Our professional community
The ASTC is part of a professional community that is served by many organisations across Australia, as well as internationally. Though the ASTC has no formal affiliations with other associations, listed here are just some of the organisations with which we have a strong professional affinity.
- Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators Incorporated (AUSIT)
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Indexers (ANZSI)
- Communication Research Institute of Australia
- Editors Victoria
- Society of Editors (NSW)
- Society of Editors (SA)
In New Zealand
- Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC)
- HTML Writers Guild
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Professional Communication Society (IEEE PCS)
- Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC)(UK)
- International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)
- Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)(UK)
- Society for Technical Communication (STC)
Know of any other organisation that should be in this list? Let us know. Briefly explain who they are and include their website address, if known.
Email lists and forums
Online discussion lists are a great way for technical communication professionals to share ideas, ask for help, see what’s going on in the field, and network with like-minded people.
- AusTechwriters List
- Australian Technical Writers is a free on-line open forum and announcement service for technical writers. When you post a message, your message is automatically sent to all those who subscribe to the forum. No messages are moderated.
Subscribe: firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘subscribe’ in the subject field.
- FrameMaker List
- Contributors to the Framers list discuss issues regarding Adobe’s FrameMaker and FrameMaker+SGML software.
Subscribe at their website.
- HDK Users Email List
- The HDK User Email list was set up in October 1995. It is a non-commercial, independent user email list for authors, developers, managers, system administrators and end users using Virtual Media and Republico products. It provides a forum for users to share problems, ideas and expertise and learn new techniques.
Subscribe: email@example.com with ‘subscribe hdk-l’ in the message body.
- LANTRA-L contributors discuss all issues regarding translation.
Subscribe: LISTSERV@SEGATE.SUNET.SE with ‘Subscribe LANTRA-L [Your Name]’ in the message body.
- Mailing Lists for Technical Communicators
- Mailing Lists for Technical Communicators is an international list of mailing lists, etc. for technical writers. For more information, visit their website.
- STC’s Technical Editing SIG Discussion Group (STCTESIG)
- Join the STC’s Technical Editing SIG Discussion Group (STCTESIG). Subscribe at their website.
- TECHWR-L List
- American equivalent of the AusTechwriter list.
Subscribe at their website.
- Acronym Finder Online dictionary of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms
- Dictionary.com Online dictionary
- Merriam-Webster Online dictionary and thesaurus
- Onelook Searches multiple online dictionaries at once
- PowerThesaurus.com Online thesaurus
- Thesaurus.com Online thesaurus
- W3C Link Checker Free website link checking
- Web Style Guide The Web Style Guide site houses an unabridged, online version of the third edition of Web Style Guide: Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites, by Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton
- XENU Link Sleuth Free website link checking
- Your Dictionary Simple online dictionary.
MS Office resources
- Window’s Secrets An email bulletin for Microsoft Office users, full of practical tips and hints.
Web design resources
These websites provide information on every aspect of web content development and usability.
- Contentious Amy Gahran’s news and musings on how we communicate in the online age.
- Goodexperience.com User experience blog. Focus on customer experience, user experience, human experience …
- HTML Help The Web Design Group was founded to promote the creation of non-browser specific, non-resolution specific, creative and informative sites that are accessible to all users worldwide. To this end, the WDG offers material on a wide range of HTML related topics.
- Information Management News The e-newsletter of the Center for Information-Development Management
- Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox Current issues in web usability. A bi-weekly column by Dr Jakob Nielson, principal, Norman Nielsen Group.
- Jared Spool’s User Interface Engineering User Interface Engineering is a leading research, training, and consulting firm specialising in web site and product usability. Subscribe to UIE Tips, a free email newsletter containing research articles and UIE news.
- MaxDesign Articles and presentation on aspects of CSS, accessibility and web standards.
- Step Two Designs Intranets, content management and knowledge management consultancy. Website offers many excellent free articles.
- W3Schools Online tutorials on all ‘webstuff’ – HTML, XML, CSS, server scripting, in fact, a little about everything!!
IPEd Australia has seven societies of professional editors. Together, they make up the Institute of Professional Editors Limited. The IPEd site has links to the societies of editors across the country. Look for a professional editor or find out more about editing.
Charlotte Brogden writes a regular column in Context (the ASTC’s magazine – currently on hold) featuring interviews with members and guests. One of the questions we ask interviewees is what resources they would recommend. We haven’t been able to print them all for reasons of space so we’ve decided to publish them here.
Contributed by Anne Deane
I quite like Edward Tufte’s website. It is a masterpiece of visual design.
Wired Internet in New Zealand, a web usability testing company based in Christchurch, have some lovely resources about usability of websites.
Information is Beautiful by David McCandless is a book I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. It’s full of wonderful ways of representing information visually. They also have a website which is really worth a look.
The Non-Designer’s Design Book: Design and Typographic Principles for the Visual Novice by Robin Williams. It’s just a fantastic book for picking up the basic principles of visual design.
Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests by Jeffrey Rubin. A really good, fairly recent book on usability testing, whether for a document or a website or an iPhone.
The Design Manual by David Whitbread.
Functional Grammar is produced by the National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research at Macquarie University. It’s just a really brilliant introduction to how language works from a functional point of view.
Contributed by Sarah Maddox
Something to suggest?
If you know of other useful sites, please let us know, with a short paragraph describing their value to technical communicators.