TC Camp Gazette #23


More sponsors show support!

Returning this year as a Camp Ranger, our friends atSimplyXML lead by Doug Gorman. Doug has been a part of camp every year since we first began. We’re so glad to have him back this year!

Joining the honored ranks of TC Camp sponsors, please join us in welcoming BlueStream as a Camp Conservationist!

TC Camp is all about having FUN

By the Roving Reporter

Well, it’s about learning too so how about mixing them together?!

The only thing better than hearing an expert opinion is hearing a bunch of expert opinions! Toss in a Game Show theme and the old panel discussion turns into more fun than _______.

And the survey says _______! OK. In case you missed it, the reference is to the old Family Feud game show back in the day when Richard Dawson was the host. We will be using this, as well as other popular game shows, to model our special panel event and our closing event. One thing we know from past events is that you want to learn, but you also want to have fun doing it! Do you want to help us design the first-ever Game Show for our midday panel? How about the end of day game show called “It’s a wrap”? Be a Game Show writer, send an e-mail We want to know: What’s your favorite game show? Send a note to

Unresolved Topics

By Michael Hahn

Stuff we keep talking about, Part Two

Document review and standards adoption aren’t the only topics that keep coming up year after year; there are hard problems in technical communications, hard because they’re either in search of a solution or there are too many solutions to choose from.

Content reuse

Organizations want to share content with other organizations, or they want to share content among their various departments. Perhaps they even share content with their customers. Technical manuals feed training presentations, marketing departments pass their latest copy to legal departments. How do we effectively reuse content among the various consumers and creators? How do we prepare our content for maximum reuse … or is that really the most effective way to prepare our content? Tools, personnel, and content strategies are all in play.


We used to referred to them as “my book” — somewhere along the way it became “our book” and then “our content chunk“. How many authors, SMEs, and artists does it take to prepare a modern publication? How do we keep all those content cats moving in the same direction? We collaborate across departments, across states, and sometimes across national boundaries. Do we all use the same tools? Do we all speak the same language? Do different outputs require different teams?

Camp Extras!

Tips and Tricks for TC Camp Participants

You’ve read our advice to bring your friends and coworkers and to bring business cards to exchnage with people you meet.

TC Camp is informal, so you’ll have lots of opportunities to meet other technical communicators before, during, and after the sessions. You can connect with prople who have the same interests or face the same problems that you do.

Remember what the Girl Scouts sing, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.

Trail Mix

Are you assertive when you need to be?

You often depend on SMEs for technical review feedback. When they drag their feet, it rarely works (at least in the long run) to be aggressive, passive, or passive aggressive.

An easy assertive request for review feedback is, “I need this to do my job.

You’re not blaming or criticizing the other person. You’re stating a fact.

If the SME can’t provide what you need and gives a reason, you have the facts you need to go to your team or management and resolve the problem.

Help Run TC Camp 2015

Here is your chance to give back to the community! Be a TC Camp Volunteer!!

A lot happens on the day of the event and we will need plenty of help setting up, organizing, and managing the event. Plan now to help. Let us know that you’ll help run TC Camp 2015 by

Trick or Treat!

What’s the ratio of a pumpkin’s circumference to its diameter?

Pumpkin Pi (3.14159265358979323846)

How do you repair a broken Jack-o-lantern?

Buy a pumpkin patch!