TC Camp Gazette #31


We have a new Ranger! 

Thank You, Vasont Systems, for supporting TC Camp 2015!

Camp Day Games!

by Janice Summers

Let the games begin!

If you’ve been reading the Gazette, you might recall that we mentioned a game or two. We’re replacing the typical panel discussion and the end-of-day summary with what we hope will be fun and engaging games. But don’t plan to sit back and be entertained, because you have a part to play in each game. Here’s what we’ve planned:

Campers’ Feud

Here campers face off to give you the best solutionto your Tech Pubs challenges.

This game show replaces the panel discussion. Two teams of campers compete to give you solutions or answers to challenges, issues, or questions that you supply. After a representative from each team gives its solution, you decide who won that round.

You can submit your challenges, issues, and questions by email to or by returning the paper you’ll get at registration to Janice or any other volunteer by 10:45 a.m.

Camp Minimalist

Here you win if you can keep it brief!

One of the most important events at any unconference is the end-of-day reports on the table topics. After all, the key benefit of TC Camp is thepeer-to-peer training you receive. Based on the feedback from last year, we’re trying this way for you to share the key points of the table topic without going into a lot of detail.

So, we give you Camp Minimalist, where you are challenged to say more with less. Each topic team will choose a spokesperson or spokespersons for the end-of-day report. They have 60 seconds to sum up the topic and discussion. Choose whatever means or method you want – sing it, act it, mime it, do a dramatic oration, or simply speak. Reuse is allowed. If you finish in 60 seconds, you’ll get areward. But if you go over, you’ll be gonged off. But don’t take it personally, it is all in good fun!

Camp Minimalist is also where companies will begiving away some very cool raffle prizes, so you don’t want to miss it!

Why You Should Attend TC Camp

By Michael Hahn

For the past several weeks we’ve heard from a few of the previous TC Camp attendees. What have we learned?

It’s all about the community

The folks who attend TC Camp are happy to meet and mingle with other members of the technical communications community. There is knowledge to be shared: problems and solutions, alternative approaches, and experience with a variety of tools and standards. Those of us who attend discover that we’re not alone in the daily challenges we face.

I like the unconference format

Many of us have spent hours sitting inuncomfortable chairs in faraway places listening to what other folks decided we need to hear. The unconference format lets us choose the topics we want to discuss and breaks down the barrierbetween the presenter and the audience. The rallying cry for an unconference event is: Let’s have a conversation.

It’s about the flexibility … and the cookies

The topics are ours – we decide what we want to discuss. Whether it’s the use and abuse of a particular standard, approaches for collaboration or particular working environments, or tips for getting a job or finding the right employees in technical communications, the topics are what we want them to be. You can decide what TC Camp has in store for you.

Oh, and we have cookies!

Camp Extras!

Tips and tricks for TC Camp participants

OK. Camp is less than one week away. Are you all set and ready to go? Do you know what to bring with you? Don’t forget $3 cash (dollar bills or coins) for parking! Trust me, you do not want to get a $35 ticket or worse.

Trail Mix

The Trail of Tears: major documentation-oriented standards through the years.

  • AAP (American Association of Publishers)
  • TEI (Text Encoding Initiative)
  • DocBook
  • DITA

What do they all have in common? Turns out, quite a bit. How many times must we reinvent that wheel?

And now for something completely different

Shake it off! (turn up the volume). I love this! What a trouper this person was to lip-sync the song and really ham it up. It’s even funnier when he has brief moments of being serious. Must watch!