Meeting Alan Houser

Update: It was a pleasure to meet Alan Houser. He was professional and cheerful, and listened attentively, even as people dumped their frustrations with STC on his head for two hours.

Attending the dinner meetup was myself, Andy Gural, Everett Larsen, Manny Gordon, Poppy Quintal, and Susan Armstrong.

Alan commented that we have caught the attention of the mothership. In particular, he was impressed by the resurgence of interest and enthusiasm here in Montreal, and he wondered aloud about how STC could capture even a small part of that excitement and energy in its own operations.

Alan took notes throughout our meeting. I do hope he came away with something useful. We discussed the high membership fees, the lack of communication about STC’s finances, the sense that chapters are no longer important to STC, and the value (or lack thereof, depending on where you stand) that STC brings to the community of technical writers.

I challenged Alan to think about STC’s problems as structural, to consider the possibility that, in order to survive, STC may have to become an entirely different kind of entity. Regardless of our feelings about STC’s performance over the last several years, I think the tech writing community would be poorer if it disappeared.


A handful of the (soon to be former) members of STC-Montreal admin council are meeting up with STC Vice President Alan Houser this evening, Monday Feb 13, at Hotel de la Montagne.

If you’ve been reading the comments on this site and on STC-Montreal.org, you’ll know that Alan is in town today, and wanted to touch base with us. Anyone who wishes to join in the discussion is welcome to come. I’ll be there between 6:00 and 6:30.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Meeting Alan Houser

  1. Charles Roburn

    I’m sorry I had to miss it! It was good of Mr Houser to come to talk to us – I hope it was useful for both sides.

  2. Thanks to Jim, Andy, Ev, Manny, Poppy, and Susan for taking the time to meet with me. It was a privilege to spend time with each of you, and I was grateful for the frank sharing of ideas and opinions.

  3. I hope this meeting ends up bringing the right changes to STC, so that others decide to stay, join, or even return to STC 😉

    But regardless of what happens, I agree that it’s great to have such an energized and engaged technical communications community in Montreal.

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