Tag Archives: Viki Maki

Jan. 21, 2012 STC Touchstone Awards

On January 21, 2012 in Oakland at the Highland Hills Country Club, STC Berkeley Chapter hosted this year’s Touchstone Awards. The competition is intense and the judging is tough. The STC Silicon Valley Chapter website won an award. As the content developer, I accepted the award on behalf of Todd Hawley who manages the site, the late Viki Maki who led the original team and Doug Wray who designed and built the beautiful website. I am grateful to the people I worked with and the organizers of the Touchstone competition. I don’t know how to top this. I walked out to my car after the event and saw the lights of the city below me. It was good way to start of the Year of the Dragon. Below are all the winners.

Touchstone 2011-12 Awards

The six Northern California chapters of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) sponsor an annual technical communication competition. We submit winners in the Distinguished category to the Society-level competitions, where they compete with entries from around the world.

Distinguished Awards

The entry is clearly superior in all areas. It contains no major flaws, and few, if any, minor flaws. It applies the principles of technical communication in an outstanding way, particularly in the way it anticipates and fulfills the needs of its audience.

Autodesk Inventor WikiHelp: Autodesk: Kristen Kent, Claudia Wood

Sonoma Medicine: Sonoma County Medical Association: Steve Osborn, Cynthia Melody, Linda McLaughlin, Erika Goodwin, Rachel Pandolfi

Excellence Awards

The entry consistently meets high standards in all areas. It might contain a single major flaw or a few minor flaws. The entry clearly demonstrates an exceptional understanding of technical communication principles.

Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac User’s Guide: Parallels: Jason Cabassi, Andrey Starovoitov, Christina Kajtsa, Tanya Romanova

Chatter Video Library: salesforce.com, Dean Atchison, Noella Tavares, Sarah Marovich

Merit Awards

The entry consistently meets high standards in most areas. It might contain a small number of major or minor flaws but it still applies technical communication principles in a highly proficient manner.

Advent Revenue Center 3.0: Completing Your Billing Cycle: Advent Stewart Florsheim, Heather Donnell

Moxy 7: Using the Portfolio Manager: Advent: Stewart Florsheim, John Biasatti

AT3545G Full Spectrum DWDM Transmitters—Installation and Activation Guide: Aurora: Vince Swanson: Ed Perry, Greg Heath

GT3410A T1/E1 Access Module Installation and Activation Guide TM 87-10444: Aurora: Fred M Wickersham, Shridhar Kulkarni, Chuck Becker, Ed Perry

TN-10-002—OR4148H RFoG and TN-10-007—OR4168H RFPON Diplexer/Return Receiver Installation and Setup: Aurora: Vince Swanson, Ed Perry, Glenn Carley

AutoCAD User Assistance Videos: Autodesk: Jonathan Geary, Allen Lowe, Marianne Schwerdtfeger

Energy IQ: Australia’s Champion of Conservation: Chevron, Claire Tom, Wai Tu

Corel Painter 12 Getting Started Guide: Corel: Carmen Humplik, Nadezda Vladimirova, Ludmila Minkova, Corel Painter Development Team

Oracle PeopleSoft Information Development – Hosted Documentation Website: Oracle, Hideto Kishi, Jessica True, Lisa Brown

Oracle PeopleSoft Information Development – PeopleSoft Information Portal: Oracle: Greg Parikh, Race Bannon

Oracle PeopleSoft Information Development – Upgrade Resources Report Tool: Oracle: Greg Parikh, Laurice Strickland

Pegasus Product Manual, v1.0: PROMISE Technology: Daniel Doornbos

Chatter Help: salesforce.com, Sarah Marovich, Lauren Pederson, Chris McGuire, Kristen Powell, Noella Tavares, Liane Yee, Stefanie Andersen, Sheri Bernard

Database.com Workbook: salesforce.com, Jon Mountjoy, Mike Jacobsen

ISVforce Workbook, salesforce.com, Mario Korf

Java for Heroku Workbook: salesforce.com, Mark Leonard, James Ward

STC Silicon Valley Website: STC Silicon Valley Chapter: DJ Cline, Todd Hawley, Doug Wray

vSphere 5 Videos: VMWare: Renate Kempf, Amy Bowman, Chuck Potter, Doreen Kasson, Gary Gray, Diane Huffman, Svetlana Voskoboinikova

NanoSec Product Guide: Write Quick: Monique Semp


The following people evaluated the entries: Mysti Berry, Melody Brumis, DJ Cline, Nathaniel Lim, Patrick Lufkin, Michael Meyer, Joy Montgomery, Chris Muntzer, Bruce Poropat, Frank Ripp, Vince Swanson, Gail Waldron, and Prescott Williams.


The following people volunteered in non-judging roles: Guy Haas, Judith Herr, Misty Herr, Joe Humbert, Patrick Lufkin, and Richard Mateosian.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.


Honoring Viki

I wanted to thank everyone for their response about Viki Maki. Many wanted to know how to honor her. We are working on that. For me personally, that means staying involved with STC.

I had gotten whatever I needed from STC a long time ago. Any recognition I received as a grand poobah was a side effect of helping people find work. Whatever individual achievement we do, the organization must survive to help others.

I remember when STC was near collapse and there were some people who thought it should disappear. They said silly things like it should not exist, that it should be replaced with a Facebook page. They said it in all capital letters. In an ironic twist, they promptly sought leadership positions in an organization they professed not to think was “relevant.” They are wrong. About a lot of things. All the time.

For all the advantages of social networking, nothing beats meeting and working with people in person. The Internet is merely another layer in technical communication not the replacement for all other social interaction. An organization that wants to help people must use all channels. I suppose STC could be run as a social network out of a server in Washington DC, but I think it works better at the local level in the kind of communities that Viki Maki built.

From my viewpoint over the past fifty years, technical communication has gone from a single profession to a set of job skills for essential for any professional. The times change and STC has to change with it. Being the president of a chapter today does not compare with being the president of a chapter even three years ago. The near collapse changed all that. What did not change was the need for people to meet and work together. We must make sure that the organization is there for people to do just that.

In whatever form, I will still support STC. I do it in the memory of people like Viki who wanted to build something that survives them. It is like seeing a friend through an illness or even death. You don’t abandon a friend in need and you certainly don’t make things worse. You work to make things better in spite of the bad news. In this case, the sacrifices of our generation made it possible for a new generation to step forward.

During the collapse, Viki said it was possible that I would be the last president of the Silicon Valley chapter unless we did something to save it and the larger organization. We did it. It was up to us.

Now it’s up to you.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Feb. 13, 2011 STC Viki Maki

On Sunday, February 13, 2011, STC Associate Fellow Viki Maki died from complications due to ovarian cancer. Viki was the president of the Berkeley STC chapter, an author, an instructor at UC Santa Cruz Extension and Golden Gate University.  A technical communicator of the first order, she attracted and inspired a new generation to the profession. She was also a community organizer in Richmond and a Green Party political activist. She traveled the world and made friends wherever she went. She was a funny, farsighted force of nature. She told me if you can’t take it with you, leave something wonderful. She built a community, and her friends will carry on her work. We will miss her.

A memorial is being planned for March 19, 2011. Anyone wanting details can go to http://www.vikimaki.com/. Donations can be made to:

Ovarian Cancer National Alliance :- http://www.ovariancancer.org/
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund :- http://www.ocrf.org/
National Cancer Alliance :- http://www.cancersociety.com

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.