—ASI Welcomes New Training Course Administrator
—New ASI Webinar Coming Up: Using Tablets for Marking Up
—Hines Award 2022 Call for Nominations
—Awards Program Restructuring: A Note from ASI President
—ASI Takes on Robots at 2022 Virtual Conference
—Conference Committee 2022 Wants You! Part One
—Conference Committee 2022 Wants You! Part Two (Yes, You!)
—This Just In: ASI Asks Volunteers to Be Their Valentine!
—Got News, Info, Tips? Submit!
Business and Marketing
—Online Payment Systems: Lubricate Your Payables
Spotlight on Bryan Fry
ASI Welcomes New Training Course Administrator
ASI welcomes Heather Pendley as the new Training Course Administrator for 2022. Heather will be the contact for students enrolled in ASI's Training Course and will answer questions students have about the course. The course administrator works with the ASI office to track students from enrollment through course completion. Heather will also work in conjunction with graders to develop and implement logistics for grading exams and quality control strategies for evaluating graders, annually, before contracts are renewed.
ASI would like to express its appreciation to Becky Hornyak, who was the Training Course Administrator for the past two years. Becky invested significant time and attention while updating the course exercises and selecting current projects for students to index.
New ASI Webinar Coming Up: Using Tablets for Marking Up
Using Tablets for Marking Up, an ASI webinar presented by Joan Shapiro, will take place on February 23.
Do you mark up manuscript PDFs on your desktop or laptop computer using a keyboard? Do you mark up hard copy as part of your indexing practice? Are you clueless about what "mark up" is all about? Then you should be attending ASI's newest professional webinar: Using Tablets for Marking Up. Joan Shapiro will be demonstrating her approach to mark up using a tablet. Tablets, for those who aren't familiar, are mobile computing devices designed to be held in one or two hands (as opposed to 3 or 5). Tablets are very lightweight and have touch screens that can be drawn on with a stylus. In addition to tablet mark-up techniques and when best to use them, Joan will address the liberating concept of portable indexing. Leave your hard copy at home, grab your tablet for mark up, and travel light (you jet-setting indexer, you). Learn more and register here.
Hines Award 2022 Call for Nominations
ASI's Theodore C. Hines Award recognizes those who have made exceptional contributions to ASI and to the indexing profession. The deadline for submitting a nomination for the 2022 award is March 11. Please consider making a nomination for ASI's highest service honor! Visit the award page for more information and nominating guidelines.
Awards Program Restructuring: A Note from ASI President
As most of its members are aware, ASI has retired its Excellence in Indexing award. In replacing the award, the organization would like to move toward something more flexible and multi-pronged, with increased opportunities for recognition. For instance, should ASI offer awards for the best work in the following index categories?
- Children's book
- Text book
- Controversial topic
- Unusual topic
Perhaps all of the above? Alas, the answers are unknown…because no member has stepped forward to chair the committee that will discuss options, make recommendations, and define qualifications for these new awards. Although time has run out to establish new awards before the 2022 conference, ASI's aim is to have them in place for 2023. So, if you are an active ASI member interested in leading this effort, interested in stepping up to serve your profession and have a lot of fun doing so, please contact President Michele Combs.
ASI Takes on Robots at 2022 Virtual Conference
ASI's 2022 virtual conference will take place April 29-30. Keynote presenter Joshua Tallent will offer his presentation "Where Do You Fit? The Art of Indexing in the Age of Automation." The publishing industry is constantly changing, and with those changes comes the fear that certain elements of the publication process, like indexing, will be sidelined, relegated to automatic processes, or even disappear (there is the fear of robots roaming the landscape as well). Joshua Tallent returns to the (virtual) stage nine years after his last ASI conference appearance to discuss those industry changes, the challenges indexers will face in light of those changes, and to highlight opportunities that are likely to present themselves as the publishing industry continues to evolve. Joshua Tallent is the Director of Sales and Education at Firebrand Technologies, where he helps publishing companies of all sizes learn about, and find solutions to, workflow obstacles and metadata challenges.
Fred Leise, former ASI president and respected instructor of the popular online learning course "How to Create Brilliantly Structured Indexes," will teach the New Indexers Workshop on Thursday, April 28. This course sold out last year, so watch for details and register early.
Additional conference details will be announced soon. Save the dates on your calendar now!
Conference Committee 2022 Wants You! Part One
It may be hard to believe, but Spring will be here in three months, as will the ASI 2022 Virtual Conference! The conference committee would very much like to know what topics attendees want to see/hear/Zoom. While the committee already has some excellent sessions planned, along with increased opportunities for networking and engagement, additional topic ideas are always welcome. Perhaps, dear member, this is the year that you (yes you!) will present! (see also next headline)
Please contact the committee with topic ideas at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conference Committee 2022 Wants You! Part Two (Yes, You!)
