Learning to Blog

One of the shortcomings of STC-Montreal over the last several years was that it rarely spoke about itself. I want to change that in the new organization.

The structural problems that brought the chapter to the point of unsustainability were known for four or five years.  And yet in all that time, the chapter leadership rarely commented. For the last two years, the chapter was utterly silent on any matters of its operations.

In retrospect, part of that was my fault. I designed the current web site to be oriented toward news and events. I had decided that the newsletter was too chatty, and I wanted something crisper. Yet I realize now that decision had ramifications, leading to a public voice for the chapter that was often sterile.

It’s also true that that no one in the admin council wanted to be the voice of constant bad news: declining membership, declining funding, and a declining economy were not subjects that people wanted to hash over in a public forum. Everyone involved was simply working too hard at treading water, and couldn’t find anything positive to say without expressing false cheer.

As a result, we created a one-way relationship between the chapter and its audience. The lack of outgoining communication inhibited incoming communication.

That has to change. And I have to change.

Part of the reason for this blog is not just to have a place to discuss the new organization. It’s to relearn how to communicate. If there is going to be a renaissance for the tech writing community in Montreal, we all have to learn new habits of communication, and that starts with me.

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