SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Official Launch of the AIf
Re: [Sigia-l] Official Launch of the AIfIA
From: Louis Rosenfeld (lou_at_louisrosenfeld.com)
Date: Sat Nov 09 2002 - 12:42:14 EST
On 11/9/02 7:57 AM, "Jan Egil Hagen" <janha+sigial_at_ifi.uio.no> wrote:
> My main concern about a project like this is that it seems to pave the
> way for a "privatisation" of a lot of places which until now have been
> open to anybody who cared enough to join a mailing list or read a web
> page. It would be a shame if that were to change and AIfIA were to
> become an exclusive club for "professionals" in the field with a high
> cost of entry. On the other hand, the benefits might outweigh these
> concerns. We don't know yet.
> Good luck. :)
Jan, thanks for raising these issues (and for the good wishes).
The concern with the AIfIA being exclusive has come up a few times now.
>From my admittedly biased perspective as an AIfIA founder, there's simply no
substance for this concern, and I'd like to clear up some misconceptions
here and now.
First, much of the content we're planning on making available will be free
to both members and non-members. The AIfIA's US$30 membership fee is
incredibly low compared with just about every professional association under
the sun. If, as Jan suggests, the field of IA has a "high cost of entry" (I
disagree, but that's another conversation), that's certainly not the case
with the decidedly not-for-profit AIfIA.
Second, if one considers the AIfIA to be an elitist club, please reconsider
that notion. Everyone is invited to join (at a low cost) and, more
importantly, participate and lead. That's not behavior typical of a cabal.
Let's remember that we have already tried an completely open, non-membership
based approach to developing services for the IA community at
http://www.info-arch.org/infrastructure/. That initiative generated many
excellent ideas, but precious little in terms of concrete action (beyond
archiving the SIGIA-L list). The creation of the AIfIA is partly a response
to the need for a more formalized structure to support and manage
initiatives of value to the *whole* information architecture community.
Speaking of cabals, a small group of mostly (but not completely) American
information architects got together to get the AIfIA off the ground. Why?
We happened to know each other, we spoke the same language, were able to
meet in person, and shared many of the same feelings about the profession.
More importantly, most of us already had experience creating services
(IAslash, IAwiki, ACIA, IA Summits, etc.) for the broader IA community.
This small group of builders was ideal for effectively *starting* the AIfIA.
That's now been accomplished, but we're just at the beginning. Now the real
We all can continue to wring our hands and complain about the state of the
field. Or we can participate in, or at least support, communal efforts to
do something about it. The AIfIA already has 115 enthusiastic members. The
challenge we now face is to combine a new organization and its members'
energy to benefit the whole information architecture community,
English-speaking or not, US-based or not. So Jan's wishes of "good luck"
are both appreciated and appropriate. ;-)
information architecture consulting
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:28 EST