Technical Writers @ Lisbon (March-2015, informal)

Twelve people attended the informal meeting at the bar “39 degraus” (29 steps) at Cinemateca Portuguesa.

The first person arrived before 18h00, but the conversation started shortly after 18h10. People kept arriving as late at 20h00. Eleven people stayed for dinner, mostly with a choice of burgers or fresh pasta.

Although the bar was supposed to close at 01h00, by 22h00 we were the only remaining customers and a waiter just brought the check. By 22h40, we convinced a bystander to photograph the surviving eight of us (Carlos's son was not on the photo). We broke up at 23h00, because even the smokers felt too chilly to remain outside.

We had three new faces at the meeting, including people from a non-profit organization that counsels people to get microcredit. They expressed the need to capture “policies and procedures” for the benefit of both staff and volunteers.

Although we met on Friday the 13th, no one reported any unfortunate incident.

The invitation (7-Mar)

Following up on our previous meetings, we propose another informal and unstructured meeting:

  • Friday, 13 March, starting at 18h00.
  • Bar “39 Degraus” (39 Steps) at Cinemateca Portuguesa (Rua Barata Salgueiro 39, 1st floor, Lisbon — GPS: 38.720840, -9.148952).
  • Optional dinner. The bar closes at 01h00.

The participation is free, although your are expected to pay for some food and beverages at the bar. The bar also expects that at least four of us will have dinner. Informally, four of us already agreed to have dinner at the bar, but please consider having dinner as well. Dinner should cost less than €9.

The bar features an open area (nice for smokers and enjoyable with fair weather) and a large closed rooms (nice for chilly evenings). Here are the mandatory photos:

Room inside Open space outside

— Joaquim Baptista,

Comercial break: My professional site now describes the consulting work that I am aiming to sell:

PS: If you like movies, consider having fun with friends and family this weekend at Gulbenkian. Movies from 1923 are living documentaries that provide much needed perspective on our current conditions, even while laughing, and especially to the young.

PS (13-March): I was surprised today by the SIGDOC publication Communication Design Quarterly. The issue focuses on perspectives on the future of communication and information design. For example, JoAnn Hackos says the following on page 10:

I once argued that the most crucial course a student of information development should take at university is calculus, not because one needs to know how to parse equations, but because understanding mathematics gives one confidence about learning technology.

You can download the current issue for free from


Associação Nacional de Direito ao Crédito
A non-profit organization founded in 1998 by 100 people interested in promoting in Portugal the experience of the Grameen Bank, created by Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh in 1976.
Cinemateca Portuguesa
The Portuguese movie museum at Lisbon, whose main activity is to show old and not-so-old movies. You may also enjoy the permanent exposition of ancient machines of “moving pictures”.
39 Degraus (39 Steps), also on Facebook
Restaurant/bar at Cinemateca Portuguesa, usually open between 12h30 and 01h00 22h00.