See Also—December 2021

ASI News
—A Rose by Any Other Name...Would Still Have Thorns
Key Words ASI's Flagship Publication Offers Editorial Experience
—2022 health coverage enrollment opportunity for our members
Chapters and SIGS
—SIG Leaders Gather to Discuss the Future and Chapter Articles
—PNW Chapter and Ina Gravitz Tackle Best Practices
Business and Marketing
—Social Media Mania Messing with Your Mind?
Spotlight on Angela Howard

ASI News

A Rose by Any Other Name...Would Still Have Thorns

But don't despair! ASI's latest special event "What's in a name? Invert your thorns into roses," coming up right around the corner on Dec. 4, will tackle the most common thorns in the side of indexers faced with ornery names. Noeline Bridge, Sergey Lobachev, Francine Cronshaw, and Carolyn Weaver will present on challenging name categories, indexing Russian names, Spanish personal names, and Genealogical indexing of names.

This will be a live virtual event via Zoom. Registration includes all four presentations, 3 hours and 30 minutes of valuable, professionally presented information to turn thorny names into rosy index entries.
Please visit the event page for more information.

Key Words ASI's Flagship Publication Offers Editorial Experience

The American Society for Indexing is offering a rewarding editorial experience via Key Words, the organization's quarterly publication. The chosen candidate for the position will have the pleasure of being at the helm of the indexing industry's premier source of information. Duties include content curation, contributor acquisition, and overseeing the work of the layout editor and more. For more information, visit the job posting on the ASI website. The deadline application is January 7, 2022.

2022 health coverage enrollment opportunity for our members

The Open Enrollment Period for 2022 health coverage options ends soon for some members! As a member of the American Society for Indexing, you have exclusive access to health coverage solutions for you, your family, and your business/employees from our partner, LIG Solutions.

Important Dates to Remember:

  • Individuals Over 65: Medicare Enrollment, AEP, begins October 15th and ends on December 7th, 2021.
  • Individuals/Families Under 65: General Open Enrollment, OEP, begins November 1st and ends on January 15th, 2022
  • NOTE: There is an extended period for OEP this year to get coverage for a January 1, 2022, active date you must enroll by December 15, policies purchased after this date will have a February 1, 2022, effective date

For additional information regarding this exclusive member benefit, please view our health insurance page for info on reaching the team at LIG.

Chapters and SIGS

SIG Leaders Gather to Discuss the Future and Chapter Articles

Six SIG leaders and ASI president Michelle Combs gathered via Zoom to discuss current issues regarding special interest groups. Topics included email list updates, SIG member directories, the possibility of searching by SIG membership in the ASI Indexer Locator, SIG meetings via the ASI Zoom account, and a review of the SIG charter. Other topics included, what do indexers want from SIG membership? community, marketing opportunities, or both; how can current video technologies (Zoom, etc.) help increase involvement; and can new social media platforms like SubStack and Discord be used to generate participation among members. Thank you to AElfwine Mischler for organizing the meeting and mediating the discussions.

PNW Chapter and Ina Gravitz Tackle Best Practices

The Pacific Northwest Chapter of ASI held its annual meeting on Saturday, October 16, focusing on Best Practices: Comparing and Contrasting Across Genres, featuring Ina Gravitz as presenter and moderator. The virtual format allowed participation by twenty-two PNW members and guests who live near and far. Introductions at the start of the meeting gave participants a sense of connection across the distance.

Following introductions, Ina Gravitz spoke about best practices. Drawing on her decades of indexing experience, she illustrated her points with examples and anecdotes as she addressed such topics as usability, coverage, the metatopic, and subheadings. Threading through her discussion was her overarching theme of making choices that make sense for your index's specific genre, text, and audience and then being consistent with those choices.

The second part of the meeting made use of Zoom's breakout rooms. Participants were divided into four groups, each responsible for analyzing an index from a specific genre: the cookbook groups analyzed an index by Thérèse Shere; the memoir group analyzed an index by Do Mi Stauber; the scholarly group analyzed an index by Scott Smiley; and the trade book group analyzed an index by Angela Howard. When participants gathered back together, Ina moderated a discussion in which each group shared their discoveries about best practices in their specific genre. This time was especially productive given that we were privileged to have three of the four indexers present so that they could explain their choices and processes. The meeting concluded with a nod to the volunteers and to the benefits of volunteering.

