By Robin Lombard, Terminology Research Manager, Microsoft Corporation 

I attended and presented at the Society for Technical Communication (STC) 2008 National Conference in Philadelphia, PA from June 1-4, 2008. There were probably fewer than 1,000 attendees at this conference from a range of backgrounds: writers, editors, translators, publication managers, independent contractors, etc. Vendors of various content management systems and localization/globalization services also attended.

The keynote was given by Howard Rheingold, who coined the term “virtual community” and has written many books about computers and communication. He’s a very good speaker; he’s been on the Internet from the time it began. Take a look at his web site from the link above, and you can see that he is a character. His talk made me think that I need a smart phone so that I can stay connected all the time, and maybe even twitter.

I was asked to speak at the Microsoft Content Publishing Institute part of the conference, a series of five presentations about content publishing at Microsoft. I spoke about the history of terminology management at Microsoft – basically, how we went from simple isolated glossaries in the late 1990s to terminology management as it is now. You can find my presentation on the STC conference site in the Sessions\Session Materials section).

Many people came to the session and asked lots and lots of questions. It seems that many companies are trying to be more efficient in translation/localization. I had a comment from a German translator thanking us for the Language Portal, and questions about our team size, qualifications for doing terminology work, and how we worked with writers and editors. I really enjoyed talking to these people.