Whether you are an experienced indexer knowledgeable in a niche area or a newer indexer growing a business, you have skills and knowledge to share with your ASI colleagues. The ASI 2022 Conference committee encourages indexers and associated industry professionals to consider contributing to the conference (and honing their presentation skills) by becoming an ASI 2022 virtual conference presenter. For more information and submission guidelines visit the presentation proposal page on the ASI website.
This Just In: ASI Asks Volunteers to Be Their Valentine!
ASI would not be the robust, resource filled, professional organization it is without its many volunteers. ASI benefits from the efforts of dozens of member volunteers who contribute many hours a year in roles as diverse as webmaster, treasurer, conference planner, article author, and Kohlrabi scrubber. The health of our organization depends on its members' involvement and if our volunteers' inexhaustible energy and dedication are any indicator, ASI is stronger than ever. So, Dear Volunteer, we love you. Will you be our valentine?
Got News, Info, Tips? Submit!
See Also is the American Society for Indexing's monthly newsletter (Yes, indeed, you are reading it right now!). If you have indexing relevant news and information, send it to the newsletter editor by the 20th of the month previous to the issue in which you'd like your bit to appear. Sister organizations, ASI Chapters and SIGs, and individual members are encouraged to contribute to See Also, the organization's most viewed webpage. Contact the editor today! Or at least by the 20th of the month!
Quick Tip: Search the ASI member directory (you must be an active member to do so), visit member websites via profile links, and browse the Indexer Locator to get a quick course in profile editing and website design. Learn from your peers!
Business and Marketing
Online Payment Systems: Lubricate Your Payables
"Do you take credit cards?" A common refrain when it comes to closing a project and a frequent source of chagrin for freelancers of every stripe. Credit cards and credit payment are ubiquitous in today's digitally driven and motivated economy. So what's a wine-sipping, weekend-gardening, workaholic freelance indexer to do when dear client wants digital means of payment? Well…give it to 'em! With an online payment system.
Online payment systems are points of service that allow business owners to take payments and customers to make payments virtually. This means of funds transfer is very convenient and, in some cases, almost instantaneous. The downside is that many services that facilitate online payment take a percentage of each transaction as a fee. Even at 4-6% this can add up over time. The question is whether such a system will motivate existing customers to pay on time and prospective clients to come on board and if that result is worth the percentage fee. With the prevalence and growth of online payment systems as an indicator, the answer is yes.
There are many services that provide online payment systems, and they run the gamut from dedicated websites that require registration, account management, and detailed financial information to quick-as-a-lick smart phone apps that are as easy to use as text messaging. Establishing a payment portal on your professional website is entirely possible for freelancers through some of these services (especially for WordPress sites). Check out the links below and give some good thought to whether or not you should offer digital payment options. Chances are you will. And when dear client asks that question, you can say (not too smugly, now), "Sure do."
- From Entrepreneur.com: 15 Most Popular Online Payment Solutions
- WordPress Payment Options
- Overview of Online Payment Systems (with list of top providers)
Spotlight on Bryan Fry
February's Spotlight is on Bryan Fry. Bryan is a new ASI member and a current student in the ASI Indexing Course.
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? Do you share your home with pets or family?
I am originally from Miles City, Montana, and currently live in Pullman, Washington, where I teach in the English department of Washington State University. I am engaged to a Rhetorician, and we have two cats, Remy and Luna.
What is your educational background?
I have a BA in English Literature from Walla Walla University and an MFA in Creative Writing (nonfiction) from the University of Idaho.
Do you have any hobbies, travels, volunteer work, or other interesting things to share?
My fiancé and I love flyfishing and the outdoors, and we feel most comfortable on washboard roads that lead to Idaho or Oregon trout rivers. In the summer, when I'm not teaching or fishing with the Rhetorician, I tend to find odd labor jobs—cleaning ponds, mending barbed wire fences, shaping the landscape.
What kind of work did you do before you studied indexing? Are you still doing that or other work in addition to indexing?
I have taught at Washington State University for fourteen years. In addition to teaching creative writing and editing and publishing courses, I developed the department's Editing and Publishing Certificate, a curriculum that provides students with real-world skills in editing and publishing. I have also worked for the online literary journal Blood Orange Review since 2008 and have served as the editor-in-chief since 2015.
When did you start indexing? When did you join ASI?
I am new to indexing, joined ASI only recently, and am in the middle of completing the first ASI training module.
For you, what is the best advantage of ASI membership?
It's clear there is a [rigorous] thought process behind indexing, which requires much more than gathering key words and placing them alphabetically in the back of a document with locators. This felt overwhelming at first, but I like learning, and the membership includes resources that illuminate the "tricks of the trade."
Finally, what is your best coping strategy for the pandemic?
My life-long academic partner and I are writing a science-fiction novel centered on academics who are forced to create modules for society after a pandemic known as The Wave wipes out 80 percent of the world and forces the remaining survivors into isolation.