This meeting was made possible by PNW Program Chair Sam Arnold-Boyd and Programming Committee members Judy Staigmiller, Angela Howard, Amber DeDerick, and Daniel Heila, with Jeff (Angela's husband) as Tech consultant. (Thank you to Sam Arnold-Boyd for this contribution to See Also.)

Business and Marketing

Social Media Mania Messing with Your Mind?

Are social media sites getting in the way of your work? Can't resist the urge to tweet? Instagram reels got you all wrapped up? Here are a few innovative apps to help you manage these distractions.

  • Freedom

    Freedom is an app and website blocker for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome. By blocking specific distracting websites or apps for periods of time, the user can increase focus and productivity. Freedom can be used across all devices that the user chooses. So, if you leave your laptop/desktop in the office to work on your tablet out on the back porch, Freedom will still be doing its job. All of its features can be scheduled ahead of time or used in the moment. Visit the website for more information.

  • Cindex

  • SelfControl

    SelfControl is a Mac OS app with a punk attitude. Its function is pretty much the same as Freedom with one difference. Once you set your parameters—sites, apps, times—you cannot change them. Even if you restart your computer. That is some tough love. Check it out.

  • StayFocused

    StayFocused is a Chrome browser extension that approaches the issue of distraction from a different angle. Instead of blocking social media sites and apps, it allows you to set the amount of time you will allow yourself to use these resources in a given amount of time. When that limit is up, you can't access the apps and sites that were chosen. Never mind the tough love of Freedom and SelfControl, this app believes in you and your ability to manage your vices. Go for it.

Spotlight on Angela Howard

If you would like to be in the Spotlight, or would like to nominate someone for it, please contact Daniel Heila.

Where do you live now? Where are you originally from?

One year ago, after my husband retired, we moved from Southern California to Washington state, in the middle of the pandemic. We had actually been contemplating this move for a while. I think the pandemic made a lot of people evaluate whether they were doing what they really wanted to do and living where they really wanted to live. It became a turning point. We are enjoying the seasons here! In the manner of Goldilocks, we decided that the seasons in the Midwest (where we grew up) were too extreme, and the seasons in Southern California were too mild, but the seasons in the Pacific Northwest are just right.

What is your educational background?

I have a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota.

Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?

My main interests are art and poetry. I have taken art classes for many years, focusing on abstract collage, and I have belonged to a poetry crafting group for quite a few years as well. I also love reading short stories, and I started a book club several years ago where we read two short stories a month from anthologies, so we get a mix of authors and styles, and discuss them.

What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?

Even though my degree is in Computer Science, I realized very early on that I didn't want to be a programmer, so I became a technical writer and did that for many years before I discovered indexing. I was both a technical writer and an indexer for a few years, but I gradually moved to doing only indexing once I had enough clients.

When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?

I joined ASI in 1995 and took the USDA indexing course. I learned about ASI at an STC (Society for Technical Communication) conference that I attended while I was a technical writer. I took a session on indexing to learn how to index the technical documents I wrote—thinking I could learn how to index in a one-hour conference session—and discovered that indexing was an entire profession. I loved the precision and organization in indexing, so I took the USDA course to see if it was something I wanted to pursue. It was!

For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?

The biggest advantage is being able to attend conferences and workshops and meet other indexers. It's unfortunate that new indexers have not been able to meet other indexers in person in the past couple of years. I think spontaneous conversations allow you to learn things you hadn't yet considered or been exposed to, and it engenders trust between people so that they are more likely to send referrals your way. And best of all, it has sparked long-term friendships for me.

Finally, what is your best coping strategy for the pandemic?

I don't know if I have a good coping strategy. I'm an introvert, so I don't really feel as limited in my social activities as other people might. However, I am finding it harder to focus for as long as I used to, because I think my sense of time has been muted in a way. I'm doing a lot more up front work in my indexing process. Previously, I created a high-level structure for my index, which was very helpful. Now, I create multiple mind maps and high-level structures at the book level and sometimes even the chapter level, and I rely on them heavily while indexing.

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