Getting Involved: As Simple As A Like

Got an anonymous e-mail February 16. As best I can interpret it, it’s a little poke to introduce NCRA’s wide range of social media options. If there was supposed to be an attachment, it didn’t send, and I’m sorry. So, I’ll link it all and then we’ll talk about it a little more. NCRA keeps a page about its social media outreach here. They have a page for captioners. They have a page for CART providers. They’ve got a spot for freelance reporters. Legal videographers have a group. Official reporters get a warm welcome too. There’s a scopist and proofreader group. There’s a place devoted to reporting technology, AKA “the technology share.” Finally, there’s a Realtime TRAIN page. States it’s for nonmember and realtime users. Seems related to the TRAIN initiative to get people realtime and marketable.

Now I’ll come to a point about why all this matters. Support comes in different shapes and sizes. Ideas evolve in different ways. When we are all connected, sharing, and spreading information, it becomes easier to organize, learn, and engage in our respective markets. California reporters, as an example, are going to have a somewhat different experience and insight than New York reporters because we are on opposite ends of the country with different laws, licensing requirements, and professional organizations. That said, the NCRA can be a bonding place for all of us in the different areas of the field, and a way for us to get information out faster and with a lot more fanfare. While it is important for people to get involved in whatever way they can, whether that be volunteering, brainstorming, compiling information, or developing free resources for people to learn about steno, there’s a lot to be said about simply tuning in and staying a part of the network.

For example, imagine Reporter A and Reporter B. Reporter A is busy and has a hectic job, but liked NCRA’s facebook page, so NCRA’s stuff pops up in A’s feed. A sees they could use someone to write a JCR article about A’s busy and hectic job, and now A has the power to fill in that need. Reporter B has the same busy and hectic job, but B isn’t connected, never sees it, never hears about it, and never shares the tips and tricks to being good at B’s busy and hectic job.

If we’re linked in, we all have the ability to contribute. Whether or not we choose to contribute is our own business. Simply having the capability to join in a moment or movement is worthwhile and empowering. Tell everyone you know, getting involved can be as simple as a like.

NCRA and NYSCRA: For Stenographers

It is with a great deal of enjoyment that I share what happened this weekend. NCRA sent out an email blast that it was suspending its corporate partner solicitations. Some of its fabulous directors took to Facebook to share the message as well. I think this is great on a lot of levels. They’re paying attention to our preferred social media space. They’re paying attention to the fact that some of our corporate partners are not being very partnery. They’re reaffirming that they are us.

We all together support the stenographic modality of transcription and record making. NCRA sounds serious about a transformation, and we hope it continues on its current course towards educating the public that this a viable and vibrant career choice and that stenographic reporting is among the best speech-to-text “applications” around. Compared to the NVRA, which doesn’t bother to write back when I ask questions, NCRA’s responsiveness and commitment to its members and potential members is refreshing. I hope that responsiveness continues. I hope that any members that have smart suggestions for changes to the corporate partnership program write in to NCRA today. Out of the many thousands of us, I am sure there are smart and acceptable solutions to be had.

Now I’ll turn to NYSCRA, who also put out a statement reaffirming their commitment to stenography. Let’s face the facts: NYSCRA is an association by stenographers for stenographers. Up until recently, only working stenographers could hold office or vote. We recently held a vote to allow retired stenographers and amazing stenographic educators like Karen Santucci to have officer and voting privileges. The results of such vote were not yet announced, but make no mistake that I was right there voting yes with many of you. NYSCRA is not being coy or dishonest about what they’re saying. They do give entities that donate recognition for donating. Years ago I helped sponsor the breakfast in a Long Island meeting, and my name was right alongside the other sponsors as I recall. I had no control over the breakfast, the event, or anything like that. Sponsors do not control NYSCRA.

Consider this a call for all to get more involved. And don’t believe what you hear. You can get involved in event the smallest of ways. Taking the time to write a suggestion is involvement. Taking the time to attend a meeting is involvement. Even taking some time out to discuss an issue with a colleague and work through the pros, cons, and challenges of an idea can be involvement. Some would have you believe that you must be donating, volunteering, hosting, and traveling to be involved. For those that have the time and energy, we are grateful. But the time things really shine is when a member like you takes up one issue, any issue that you truly believe is important to steno, and makes the associations aware that it can be on their radar. It’s when real members like you step up and propose solutions to the problems we face.

Some look at a question and say: If it was important, someone would’ve answered it already. All I have to ask is: What would make your profession better?