Keeping the Edge, Or How I Spent My Spring Vacation is one of a series of blog posts, curated or new here, discussing key takeaways by individuals and STC Communities to Keep the Edge gained at Summit 2017. If you would like to contribute a post, please drop a note to the series editor, Ben.email@example.com.
By Ed Marsh | STC Member
I attended my first STC Summit this year because I could take Amtrak to it. It was also way past time that I went, seeing how I first signed up for the Society *cough* years ago.
At the Summit, I learned that there are many tedious, necessary things involved in running an international organization. I learned that everyone who is a member deserves a voice. I am more grateful for the people who volunteer to keep STC running.
I love that STC is catering to all of us in the community, with folks like Ben Woelk and Alisa Bonsignore discussing how to succeed in this profession (and others) as introverts. Even in a few sessions that I sort of tuned out, there was always a useful tidbit or two of information, usually from some war story the presenter was sharing.
As good as the sessions were, I probably learned more from all the individual conversations I had. It’s easy for me because I’m extroverted, but if you go to any conference, I highly suggest you try and strike up conversations as much as possible. Some of us work better after caffeine, but none of us bite.
Perhaps most importantly, the Summit confirmed that I was doing the right things in my career. I’ve been fortunate to get to know and learn from leaders in our field like Ben Woelk, Bernard Aschwanden, Alyssa Fox, Carlos Evia, Todd DeLuca, and more through my podcast, Content Content. They’ve also become friends. I met many more people who have great stories to tell at Summit.
Will it be my last Summit? Not by a long shot. Being among ‘our people’ at the Gaylord near Washington, DC reminded me that I love being a technical communicator, and that I love talking to people. It made me think about the Society as a whole. It made me laugh a whole lot with long-time friends, new friends, and friends who I previously only knew virtually. It reminded me that I have a community; I even wrote a blog post about it.
I hope to see you there next year.
As a kid, Ed Marsh was the one who pushed buttons to see what happened, which led to some scolding and an award-winning career as a technical writer. He is a technical writer and eLearning developer at Goldman Sachs, and a firm believer in data-driven content. Ed is a presenter, the creator of the Content Content podcast, and the technical content news feed aggregator contentcontent.info. He is also a prolific tweeter @edmarsh.