continue until we have something workable.

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I’m Still Here

I had hoped to have a second poll posted early this week to narrow down the name choices. But life and work have intervened.

A new poll will go up over the weekend.

One of the interesting things that came out of the previous poll was the popularity of names that don’t include the traditional phrase of “technical communication” — YULC, for example. I see the appeal of such names; they are less stuffy and much more creative. They are also a marked break with the past. At the same time, we should not stray so far as to leave the core mission behind.

If you have any more thoughts along these lines, post them, and I’ll include them in the next round of polling once I catch my breath.


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Vote for a New Name

It’s time to choose.

Below is a shortlist of  names for the new technical writer’s association. Some names are bilingual; some are English-only. If none appeal to you, click Other and put your suggestion.

If there’s no clear winner, I’ll run a second poll with the top picks. Voting on this poll closes on Monday, February 27, 2012 at 5 pm.



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